GW Regulatory Studies Podcast
By GW Regulatory Studies Center
GW Regulatory Studies PodcastApr 26, 2023
Discussing the Draft Merger Guidelines with Mary Sullivan and Joe Cordes
Co-Director of the Regulatory Studies Center Joe Cordes interviews Visiting Scholar Mary Sullivan for a discussion about the Draft Merger Guidelines developed by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.
As a former economist at the FTC and the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, Sullivan explains how the guidelines diverge from the longstanding objective of protecting consumer welfare. Furthermore, the draft guidelines appear to favor policy goals of the administration and leave too much room for agency discretion. Read Sullivan's public interest comment on the draft merger guidelines.
Reeve Bull on Building an Evidence-Based System of Regulatory Analysis from the Bottom-Up
Reeve Bull is Deputy Director for the Office of Regulatory Management in the Office of the Governor of Virginia. Bull's working paper, "Building an Evidence-Based System of Regulatory Analysis from the Bottom-Up" is available on the Center's website. In this conversation with RSC Director Susan Dudley, Bull explores the role states can develop for advancing competitive policies that benefit regulatory stakeholders. Although many systems are inclined to favor federal leadership in regulation, states have the advantage of being closer to the businesses and consumers impacted by their regulations and can provide more opportunities for stakeholder input. Read the full article.
Discounting to Achieve Policy Preferences
When estimating the impacts that a proposed regulation may have over time, an important step is to apply a “discount rate” to translate future impacts to present value terms. This analysis can help determine whether the regulation costs are worth the benefits. Susan Dudley explains why using a single standard discount rate—as proposed in OMB’s Draft Circular A-4—may result in greater uncertainty than using a range of rates for regulatory impact analysis. Read Susan's essay for more details.
How to Engage the Public: OIRA's New Guidance to Agencies
An overview of guidelines on public engagement for federal agencies, newly released by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Policy Analyst Sarah Hay discusses the proposed framework which emphasizes early involvement, transparency, proactive engagement, and meaningful participation. Read Sarah's full commentary on this topic.
Biden's Spring 2023 Unified Agenda
Senior Policy Analyst Zhoudan (Zoey) Xie reviews trends and highlights of the latest Unified Agenda—the White House's semi-annual plan for regulatory priorities. Read Zoey's full commentary on the Unified Agenda for more details.
Safeguarding Objective and Evidence-Based Principles for Regulatory Impact Analysis
GW Regulatory Studies Center Director Susan Dudley shares her perspectives on the OMB Draft Circular A4. Susan emphasizes the durability of regulatory impact analysis under the existing circular across administrations dating back nearly 30 years. Although the draft revisions contain some worthwhile updates, Susan explains that some aspects of the draft appear designed to steer analytical results to support this administration’s policy preferences, rather than present objective evidence and estimates to policy makers and the public. Safeguarding the objectivity and durability of regulatory analysis is key for the circular's value going forward.
Challenges with Distributional Weighting in the Draft Circular A-4
Economist and scholar Mary Sullivan joins the podcast to share perspectives on the proposed introduction of distributional weighting as part of the new draft Circular A-4. The circular, which guides analysis of regulatory costs and benefits, aims to address issues of equity when those costs and benefits are borne differently among various groups. Trade-offs in economic efficiency and lesser transparency are important factors to consider, Mary explains.
What’s In the EO on Modernizing Regulatory Review?
President Biden’s Executive Order “Modernizing Regulatory Review” introduces significant changes in how the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) defines the economic significance of rules and approaches public engagement. Research Professor Bridget Dooling and Senior Policy Analyst Mark Febrizio consider the proposed updates in the order and how it may impact centralized regulatory review in the executive branch agencies. For additional coverage, visit Parsing the Proposals for Modernizing Review.
HUD's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing proposal
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing a new rule for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing that seeks to simplify compliance by program participants and focus on outcomes rather than process. Policy Analyst Sarah Hay shares recommendations from her public interest comment which HUD may consider for improving public engagement and encouraging the use of joint Equity Plans among participants. Read Sarah's full commentary.
Jimmy Carter, The Great Deregulator
This week we celebrate the regulatory reforms of President Jimmy Carter, who set in motion a wave of deregulation that brought lower prices and better consumer choices to the airline industry, telecommunications, rail, trucking, and more. GW Regulatory Studies Center Director Susan Dudley discusses how competition in formerly-regulated markets unleashed innovation and generated lasting benefits for consumers and society as a whole, and stands out today as an underappreciated legacy of the Carter administration. For more details, read Dudley's op-ed in The Regulatory Review.
Top Ten Trends in Federal Agency Actions
Zoey Xie and Mark Febrizio recap ten important themes in regulatory developments over the past year. While the Biden administration continued its efforts to undo Trump-era regulations during its second year, it also broke new ground in several policy areas and sought to address emerging issues in the regulatory sphere. For more details, read the full commentary.
Broadening Public Engagement in the Federal Regulatory Process
As part of the Biden administration’s equity agenda, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has proposed recommendations to increase public engagement in the federal regulatory process, especially from underserved communities. GW RegStudies Center Co-Director Steven Balla and Policy Analyst Sarah Hay discuss their recent commentary and public interest comments to explore how OIRA can make its outreach more effective. Read the full commentary at https://regulatorystudies.columbian.gwu.edu/promise-and-potential-pitfall-biden-administrations-equity-public-engagement-initiative.
Transparency, Participation, and Responsiveness in Hong Kong Consultative Policymaking
Although consultation promises to bolster the legitimacy of government decisions, it is possible that—in practice—instruments such as the notice and comment process fail to promote transparency, participation, and responsiveness in policymaking. In this discussion, we hear from RSC Co-director Steven Balla and PhD candidates Bosco Yeung and Huang Chen—authors of a new paper on the consultative policy process used in Hong Kong. Listen for highlights about Hong Kong's effectiveness in consultation and recommendations to improve public participation. Access the complete paper at https://regulatorystudies.columbian.gwu.edu/transparency-participation-and-responsiveness-hong-kong-consultative-policymaking.
Will ChatGPT Break Notice and Comment for Regulations?
Nobel Prize and FCC Spectrum Auctions
The DEA, COVID-19, and the Opioid Crisis
Related publications written by Laura:
Washington Post op-ed: Bring Back the Methadone Vans
Commentary: Regulations Teed Up at the DEA
Public Interest Comment: DEA's Mobile Narcotic Treatment Program
FY 2021 Regulators' Budget
Read the full report on our website: regulatorystudies.columbian.gwu.edu/regulators-budget-overall-spending-and-staffing-remain-stable
Mark also references a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that is available on their website:https://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-introduction-to-the-federal-budget-process
Trump's Executive Order on Social Media Regulation
Hosted by Bryce Chinault.