Benefit-Cost Analysis at Independent Regulatory Agencies
Project Stages:1. Gather ideas - Completed
2. Select ideas - Completed
3. Council approval - Completed
4. Picking a researcher - Completed
5. Committee consideration - Completed
6. Back to the council - Completed
7. Consideration by the full conference - Current
8. Implementation - Not reached yet
Background Information: Though independent regulatory agencies are not subject to the benefit-cost analysis requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, several such agencies undertake benefit-cost analysis in connection with their regulatory activities. For instance, the Federal Communications Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission regularly conduct benefit-cost analysis in their rulemakings. In addition, in Executive Order 13579, the Obama Administration has asked independent regulatory agencies to engage in retrospective review of existing regulations in accordance with the principles of Executive Order 13563, a process that presumably entails analysis of the costs and benefits of these existing rules. Finally, several recent cases have concerned the adequacy of benefit-cost analyses conducted in connection with independent regulatory agency rulemakings. See, e.g., Bus. Roundtable v. Sec. & Exch. Comm’n, 647 F.3d 1144 (D.C. Cir. 2011).
In this light, the Conference will study the use of benefit-cost and other economic analyses at independent federal regulatory agencies. Amongst other things, the project will examine the extent to which independent regulatory agencies already prepare economic analyses in connection with their regulatory activities, the reasons why some independent regulatory agencies may not prepare economic analyses, what considerations unique to independent regulatory agencies or categories of such agencies (e.g., financial regulatory agencies) might affect their use of economic analyses, how independent regulatory agencies use the results of economic analyses they conduct, and whether any “best practices” can be identified in independent regulatory agencies’ use of economic analyses.
The Committee on Regulation has not yet scheduled any meetings in connection with this project. Meeting dates will be posted on this page as soon as they are scheduled.