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OIRA’s Dual Role and the Future of Cost-Benefit Analysis

May 2020

Citation: 50 ELR 10385

Issue: 5

Author: Stuart Shapiro

The role that cost-benefit analysis (CBA) plays in regulatory decisionmaking is at a crossroads, as is the role played by the agency that oversees its implementation, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The Trump Administration has largely demonstrated agnosticism toward CBA; this has left many to question whether OIRA can still play the role of ensuring quality analysis while serving as the eyes and ears of the president in overseeing regulation. This Article discusses the history of these dual functions within OIRA, the challenges posed by the regulatory policy of the Trump Administration, and possible alternative homes for CBA to ensure that there is a place for quality analysis of executive branch regulations.

Stuart Shapiro is associate dean of faculty at Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University.

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