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News from EPI Getting the economic facts right during the House regulatory debate

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 28, 2011
Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner,, 202-775-8810 

Getting the economic facts right during the House regulatory debate


In a new blog post, Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Director of Regulatory Policy Research Isaac Shapiro outlines EPI’s studies on regulation, in anticipation of House votes on the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) and the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act.  Both bills seek to dramatically change the process by which federal regulations are developed and are driven by the unfounded perception that regulations and “regulatory uncertainty” are to blame for the nation’s poor economy and dismal job outlook.


In a recent policy memorandum, A quick guide to the evidence on regulations and jobs, Shapiro highlighted three findings of EPI’s studies on the relationships of regulations to jobs:

·         A huge shortfall in demand, not regulatory uncertainty, is what ails the economy

·         New EPA regulations, in particular, can be expected to have a negligible effect on the overall economy. The largest EPA regulation proposed so far (the ‘air toxics’ rule) would, in fact, likely create a modest number of jobs

·         Academic studies of and data on the relationship between employment and regulations generally find that regulations have a modestly positive or neutral effect on employment


In another policy memo, A quick guide to EPI’s research on the costs and benefits of regulations, Shapiro summarized EPI’s research on the costs and benefits of regulation.  The studies have found that the benefits of regulations have significantly and consistently exceeded their costs.  The studies also show that the compliance costs of Obama EPA rules are tiny relative to the size of the economy, are offset by the economic benefits from the rules and are dwarfed by the health benefits from the rules.  Finally, Shapiro also explained that a study by Nicole V. Crain and W. Mark Crain, which put an annual price tag of $1.75 trillion on government regulations, has been thoroughly discredited.





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