Analyzing the Effectiveness of State Regulatory Review

Editor’s Note: An online publication edition of the complete study is available here.

From: Public Finance Review July 2016 vol. 44 no. 4 446-477

  1. Russell S. Sobel1
  2. John A. Dove2
  1. 1School of Business Administration, The Citadel, Charleston, SC, USA
  2. 2Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy, Troy University, Troy, AL, USA


This article provides a systematic empirical study of how differences in regulatory review processes across the fifty US states affect the level of regulation. We examine whether rules for regulatory review matter in terms of lowering the overall level of regulation in states. Our findings suggest that sunset provisions are the most effective means of reducing state regulatory levels. Requirements for reviewing the fiscal impacts of new regulations on state government budgets and to present lower-cost alternatives for achieving the same policy goals also appear to be somewhat effective. There is limited evidence that a regulatory review process within the state legislative branch or an independent agency reduces new regulations.

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