Publications

Literature
Good Regulation and Public Policies Evaluation: selected literature
Cecott C. (2019)
Deregulatory Cost-Benefit Analysis and Regulatory Stability
Cost-benefit analysis (“CBA”) has faced significant opposition during most of its tenure as an influential agency decisionmaking tool. As advancements have been made in CBA practice, especially in more complete monetization of relevant effects, CBA has been gaining acceptance as an essential part of reasoned agency decisionmaking. When carefully conducted, CBA promotes transparency and accountability, efficient and predictable policies, and targeted retrospective review. This Article highlights an underappreciated additional effect of extensive use of CBA to support agency rulemaking: reasonable regulatory stability. In particular, a regulation based on a wellsupported CBA is more difficult to modify for at least two reasons. The first reason relates to judicial review. Courts take a “hard look” at agency findings of fact, which are summarized in a CBA, and they require justifications when an agency changes course in ways that contradict its previous factfinding. A prior CBA provides a powerful reference point; any updated CBA supporting a new course of action will naturally be compared against the prior CBA, and the agency will need to explain any changes in CBA inputs, assumptions, and methodology. The second reason relates to the nature of CBA. By focusing on the incremental costs and benefits of a proposed change, CBA can make it difficult for an agency to justify changing course, especially when stakeholders have already relied on the prior policy. Together, these forces constrain the range of changes that agencies could rationally support. CBA thus promotes regulatory stability around transparent and increasingly efficient policies. But, admittedly, this CBA-based stabilizing influence gives rise to several objections. This Article responds to, among others, concerns about democratic accountability and, most importantly, the use of alternative methods of policy modification. Overall, the Article concludes that CBA and judicial review of CBA play a desirable role in stabilizing regulatory policy across presidential administrations.
Literature
Good Regulation and Public Policies Evaluation: selected literature
Cecot C.; Livermore M.A. (2017)
The One‐In, Two‐Out Executive Order Is a Zero
On January 30, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order 13,771, which directs each agency to repeal at least two existing regulations before issuing a new regulation (referred to as the “one‐in‐two‐out” requirement) and imposes a regulatory budget that sets a cap on total incremental regulatory costs (set at zero for fiscal year 2017). The regulatory budget concept has been kicked around for decades, while the one‐in‐two‐out requirement is more recent and has been implemented in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia to various extents. Legal scholars and commentators have been quick to opine on the Order, with some pointing out ways in which it is irrational or impractical and others defending aspects of the Order such as the imposition of a regulatory budget. In this Essay, we take a somewhat different approach by evaluating how well the Order is likely to achieve its purpose of helping agencies “be prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of funds.” Although vaguely laudable, this purpose is illaudably vague. We will therefore ground our analysis by defining the goal (or goals) of the Order according to priorities that have been adopted by prior administrations or promoted by scholars, commentators, or interest groups. For purposes of this analysis, we take no normative position on whether these end goals are desirable. The three potential goals that we evaluate the Order against are: (1) increasing the net benefits of regulations, (2) decreasing regulatory burdens, and (3) increasing presidential control over agencies. We then compare the Order against regulatory reform efforts in other countries. We conclude that the Order is unlikely to sensibly (much less prudently or responsibly) achieve any of these goals without significant changes