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Can Greater Use of Economic Analysis Improve Regulatory Policy at Independent Regulatory Agencies?

Experts have long agreed that federal regulatory policy has significant effects on the economy and welfare, as well as on entrepreneurship and economic growth. But federal regulatory agencies differ not only in their policies and practices, but also in their use of economic analysis in rulemaking. The agencies that belong to the executive branch follow an executive order on regulatory policy as well as guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on how to conduct regulatory analysis. Independent regulatory commissions (IRCs)—such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission—are not similarly constrained.

Speakers at this conference explored how greater use of economic analysis at IRCs may improve regulatory decisionmaking and public accountability, while also promoting economic growth and entrepreneurship.

Related publications and presenter slides, when available, can be viewed here.

keynote:

Alice M. Rivlin,
Senior Fellow of Economic Studies and Director of Greater Washington Research at the Brookings Institution; former Director of OMB and former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve

Other Featured Speakers:

Sally Katzen,
Visiting at New York University School of Law; former Deputy Director for Management at OMB and former Administrator of the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Arthur Fraas,
Visiting Scholar, Resources for the Future

Randall Lutter,
Visiting Scholar, Resources for the Future

Richard Morgenstern,
Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

J. Howard Beales, III,
former Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the FTC and former official of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, currently professor of strategic management and public policy, George Washington University School of Business

Tom Hazlett,
former FCC Chief Economist and currently professor of law and economics at George Mason University School of Law

Jody Freeman,
Archibald Cox Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Counselor for Energy and Climate Change in the White House from 2009-2010

James Overdahl,
former Chief Economist of the SEC and CFTC, currently vice president, NERA

William Albrecht,
former CFTC Commissioner, professor of economics, emeritus, University of Iowa

Carol N. Chodroff,
Democratic Counsel, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives

Related Publications and Event Slides

Conference Summary

Can Greater Use of Economic Analysis Improve Regulatory Policy at Independent Regulatory Commissions?
Arthur G. Fraas, Randall Lutter

Remarks and Presentations

Katzen Remarks (PDF)

Albrecht Presentation (PDF)
Beales Presentation (PDF)
Hazlett Presentation (PDF)
Overdahl Presentation (PDF)

Conference Papers

Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
William P. Albrecht

On the Economic Analysis of Regulations at Independent Regulatory Commissions: Would Greater Use of Economic Analysis Improve Regulatory Policy at Independent Regulatory Commissions?
Arthur G. Fraas, Randall Lutter

Reflections on the Conduct and Use of Regulatory Impact Analysis at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Richard D. Morgenstern

Economic Analysis at the Federal Communications Commission: A Simple Proposal to Atone for Past Sins
Thomas W. Hazlett

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