Chapter 2: Cost-benefit analysis, half of a century of controversy in the United States
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Chapter 2 has two objectives, the first being to briefly retracing the regulatory history of SEA in the United States. Currently, the use of SEA in REACH is contested with arguments very similar to those advanced since the 1970s in the US. The flexibility of CBA - which requires many assumptions which are just as many opportunities to shape the contours of the analysis and its results - allowed it to be adapted to the political objectives of the moment. Consequently, CBA played a central role in the failure of the EPA to regulate chemical substances, and has driven the transition from a hierarchical policy known as "command and control" to a policy of co-management conceived as a support for the voluntary actions of the industry. Secondly, the chapter retraces the methodological weaknesses of CBA, systematically highlighted since the beginning of its institutional history.

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