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Chapter of Book

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regulatory oversight, regulatory impact assessment, benefit-cost analysis, hybridization, risk management


The idea of cost-benefit analysis has been spreading internationally for centuries — at least since an American named Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter in 1772 to his British friend, Joseph Priestley, recommending that Priestley weigh the pros and cons of a difficult decision in what Franklin dubbed a “moral or prudential algebra” (Franklin 1772) (more on this letter below). Several recent studies show that the use of benefit-cost analysis (BCA), for both public projects and public regulation of private activities, is now unfolding in countries on every habitable continent around the world (Livermore and Revesz 2013; Quah and Toh 2012; De Francesco 2012; Livermore 2011; Cordova-Novion and Jacobzone 2011). This global diffusion of BCA is intermingled with the global diffusion of regulatory capitalism, in which privatized market actors are supervised by expert regulatory agencies (Levi-Faur 2005; Simmons et al. 2008), and with the international spread of ex ante regulatory precautions to anticipate and prevent risks despite uncertainty (Wiener et al. 2011).

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Risk management, Administrative agencies, Adminsitrative procedure, Cost effectiveness, Hybridization