Table of Contents

Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series

Edited by Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli

This comparative Handbook provides a pioneering and comprehensive account of regulatory impact assessment – the main instrument used by governments and regulators to appraise the likely effects of their policy proposals. Renowned international scholars and practitioners describe the substance of impact assessment, situating it in its proper theoretical traditions and scrutinizing its usage across countries, policy sectors, and policy instruments. The Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment will undoubtedly be of great value to practitioners and also scholars with its wealth of detail and lessons to be learned.

Chapter 1: The politics and economics of regulatory impact assessment

Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance


This Edward Elgar Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment aims to provide a balanced account of what it is to design, make and implement impact assessment (IA) across a range of major policy sectors, countries and regions. In the volume, a field of international academic and practitioner experts guide us through the state of the art of IA in five parts: (1) the analytical approaches that underpin IA; (2) the pre-eminent tools, actors and dimensions; (3) major policy sectors where IA is featured; (4) the regional diffusion of IA; and (5) its implementation analytically, pedagogically and in the field. This introduction fulfils the function of a scene-setting chapter. The authors do not offer a systematic account of IA (assuming that is possible), nor is it a summary of the chapters that follow. Rather, they define what IA is and report on research on impact assessment informed by two disciplines, political science and economics. Specifically, they consider four domains: the theoretical justification of impact assessment, its diffusion across time and jurisdictions, the economic effects and the ways in which governments use this tool. In the conclusions section they reflect on the variability of form and substance.