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 21: United States of America

William F. West


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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