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An Evaluation of the Bush Administration Reforms to the Regulatory Process


  • AUTHOR'S NOTE: I would like to thank Anne Gowen, Michael Greenberg, and three anonymous peer reviewers for providing helpful comments on earlier drafts of this work. Any errors are my responsibility.

Stuart Shapiro is assistant professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He has written on the interaction between politics and the regulatory process. Recent publications include a case study of ergonomics rulemaking in Public Administration Review and an examination of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Environmental Law Reporter.


The Bush administration has implemented more reforms to the regulatory process than any of its predecessors. These reforms are often stereotyped as anti-regulatory. This article examines the reforms as a whole and asks which interests have been empowered by the Bush administration regulatory reforms. I believe this method is a more effective way of assessing the impact of the reforms. I find that, in addition to adding potential costs to the regulatory process, the reforms are likely to empower powerful interest groups and the presidency. Whether the impact of these reforms is pro-regulation or anti-regulation will depend on how a future administration more dedicated to regulatory protections uses them. I also lay out a research agenda to better empirically assess the impact of these regulatory reforms.