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James Broughel

James Broughel



Articles by James Broughel

Government Regulation on Autopilot

July 17, 2019

Chairman Paul, Ranking Member Hassan, and members of the committee:
Thank you for allowing me to offer testimony this afternoon on the cost of federal regulations as it pertains to the federal government and to taxpayers. My name is James Broughel, and I am a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, as well as an adjunct professor of law and economics at George Mason University. My research focuses on state and federal regulatory institutions, economic growth, and the economic analysis of regulations.
My message today is simple:
Much of what constitutes federal policy is on autopilot. By this I mean, many government programs, including the amount of money spent on them, operate largely outside the annual appropriations process and by extension the active

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A Snapshot of Georgia Regulation in 2019

July 9, 2019

It would take an ordinary person almost three years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations(CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia(RRSG).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes

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A Snapshot of California Regulation in 2019

July 3, 2019

It would take an ordinary person almost three years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations(CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 California Code of Regulations(CCR).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes that would take

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The Mighty Waves of Regulatory Reform: Regulatory Budgets and the Future of Cost-Benefit Analysis

July 1, 2019

In the past 70 or 80 years, there have been what might be called three “waves” of reforms to the process of creating and managing US federal regulations. The first wave began in 1946 with the passage of the federal Administrative Procedure Act, after which states went on to pass and formalize their own administrative procedures. The second wave began decades later in the mid-1970s, ushering in the era of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) reforms for regulations. This article focuses on the third wave of regulatory reforms that appears to be sweeping the nation currently and includes a prediction as to what the next wave might look like, which turns out to be a return to some unsettled issues from the past. The current wave consists of efforts to manage regulatory output under budget or inventory

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Restoring Economic Opportunity in Ohio through Meaningful Regulatory Reform

June 27, 2019

As the Ohio General Assembly considers legislation aimed at reducing the growing burden of state regulations, it would do well to consider how regulations contribute to economic disparities in the state. Regulatory reform is a smart way to make Ohio more competitive, boost productivity in the state, and ultimately raise living standards, but it is also likely to reduce economic inequality and raise the incomes of the very poorest state residents. Ohio, like many other states, is struggling with sluggish growth in real income in recent decades; at the same time, inequality has been rising. It seems likely that regulation is contributing to both of these issues, given the empirical connection between regulation, inequality, and productivity, and because Ohio has so much more regulation than

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Tracking the Progress of Kentucky’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative

June 26, 2019

In July of 2016, seven months after taking office, Governor Matt Bevin kicked off the Kentucky Red Tape Reduction Initiative, an effort to reduce the burdens of state regulations.[1]Notably, as part of the effort, Bevin pledged to reduce regulations in the state by 30 percent.[2]Given that the effort has been underway for some time now, it makes sense to take stock of how things have gone. Therefore, this policy brief explores how the regulatory reform effort has fared thus far.
Information about the Kentucky Red Tape Reduction Initiative can be found at redtapereduction.com, which lists regulations repealed or amended by the administration.[3]According to the site, of more than 4,700 Kentucky regulations initially on the books, 617 have been repealed and 661 have been amended as of May

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A Snapshot of Delaware Regulation in 2019

June 25, 2019

It would take an ordinary person almost three years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations(CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017.[1]The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 Delaware Administrative Code(DAC).[2]
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text.[3]State RegData captures information in minutes that would

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A Snapshot of Alaska Regulation in 2019

June 19, 2019

It would take an ordinary person almost three years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 Alaska Administrative Code (AAC).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes that would take

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A Snapshot of Montana Regulation in 2019

May 2, 2019

It would take an ordinary person almost three years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes that would

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Cutting Red Tape in Kansas

May 2, 2019

Chairwoman Tyson, Chairman Highland, and members of the committees:
Thank you for allowing me to present this testimony today with regard to the regulatory environment in Kansas. My name is James Broughel, and I am a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, as well as an adjunct professor of law and economics at George Mason University. My research focuses on state regulatory institutions, economic growth, and the economic analysis of regulations.
My message today can be summarized in three points:
Kansas has a significant amount of regulation on its books in absolute terms, but has a relatively light regulatory burden when compared to other US states.
Nonetheless, the accumulation of unnecessary regulations can be a drag on economic growth and prosperity

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A Snapshot of Washington State Regulation in 2019

April 30, 2019

It would take an ordinary person more than two and a half years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 Washington Administrative Code (WAC).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes

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A Snapshot of Alabama Regulation in 2019

April 9, 2019

It would take an ordinary person more than two and a half years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 Alabama Administrative Code (AAC).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes that

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A Snapshot of Louisiana Regulation in 2019

March 28, 2019

It would take an ordinary person more than two and a half years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 Louisiana Administrative Code (LAC).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes

Read More »

A Snapshot of Oklahoma Regulation in 2019

March 21, 2019

It would take an ordinary person more than two and a half years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes

Read More »

A Snapshot of South Carolina State Regulation in 2019

March 21, 2019

It would take an ordinary person more than two and a half years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 South Carolina Code of State Regulations (SCCSR).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information

Read More »

Efficiency Analysis Would Aid Regulatory Policymaking in South Carolina

March 21, 2019

Dear Chairwoman Cobb-Hunter and members of the General Government Legislative Subcommittee:
My name is James Broughel, and I am a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an adjunct professor of economics and law at George Mason University. In my capacity as a researcher, I have recently produced a report analyzing the regulatory environment in South Carolina.
Based on textual analysis of the South Carolina Code of State Regulations (SCCSR), my research has demonstrated that the SCCSR contained 4.7 million words as of February 2019. It would take an individual about 263 hours—or about six and a half weeks—to read the entire SCCSR. That’s assuming the reader spends 40 hours per week reading and reads at a rate of 300 words per minute. Of those 4.7

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A Snapshot of New Hampshire Regulation in 2019

March 20, 2019

It would take an ordinary person more than two and a half years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2019 New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules (NHCAR).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures

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Achieving a Modern Regulatory System in Ohio

February 26, 2019

Chairman Coley, Vice Chair Huffman, Ranking Member Craig, and members of the committee:
Thank you for allowing me to submit this written testimony in regards to the regulatory environment in Ohio. My name is James Broughel, and I am a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where my research focuses on state regulatory matters.
My message here today can be summarized in three points:

Ohio has a significant amount of regulation on its books, both in absolute terms and relative to other US states.

The accumulation of unnecessary regulations can be a drag on economic growth and prosperity in a state and can even weaken the effectiveness of regulations that are justified to protect health, safety, and the environment.

Creating a budget, or inventory,

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A Snapshot of Maine Regulation in 2018

January 16, 2019

It would take an ordinary person more than two and a half years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations(CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017. The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2018 Code of Maine Rules(CMR).
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text. State RegData captures information in minutes that would

Read More »

What the "Social Discount Rate" Is and Why It Matters

December 6, 2018

Today, the Mercatus Center is proud to announce the release of a symposium on the social discount rate. The social discount rate is a critical component of benefit-cost analysis, which analysts in the government use to determine whether policies and regulations do more good for society than harm.
The debate about the correct social discount rate is one that remains unresolved among economists. As readers of the essay series will come to understand, this controversy stems in part from disagreement about what the proper goals of public policy should be. Some economists aim for an efficient allocation of resources, while others seek an equitable distribution of wealth in society. These disputes tend to play out as part of the ongoing saga about what is the proper discount rate in benefit-cost

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The Unsettled Matter of Discounting the Future

December 4, 2018

This paper reviews complications associated with the two most popular discounting frameworks for benefit-cost analysis, and presents an alternative approach based on a social discount rate of zero. The first method, known as the social opportunity cost of capital approach, is problematic in that it assumes all benefits are just like cash, thereby giving too much weight to consumption relative to investment. The second method, the social rate of time preference approach, applies distributive weights to benefits and costs in a manner inconsistent with economic efficiency, and it assumes a social welfare function that is unlikely to correspond with society’s actual preferences. This paper suggests modifying the social rate of time preference approach so that it relies on a social welfare

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A Snapshot of New Mexico Regulation in 2018

November 6, 2018

It would take an ordinary person more than two and a half years to read the entire US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contained nearly 104 million words in 2017.[1] The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules. States also have sizable regulatory codes, which add an additional layer to the large body of federal regulation. A prime example is the online version of the 2018 New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC).[2]
Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University developed State RegData, a platform for analyzing and quantifying state regulatory text.[3] State RegData captures information in

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