Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 22 No. 1 (Winter 2008)


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Has Economic Analysis Improved Regulatory Decisions?

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Hahn, Robert W., and Paul C. Tetlock. 2008. "Has Economic Analysis Improved Regulatory Decisions?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 22(1): 67-84.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.22.1.67


In response to the increasing impact of regulation, several governments have introduced economic analysis as a way of trying to improve regulatory policy. This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of government-supported economic analysis of regulation. We find that there is growing interest in the use of economic tools, such as benefit-cost analysis; however, the quality of analysis in the U.S. and European Union frequently fails to meet widely accepted guidelines. Furthermore, the relationship between analysis and policy decisions is tenuous. To address this situation, we recommend pursuing an agenda in which economics plays a more central role in regulatory decision making. In addition, we suggest that prediction markets could help improve regulatory policy and improve measurement of the impact of regulation.

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Hahn, Robert W.
Tetlock, Paul C.


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