The number of regulations and their economic impact continue to grow. Yet the quality and use of economic analysis to inform regulatory decisions falls far short of the standards enunciated in executive orders governing regulatory analysis and review.
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Roslyn Layton and Michael Horney survey broadband in America and compare broadband costs around the world. They find that the United States is a global leader in broadband, as measured by the level of broadband-enabled economic activity, the number of Internet-based companies, the level of digital exports, and the level of Internet-enabled employment.
Many states have certificate-of-need regulations, which prohibit hospitals, nursing homes, and ambulatory surgical centers from entering new markets or making changes to the existing capacity of medical facilities without first gaining approval from certificate-of-need regulators.
The US federal government’s response to the financial crisis was an unprecedented increase in government subsidies, grants, and contracts given directly to specific private businesses. The terms “crony capitalism” and “cronyism” are now widely used to describe the modern relationship between government and private business.
The $69 billion mortgage interest deduction (MID) is often viewed as an element of the tax code
that promotes middle-class prosperity. However, 64 percent of the benefits, as measured by effective tax reduction, goes to households earning more than $100,000 per year. The large variation in nominal benefits is one of the reasons why many economists state that the MID is regressive.
Transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, airports, and the like, significantly contributes to America’s prosperity by facilitating access to the workplace, shopping, and leisure activities, as well as giving employers easy access to labor, capital, and potential consumers. However, current capacity for transport has become increasingly strained, and travelers and shippers have experienced more congestion and delays. The public sector’s “strategy” to increase infrastructure spending fails to generate the large promised benefits because its pricing and investment and operating policies are so inefficient.
Over the decades, regulatory reforms have sought to increase agency accountability and improve the quality of regulatory analysis and decision-making, with varying success. In this paper, I draw upon previous reform experiences to identify four criteria for effective reforms.
As of 2011, the average US state had 37 health insurance benefit mandates, laws requiring health insurance plans to cover a specific treatment, condition, provider, or person. This number is a massive increase from less than one mandate per state in 1965, and the topic takes on a new significance now, when the federal government is considering many new mandates as part of the “essential health benefits” required by the Affordable Care Act.
The F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the Mercatus Center invites you to a panel discussion featuring Peter Leeson and his new book, Anarchy Unbound: Why Self-Governance Works Better Than You Think.
One of the President’s major regulatory oversight offices is the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Agencies can take a “cooperate with OIRA” approach or an “avoid OIRA” approach when they pursue new regulatory initiatives. Understanding agency avoidance tactics is an important step in deciding whether and how to shift agency incentives away from avoidance and toward cooperation.