Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment
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Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

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.
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Chapter 7: Standard cost model

Paola Coletti


The term bureaucracy acquired an ambiguous significance incorporating subjective feelings that are not well defined: bureaucracy can refer either to an onerous but socially necessary rule with the specific purpose of defending the public interest or to a pathological condition. Practically, red tape refers to a category of compliance costs, the so-called administrative obligations. This chapter analyses the origins and development of programmes to tackle red tape developed in the USA and in major international organizations. It then focuses on the war on red tape at the European level paying attention to the diffusion of the Standard Cost Model (SCM) that was adopted by the European Union institutions, and by almost every European country in the last few years. This methodology measures the stock of administrative burdens stemming from regulation and imposed on enterprises. The final sections of the chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the model before drawing some general conclusions about the tensions that exist between impact assessment (IA) and SCM.

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