Economic Regulation

Economic Regulation

Research

Kenneth Button, David Christensen | Dec 15, 2014
Airline deregulation in the late 1970s led to expanded cargo service, generally reduced cargo rates, and spurred substantial innovation in the types of services offered. In particular, nationwide overnight shipping became more affordable and virtually ubiquitous. The unanticipated nature of some of the results of deregulation in the 1970s suggests the possibility of further gains awaiting discovery in other regulated areas, including those portions of the air cargo industry that remain regulated.
Robert J. Michaels | Dec 09, 2014
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, economist Robert J. Michaels reviews possible economic rationales for compelling electricity users to spend more on efficiency than they otherwise would. The study shows that some benefit-cost tests that have been used to evaluate the Ohio programs are inappropriate and that other data purportedly showing SB 221’s success are far less clear than many believe.
Mark D. White | Dec 02, 2014
There are important reasons why using happiness to guide policymaking cannot work as promised. The term happiness covers many different concepts and means something different to different people.
Omar Ahmad Al-Ubaydli, Patrick McLaughlin | Nov 12, 2014
RegData is a new database that quantifies federal regulation. It analyzes the text of federal regulations to create novel and objective measures of the accumulation of regulations in the economy overall and across different industries in the United States. In addition, RegData measures the degree to which different groups of regulations, such as those from a particular agency, target specific industries.
Patrick McLaughlin | Sep 30, 2014
RegData 2.0 offers three simple and replicable measures of regulation, each created with custom-made text analysis software run on the annual Code of Federal Regulations. This sector brief presents these statistics for five different federal regulatory agencies that are relevant to the railroad industry: Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Pipelines and Hazardous Material Safety Administration.
Adam Ozimek | Mar 12, 2014
Prediction markets are important information-aggregation tools for researchers, businesses, individuals, and governments. This paper provides an overview of why prediction markets matter, how they are regulated, and how the regulation can be improved. The value of prediction markets is illustrated with discussions of their forecasting ability and the characteristics these markets possess which give them advantages over other means of forecasting and information aggregation. The past, current, and future regulatory environment is surveyed.

Testimony & Comments

Christopher Koopman, Scott Eastman | Dec 01, 2014
Focusing on outcomes, rather than outputs, would give theaters more freedom to adjust the amount of devices they need to purchase based on the number of disabled patrons they actually serve.
Patrick McLaughlin | Feb 11, 2014
In examining the reforms under consideration, first, I will discuss why regulatory accumulation is a public policy problem: regulatory accumulation creates substantial drag on economic growth by impeding innovation and entrepreneurship.
Antony Dnes | Feb 27, 2012
This Public Interest Comment analyzes proposed changes to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations that would expand the scope of the regulations to include live-in home-care workers and other domestic services and suggests that the compliance costs of these changes cannot be justified for the proposals.
Jerry Ellig | Mar 29, 2011
Jerry Ellig testified before the House Judiciary Committee on improving pre-proposal regulatory analysis.
Jerry Ellig | Sep 29, 2010
The Commerce Clause allows states to discriminate against interstate commerce if they have actual evidence that such discrimination is necessary to accomplish a legitimate state goal that cannot…
Mark Adams | Aug 23, 2010
The boiler rule proposed by EPA is expected to generate net benefits, but the Regulatory Impact Analysis prepared by the agency fails to identify the benefits attributable to individual portions of the rule or how a more or less stringent rule would change costs and benefits.

Research Summaries & Toolkits

| Sep 24, 2013
The Mercatus State Policy Guide is intended to summarize and condense the best research available on the most relevant topics. It’s a starting point for discussion, not a comprehensive overview of economic policy. Each statement is supported by academic research, with links provided in the endnotes. Mercatus scholars are available to further explain the results of their studies. We hope the guide will prove to be a valuable tool in your economic policy research.
Christopher Koopman, Nita Ghei | Aug 27, 2013
In the mid-1970s behavioral economics began to challenge the neoclassical rational actor model by fusing the insights of psychology and economics. Over the course of the next 40 years, a prescriptive framework built around these insights shifted focus toward attempting to mitigate the harm individuals cause themselves as a result of what the agencies view as “irrational” behavior.
| Jul 23, 2013
The Mercatus Policy Guide is intended to summarize and condense the best research available on the most pressing topics. It serves as a starting point for discussion, not a comprehensive overview of economic policy. Anyone who wants to go deeper into these studies should consult the references listed at the back. Mercatus scholars are available to further explain the results of their studies. We hope the guide will prove to be a valuable tool in your evaluation of economic policy.
Mark Adams | Mar 04, 2013
The president’s recent proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9.00 is not the way to help low-income households. Raising the minimum wage is more likely to increase unemployment for some of the least skilled American workers and further impede a historically slow recovery. Research from the Mercatus Center shows that regulatory reform would help low-income families without causing more unemployment or slowing the recovery.
Joshua C. Hall, Michael Williams | Feb 05, 2013
The concern that American businesses are overly burdened by regulations has legitimate grounds. In 2011, American companies had to comply with over 1 million federal regulatory restrictions, compared with about 860,000 a decade earlier.[1] However, to truly address concerns about overregulation, policy makers cannot focus exclusively on the growth of new regulations. Attention must also be paid to the lack of an efficient and effective regulatory review process for preexisting rules.
Ted Gayer, W. Kip Viscusi | Aug 01, 2012
In recent years, federal agencies have issued energy-efficiency standards for everything from cars to light bulbs. These regulations are commonly billed as important efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. But, according to a new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the standards have a negligible effect on emissions.

Speeches & Presentations

Mercatus Regulatory Studies



Charts

When confronted with regulation, producers are likely to alter production levels and processes in ways that they would not have otherwise chosen. We also expect competition to decline in heavily regulated markets since the burden imposed by regulation functions as a barrier to new firms who wish to enter the market. Consequently, productivity in industries should decline as the regulatory burden placed on them increases.

Experts

Jerry Brito was 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.
James Broughel is a program manager of the Regulatory Studies Program at the Mercatus Center. Mr. Broughel is a doctoral student in the economics program at George Mason University. He earned his MA in economics from Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Susan Dudley directs the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and is a Research Professor in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration.
Arnold Kling is a Mercatus Center–affiliated senior scholar at George Mason University and a member of the Financial Markets Working Group. He specializes in housing-finance policy, financial institutions, macroeconomics, and the inside workings of America’s federal financial institutions. He also is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC.
Michael L. Marlow is an affiliated senior scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and professor of economics and distinguished scholar at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Podcasts

Patrick McLaughlin, Michael Leland | August 12, 2014
In this episode, Patrick McLaughlin joins Mike Leland to discuss his new project, RegData, and how it can help measure the impact of regulations, like occupational licensing and those Uber and Lyft are confronting, in states.

Recent Events

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.

Books

Jerry Brito, Andrea Castillo | Jan 23, 2014
Como la primera moneda digital descentralizada del mundo, Bitcoin tiene el potencial de revolucionar los sistemas de pago en línea de una manera que beneficia a los consumidores y las empresas. En lugar de utilizar un intermediario, como PayPal, o entregar información de tarjeta de crédito a un tercer partido para su verificación—ya que los dos incluyen cargos de transacción y otras restricciones— Bitcoin permite que los individuos paguen directamente entre sí para bienes o servicios.

Media Clippings

Jerry Brito | Oct 03, 2013
Jerry Brito cited at The Wall Street Journal.
Jerry Brito | Oct 03, 2013
Jerry Brito cited at Los Angeles Times.
Jerry Brito | Aug 27, 2013
Jerry Brito cited at Wired.
Matthew Mitchell | Aug 21, 2013
Matt Mitchell cited at NPR.
Keith Hall | Aug 08, 2013
Keith Hall, a researcher at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, finds that nearly all jobs created in the past few months have been part-time gigs.
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