Behavioural economics and public policy

From: Financial Times

By Tim Harford

The past decade has been a triumph for behavioural economics, the fashionable cross-breed of psychology and economics. First there was the award in 2002 of the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics to a psychologist, Daniel Kahneman – the man who did as much as anything to create the field of behavioural economics. Bestselling books were launched, most notably by Kahneman himself (Thinking, Fast and Slow , 2011) and by his friend Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge (2008). Behavioural economics seems far sexier than the ordinary sort, too: when last year’s Nobel was shared three ways, it was the behavioural economist Robert Shiller who grabbed all the headlines.

Business Roundtable: Statement for the Record on Improving the Regulatory Framework

From: Business Rountable

Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers who lead companies that operate in every sector of the U.S. economy, appreciates the opportunity to submit this statement for consideration by the Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce. Our statement makes the case for a smarter regulatory system and a streamlined federal permitting process.

Nearly three-quarters of Business Roundtable CEOs list regulations as one of the top three cost pressures facing their businesses. Roundtable CEOs believe that a smarter regulatory system and a more streamlined federal permitting process will help drive increased business investment, economic growth and job creation.

Week in Regulation

From: American Action Forum

By Sam Batkins

Regulators were busy this week with 20 notable regulations. Combined, they could impose $312 million in costs and more than 359,000 paperwork burden hours. In addition, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) withdrew two energy conservation standards (reflector lamps and manufactured housing) that had been under review for more than two years.

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 51
  • New Final Rules: 67
  • 2014 Significant Documents: 109
  • 2014 Total Pages of Regulation: 14,608
  • 2014 Proposed Rules: $7.3 Billion
  • 2014 Final Rules: $5.9 Billion

Surprise rollback: 500 regulations on chopping block, savings could top $12b

From: Washington Examiner

Hundreds of new federal rules and regulations and those on the books for years are now under review and may be junked under a “look-back” program President Obama created to offer businesses relief from costly and burdensome rules that just don’t work.

Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said that more than 500 regulations are being reviewed and reconsidered. She said the program is “something that has never happened before, which is called ‘regulatory look-back,’ e.g. what can you undo versus what can you add.”

GAO on Regulatory Review: Processes Could Be Enhanced

Editor’s Note: The complete GAO Testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce, “FEDERAL RULEMAKING: Regulatory Review Processes Could Be Enhanced” (GAO-14-423T) is attached here. Below is an excerpt from the General Accountability Office’s insightful understanding of the history and significance of centralized regulatory review.

Nudging, Paternalism, and Human Agency

From: Political Theology Today

A Response to the Responses, Pt. II: Nudging, Paternalism, and Human Agency


1. Nudges: Myth and Reality

Let’s start with a note of clarification regarding “nudges” themselves. What are these nudges that we have been discussing, and what do they do? Perhaps looking at examples that are already in play in our world—nudges developed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)—may serve to bring a level of coherence, specificity, and clarity to an otherwise fraught, and likely to be mythologized, issue.