Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 10 No. 3 (Summer 1996)


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Economic Foundations of the Current Regulatory Reform Efforts

Article Citation

Viscusi, W Kip. 1996. "Economic Foundations of the Current Regulatory Reform Efforts." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10(3): 119-134.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.10.3.119


Regulatory reform proposals before Congress would potentially increase the role of economics in regulatory policymaking. These reforms seek to override existing legislative mandates, which usually prohibit economic trade-offs and have often led to inefficient expenditures. Proposed legislation would preempt these requirements and improve benefit-cost tests, making economic assessment a focal point of regulatory policy debates. Other reforms, such as the promotion of unbiased risk assessment and offsetting risk consequences of regulations, would also promote more efficient policies. Some less desirable proposals would largely serve to increase the transactions costs of issuing new regulations.

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Viscusi, W. Kip (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

L51: Economics of Regulation


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