Policy Documents

How Well Do Federal Agencies Use Regulatory Impact Analysis?

Jerry Ellig, and James Broughel –
July 16, 2013

For more than three decades, presidents have instructed executive branch agencies to use the results of Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIAs) when deciding whether and how to regulate. Scores from the Mercatus Center’s Regulatory Report Card—an in-depth evaluation of the quality and use of regulatory analysis conducted by executive branch agencies—show that agencies often fail to explain how RIAs affected their decisions. For this reason, regulatory reform should require agencies to conduct analysis before making decisions and explain how the analysis affected the decisions.