regulatory policy

Reviewing the REVIEW Act

This bill is in the running for the all-time “lame legislation” prize.

You can tell right away that this bill — passed by the House only yesterday — is a really clunker.  The title is Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists Act of 2016.  Really, that’s the best they could come up with?  But it only gets worse. The bill provides that no “high-impact rule” can go …

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Labor Mobility and Environmental Regulation

Net job loss is small, but the effects of regulation might leave some workers stranded.

Regulators should give some thought to issues of labor mobility, which may be smaller than economists have assumed. Recent studies show that people who lost manufacturing jobs due to competition from China often failed to get new jobs in other places or sectors of the economy.  Regulation can also cause some individual to lose their …

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The Perverse Growth of the “Job Killing” Meme

As unemployment goes down and down, talk about “job killing regulations” goes up and up.

We’ve had a number of posts about the claim that regulations cause major job losses.  The evidence doesn’t support this claim.  (See this post from October). But the claim at least seemed understandable in the depths of the recession, when people were desperately worried about unemployment.  The weird thing is that as unemployment has gone …

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Has EPA’s Proposed NSPS Expired?

Responding to claims that EPA must withdraw its proposed rules to control power-plant GHGs under CAA § 111

Challenges to EPA’s emergent program to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act section 111 continue to mount. Recently, the Attorneys General of 19 states sent a joint letter to EPA arguing that because EPA failed to finalize its proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for GHG emissions within one year—as the Clean …

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The Dietary Supplement Scandal

There are 65,000 dietary supplements on the market, and almost half the population uses at least one of them. Americans spent $13 billion on dietary supplements last year, according to the Washington Post.  There are disturbing indications that nearly all  that money is wasted — or to put it more bluntly, that the industry is essentially …

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“You’re Just Not My Type (of error)”

Most people find statistics off-putting — who wants to look at a bunch of numbers?  And Statistics courses, which are required for students in many majors, are usually viewed as a painful box to check.  But when you put aside the numbers and the technicalities, statisticians also have some simple yet powerful concepts.  One of …

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The Role of Permits in the Regulatory State

The structure of permitting programs can make a big difference for the implementation of environmental law

Author’s Note: The following post is co-authored by Eric Biber and J.B. Ruhl, the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law and the Co-Director of the Energy, Environment, and Land Use Program at Vanderbilt Law School. This post is cross-posted at Reg Blog. Reg Blog, supported by the U Penn Program on Regulation is an …

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The Food Safety Paradox

As Tom McGarity documents in his recent book, Freedom to Harm, the American food safety system is in disarray.  You’d think we’d all be wiped out by food poisoning.  Yet, the rate of sickness caused by bad food seems to have remained constant since the mid-nineties.  What’s going on? McGarity and others are right about the …

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Why Pollution Regulations Aren’t Taxes

Opponents of environmental regulations love to call them hidden taxes. But constant repetition doesn’t make this idea true.

If you’ve seen a statement that regulations are hidden taxes, that’s not too surprising.  Googling  “regulation hidden taxes” produces over three million hits.  But in fact, pollution regulations and taxes are completely different. The reason is simple. A tax removes value  from the private sector.   Environmental regulations simultaneously remove value  from one part of …

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On our reading list: Market framing and morality

Economists offer experimental evidence that market transactions blunt moral intuitions

Take my views on this study with a grain salt, because it confirms my priors. I’ve long agreed intuitively with Mark Sagoff that people make different choices in market settings than in more public-regarding settings. And I’ve been fascinated over the years by the empirical evidence that confirms that intuition, including the work of Samuel …

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