Modernizing Regulatory Review: Exploring OMB’s Updated Benefit-Cost Guidance

An RFF Live event exploring the US Office of Management and Budget's new guidelines on valuating the costs and benefits of federal regulations.

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April 11, 2023


3:30–4:30 p.m. ET

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RFF Live

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President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum in January 2021 directing OMB to consider steps to update regulatory guidelines for conducting benefit-cost analyses of federal regulations to “reflect new developments in scientific and economic understanding.” On Thursday, April 6, the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released proposed revisions of such guidelines for both regulations and federal spending—the first time it has done so since 2003. Since 2003, interest has only grown in how regulations, analyzed under Circular A-4, and public spending, analyzed under Circular A-94, affect various aspects of social welfare, such as public safety, economic growth, justice and equity, environmental impacts, and more. Further, understanding of climate change risks and associated policy responses, as well as underlying economic conditions, have changed considerably. Now that OMB has delivered its proposed revisions, what changes do they entail and how are they informed by updated information and methods?

On Tuesday, April 11, Resources for the Future (RFF) and OMB hosted a timely discussion on the new guidelines and what they mean for US policy and decisionmaking. The event featured insights from Richard Revesz, Administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and from Zachary Liscow, Chief Economist at OMB. RFF President and CEO Richard Newell led them in a moderated discussion with audience questions and participation from former OIRA Administrator Sally Katzen.

The new proposed guidelines are available on the OMB website.


  • Richard Revesz, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OMB)
  • Zachary Liscow, Economic Policy (OMB)
  • Sally Katzen, former OIRA Administrator
  • Richard G. Newell, Resources for the Future (Moderator)

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