Quality of Regulatory Governance: Impact Assessment in Comparative Perspective

This project examines regulatory impact assessment (RIA) - that is, the systematic analysis of a wide range of costs and benefits of proposed legislation - in a comparative framework covering six countries (Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, and USA) and the European Union. RIA is the most important component of regulatory reform in Britain and most OECD countries. In the EU, it is the cornerstone of the competitiveness agenda.

The study provides an analysis of the historical evolution of regulatory reform, how RIA has emerged and is currently performed, issues of efficiency, credibility, and definitions of regulatory quality.

The project challenges the conventional view that the quality of RIA is determined exclusively by the quality of economic analysis therein. The research design is based on testing alternative hypotheses on why regulatory impact assessment succeed and fails by using essentially qualitative methods.

Quality of RIA is defined in terms of its impact on policy formulation. The study investigates the role of institutional design, actors in the policy process, how policy formulation is designed, and the major problems to which RIA is associated in different countries.

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