About the Event
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Over the past two decades, considerable debate has emerged about the merits of using cost-benefit analysis to analyze environmental and safety regulations. A new report – Reforming Regulatory Impact Analysis – was released March 31 by Resources for the Future, and draws on a wide spectrum of economic, legal, and administrative expertise to develop constructive suggestions for improving federal regulatory impact analyses (RIAs).
The report is co-edited by RFF Senior Fellows Winston Harrington and Richard Morgenstern with Lisa Heinzerling, a professor at Georgetown University Law School (on leave) and a prominent critic of cost-benefit analysis. In the concluding chapter, the editors seek some common ground in offering recommendations for improving both the content of RIAs and the process by which they are developed and reviewed. They provide 14 concrete suggestions covering five areas:
- technical quality of the analyses;
- relevance to the agency decision-making process;
- transparency of the analyses;
- treatment of new scientific findings; and
- balance in both the analyses and the associated processes, including the treatment of distributional consequences.
The report is based on three case studies:
The reports concluding recommendations are solely those of the editors.
Agenda, Audio, and Video