Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series
Edited by Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli
Chapter 21: United States of America
America has been a leader in the application of impact assessment (IA) to policy initiatives that emerge from the bureaucracy. This chapter describes how and why ‘regulatory review’ has become institutionalized in the Executive Office of the US president and then discusses some of the key issues posed by this development. Some of these issues are intrinsic to the criterion of economic efficiency, per se, and are relevant to the use of cost-benefit analysis and related techniques in general. Regulatory review often involves more than dispassionate analysis, however, and other issues reflect the tension built into a constitutional system in which executive and legislative powers are separated and where the administrative process has become a key arena for competition between the two political branches of government.
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