Regulation University

Regulation University

Regulation University is a series of educational programs designed for congressional staff to provide the skills and information essential to regulatory oversight and to understand the legal and institutional framework that produces and supports federal regulation.


Sherzod Abdukadirov | Jul 17, 2012
Administrations face fewer political constraints during the midnight period and, thus, take the opportunity to impose their policy preferences. These rushed, politically motivated regulations have poor quality analysis and face less stringent oversight from OIRA. Stemming the surge of midnight regulations requires comprehensive reform to constrain agencies’ ability to issue too many regulations and improve OIRA’s ability to oversee regulatory quality during the midnight period.
Randall Lutter | Apr 18, 2012
There are many obstacles to better regulatory measurement, analysis and review. But major setbacks include the agencies’ lack of impartiality in reviewing their existing regulations, an inappropriately narrow focus, and a failure to promote steps to better measure the actual benefits vs. the costs of regulations.
Eli Dourado, Jerry Brito | Mar 06, 2012
Like gardens, the Internet developed without government intervention. Unnecessary regulation could break down the norms and practices that caused the Internet flourish in the first place.
James Broughel, Jerry Ellig | Feb 21, 2012
This Mercatus on Policy shows how regulatory process reforms should require agencies to thoroughly analyze alternatives and publish that analysis for public comment before they propose a regulation.
Thomas Stratmann, J. W. Verret | Jan 17, 2012
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 gave the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the authority to adopt a proxy access rule. Though the legislation urged an exemption for companies with less than $75 million in market capitalization, the SEC unexpectedly failed to provide a permanent exemption from the rule for those companies. This paper finds that, for the roughly 900 publicly traded companies studied with under $75 million in market capitalization, the proxy access rule caused on the order of $335 million in shareholder losses.
Christopher J. Conover, Jerry Ellig | Jan 09, 2012
This Mercatus on Policy catalogs the main deficiencies of the regulatory analysis for the ACA regulations and compares them to other economically significant regulations proposed in 2008 and 2009.

Testimony & Comments

Speeches & Presentations


Jerry Ellig | April 10, 2014
The regulatory process consists of many stages, but the essential first step is answering the question "what's the problem?" A thorough regulatory impact analysis should provide evidence that the regulation addresses a significant, systemic problem and trace that problem back to its root cause. A cursory or faulty analysis of the problem prevents regulators from devising an effective solution and considering realistic alternatives.…
Patrick McLaughlin | February 28, 2014
Government spending may be slowing but regulatory output is not. The number of regulations passed the one million mark in 2010, and their volume continues to rise. What does the continuing growth of so many rules mean for the U.S. economy and individual industries?…
Henry Butler J. W. Verret, Jerry Brito, Henry Butler | May 01, 2012
This panel addresses regulatory issues in three major policy areas: Technology -- Is regulation necessary to ensure cybersecurity? What should we know about market responses to cyber threats before we select a course of action? Health Care -- What is the market failure in health care? What roles do the federal and state governments have in finding solutions? Financial Markets -- When does federal pre-emption produce bad outcomes in financial regulation? How to recognize a regulatory failure and what to do about it.
Todd Zywicki | April 03, 2012
Todd Zywicki examines the degree to which executive branch and independent agencies are subject to checks and balances on their regulatory authority. Topics include why it is necessary to regulate regulators, the factors that strength or weaken regulatory accountability, and what Nixon-era bureaucracy and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have in common.


Ted Gayer, Todd Zywicki | March 11, 2014
How Regulations Can Create Problems: An Examination of Misdirected "Nudge"
Sherzod Abdukadirov | January 29, 2014
What distinguishes an expert from the rest is not what one already knows, but one’s effort to discover the unknown. That’s what makes the scientific method indispensable to cutting edge researchers.
Hester Peirce | November 06, 2013
Money market fund reform remains one of the most prominent unsettled issues in financial markets regulation after the 2008 crisis. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s most recent effort which aims at balancing reforms with a desire to preserve the major benefits of money market funds has not achieved that objective. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University invites you to join Hester Peirce and Robert Greene for a Regulation University program that examines the need for money market fund reform, identifies potential problems with the SEC’s proposal, and offers recommendations for meaningful reform.
Jerry Ellig | September 17, 2013
The scope and number of regulations continues to grow, but proof that problems are being solved remains elusive. Several reform efforts are focusing on ways to improve economic analysis so that agencies can make better decisions about when and how to use regulation for problem-solving. New research indicates several reforms that could have a positive impact.

Upcoming Events

Recent Events

Jerry Ellig | April 10, 2014
Please join the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and senior research fellow, Dr. Jerry Ellig, for a Regulation University program focusing on the elements essential to defining the problem and how agencies perform in completing this first essential step.
Todd Zywicki, Ted Gayer | March 11, 2014
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University invites you to join Todd Zywicki, Senior Scholar and Senior Fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program at the Mercatus Center and Ted Gayer, Vice President and Director of the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution for a Regulation University program that examines the mistakes agencies make in developing “nudge” regulations and the unintended, but foreseeable, consequences of those mistakes.
Patrick McLaughlin | February 28, 2014
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University invites you to join us for a Regulation University presentation by Dr. Patrick McLaughlin examining the economic consequences of regulatory accumulation and reform options that can help sort out problem-solving regulations from problematic regulations.


The Honorable Maurice McTigue, QSO, is vice-president for outreach at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is director of the Mercatus Center’s Government Accountability Project and a member of its Spending and Budget Initiative and State and Local Policy Project.
Jerry Ellig is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a former assistant professor of economics at George Mason University. He specializes in the federal regulatory process, economic regulation, and telecommunications regulation.
Jerry Brito is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and director of its Technology Policy Program. He also serves as an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University. His research focuses on technology and Internet policy, copyright, and the regulatory process.
Todd Zywicki is a senior scholar and senior fellow with the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and Foundation Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. He specializes in bankruptcy, contracts, commercial law, business associations, law and economics, and public choice and the law.


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