Economically Significant Rules
The following dashboard provides a summary of trends in the use of "Economically Significant Rules" (defined below) by major federal departments and agencies by presidential year / party.
An economically significant rule is defined as a regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: 1) have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; 2) create a "serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; 3) materially alter the budget impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs; 4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates (see: Federal Register, Presidential Documents, Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993)
Economically Significant Rules by Agency 1997-2018
The following cards give users an accessible summary of trends in the use of "Economically Significant Rules" (defined below) by major federal departments and agencies and by presidential year / party. The first dataset (ESR by Agency 1997-2018) presents the nine agencies that have published the most economically significant rules from 1997-2018.
Agency Breakdown 1997-2018
Economically Significant Rules Breakdown by President
Below, this card represents the aggregate of economically significant rules from 1981 to 2018, as defined by Executive Order 12866: rules that "have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities."
Crews, Clyde Wayne, Jr. Ten Thousand Commandments An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State. Report. Competitive Enterprise Institute. 2019 ed. Washington, D.C. 1-113.
*Crews, Clyde Wayne, Jr. What’s the Difference between “Major,” “Significant,” and All Those Other Federal Rule Categories? A Case for Streamlining Regulatory Impact Classification. Report no. 8. Competitive Enterprise Institute. 2017. 1-26.
Logomasini, Angela, and Henry I. Miller. "It’s Time to Shine a Light on Regulatory ‘Dark Matter’." National Review, February 20, 2017.
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget, U.S. General Services Administration
"Reg Stats" (Regulatory Studies Center, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences and George Washington University)
Attempts to accurately assess the impact of regulatory activity may be complicated by the thousands of combined executive branch and federal agency actions that have binding regulatory effects, but are subject to little or no empirical scrutiny. Some analysts refer to this activity as "regulatory dark matter." For critical analysis, see:
"It's Time to Shine a Light on Regulatory Dark Matter," (National Review 2017)
"The American people deserve a regulatory system that works for them, not against them: a regulatory system that protects and improves their health, safety, environment, and well-being and improves the performance of the economy without imposing unacceptable or unreasonable costs on society; regulatory policies that recognize that the private sector and private markets are the best engine for economic growth; regulatory approaches that respect the role of State, local, and tribal governments; and regulations that are effective, consistent, sensible, and understandable. We do not have such a regulatory system today."
- Executive Order #12866 Regulatory Planning and Review