NBER

Patrick McLaughlin

Mercatus Center at
George Mason University
3434 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Mercatus Center at George Mason University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020Three Myths about Federal Regulation
with Casey B. Mulligan: w27233
Despite evidence to the contrary, three common myths persist about federal regulations. The first myth is that many regulations concern the environment, but in fact only a small minority of regulations are environmental. The second myth is that most regulations contain quantitative estimates of costs or benefits. However, these quantitative estimates appear rarely in published rules, contradicting the impression given by executive orders and Office of Management and Budget guidance, which require cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and clearly articulate sound economic principles for conducting CBA. Environmental rules have relatively higher-quality CBAs, at least by the low standards of other federal rules. The third myth, which is particularly relevant to the historic regulations promulgated dur...

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