New Developments in Regulatory Benefit-Cost Analysis

Editor’s Note: For the history of White House regulatory review from its origins in the Nixon Administration through the founding of OIRA, see here.

From: The Regulatory Review

Scholars and industry representatives highlight takeaways from conference on new regulatory developments.

Since the Nixon Administration, some half a century ago, the U.S. government has made concerted efforts to understand the impact of regulations on society through systematic and comprehensive analysis.

The role for benefit-cost analysis in the regulatory process became institutionalized with President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12,291, which required that executive branch agencies only adopt major regulations when “the potential benefits to society for the regulation outweigh the potential costs to society.” Although President William Clinton replaced President Reagan’s order with his own Executive Order 12,866 some 12 years later, he too emphasized the need for expertise in regulatory benefit-cost analysis.

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