Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Unequal Partners: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Executive Review of Regulations

July 2005

Citation: ELR 10433

Author: Stuart Shapiro Ph.D.

Editors' Summary: This Article addresses the potentially conflicting roles played by the Office of Management and Budget in overseeing agencies' rulemaking: analyzing rules using cost-benefit analysis and exercising executive control of rulemaking. The author argues that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affair's role as the eyes and ears of the president in overseeing regulatory agencies has led to its analytical mission playing a secondary role and is, in part, responsible for the lack of visible effects (positive or negative) of cost-benefit analysis. By using a simple model, the Article demonstrates how executive review and analytical requirements interact in presidential decisionmaking. The author offers alternative hypotheses for the negligible impact of cost-benefit analysis on rulemaking and suggests a research agenda that could answer questions about the institutional design of cost-benefit requirements. The Article concludes that the role of cost-benefit analysis in regulatory policy is necessarily limited by its linking with executive review.

Stuart Shapiro is currently an assistant professor of public policy at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University where he does research and teaches courses on regulatory policy. Prior to that position, he worked for five years in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a policy analyst and assistant branch chief. The author is deeply indebted to Cary Coglianese, Gary Edles, Scott Farrow, Anne Gowen, and William West, for taking the time to read drafts of this Article and provide extremely helpful comments.

You must be a News & Analysis subscriber to download the full article.

You are not logged in. To access this content: