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New Ideas for Risk Regulation 

Alison Cullen,
SRA President

Jonathan Wiener,
SRA Past-President

Phil Sharp,
RFF President

Mark Cohen,
RFF Vice-President
for Research

Lisa Robinson,
Conference Chair

Matthew Adler
Alberto Alemanno
Laina Bush
James Hammitt
Sandra Hoffmann
Amber Jessup
Alan Krupnick
Dominic Mancini
Stuart Shapiro
Jun Zhuang

On June 22-23, 2009, the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and Resources for the Future (RFF) sponsored the "New Ideas for Risk Regulation" conference. The results of this event are provided below, including:

  1. The detailed program (with links to speaker websites)

A Conference Summary is now available. The December 6-9, 2009 SRA Annual Meeting  (in Baltimore, Maryland) will also feature related sessions. Articles based on selected conference presentations will be published in SRA’s journal, Risk Analysis in 2010.

Conference Overview

The start of a new Administration opens a new chapter in U.S. regulatory policy. Early actions by President Obama, such as requesting ideas for reforming regulatory review, signal a strong interest in innovation.

The “New Ideas for Risk Regulation” conference, sponsored by the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and Resources for the Future (RFF), was designed to inform efforts to improve regulatory development and analysis and to foster creative thinking on these issues. It focuses on the regulation of environmental, health, safety, and security risks, and considers the national and international role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in regulatory review and assessment.

The topics addressed include improving OIRA’s role in encouraging better regulation domestically and internationally, enhancing the constructive use of risk assessment and benefit-cost analyses in informing decisions, and addressing several related challenges. Speakers included current and former senior government officials as well as leading scholars with expertise in a wide array of related issues.

Detailed Program

The detailed conference program is available. The program includes links to the websites for individual speakers, as well as brief summaries of the topics discussed by each panel.

Video, Audio, Presentations, and Papers

​​


Introduction

 Mark Cohen, Resources for the Future
 

Mark Cohen

 Jonathan Wiener, Society for Risk Analysis

Jonathan Wiener

 Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair

Lisa Robinson

Panel One
OIRA Domestically: Towards Better Regulation

The advent of a new Administration provides an opportunity to reconsider the regulatory development process. This panel will focus on OIRA’s role in prompting and reviewing domestic regulations as well as its requirements for regulatory analysis, reflecting the views of those who have worked within OIRA, interacted with OIRA as agency representatives, and studied OIRA’s legal authority and effectiveness.

 Moderator: Arthur Fraas, Resources for the Future  

Art Fraas

 Donald Arbuckle, University of Texas
 The Role of Analysis on the 17 Most Political Acres on the Face of the Earth (paper)

Donald Arbuckle

 Donald Elliott, Yale University, Willkie, Farr, and Gallagher LLP
 OIRA: What's It Good For?
 Only a Poor Workman Blames His Tools (paper)
 TQMing OMB (paper)

Donald Elliott
 Richard Williams, George Mason University  
 Using Regulatory Impact Analyses to Inform Regulatory Decisions (slides)
Richard Williams
Slide

 Stuart Shapiro, Rutgers University
 Defragmenting the Regulatory Process (slides)

Stuart Shapiro
Slides

 Question and Answer

Question and Answer

Audio: Introduction and Panel One 
 

 
Panel Two
OIRA Internationally: Towards Global Cooperation

As nations work to improve the quality of their policies and legislation, there are substantial opportunities for mutual learning. This panel will explore the successes and failures of U.S., E.U., and other regulatory reform efforts, highlight opportunities to learn from other’s policy innovations, and examine options for increasing international cooperation in evaluating and improving the quality of each nation’s policies and laws.

Introduction: Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair Lisa Robinson
 Moderator: Dominic Mancini, U.S. Office of Management and Budget  

Dominic Mancini

 Marianne Klingbeil, European Commission
 Better Regulation in the EU: Learning by Doing (slides)

Marianne Klingbeil
Slides

 Alberto Alemanno, HEC Paris
 Transatlantic Regulatory Impact Assessment: Tomorrow's Dream or Realization (slides)

 Alberto Alemanno
Slides
 Stephane Jacobzone, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development  
 Quality Regulation for the 21st Century (slides)
 
Stephane Jacobzone
Slides

 Jonathan Wiener, Duke University
 Toward a Global Policy Laboratory
 Better Regulation in Europe (paper)
 Issues in the Comparison of Regulatory Oversight Bodies (paper)

Jonathan Wiener

 Question and Answer

  Open Discussion

Audio: Panel Two 
 

 
Lunch Speaker

 Introduction: Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair  

Lisa Robinson

 John Morrall, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (retired)

John Morrall

 Sally Katzen, Podesta Group
 Which Way the Political Winds Are Blowing

Sally Katzen
 Question and Answer Question and Answer

Audio: Lunch Speaker 
 

 
Panel Three
Regulating Highly Uncertain and Potentially Catastrophic Risks

Risks that are highly uncertain but potentially catastrophic, such as climate change, terrorism, or natural disasters, provide special challenges for regulators. Difficult issues include determining the effects of regulations on the likelihood of catastrophic outcomes, the ways in which government agencies should address the associated fear, the extent to which regulations should be precautionary, and the appropriate roles of the public and private sectors.

 Introduction: Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair  

Lisa Robinson

 Moderator: Jennifer Baxter, Industrial Economics, Incorporated  

Jennifer Baxter

 Richard Zeckhauser, Harvard University
 The Five Neglects: Risks Gone Amiss (slides)
 Policymaking for Posterity (paper)
 Overreaction to Fearsome Risks (paper)
 The Five Neglects: Risks Gone Amiss (paper)

Richard Zeckhauser
Slides

 Baruch Fischhoff, Carnegie Mellon University 
 Duty to Inform When All Hell Could Break Loose (slides)
 The Science and Practice of Risk Ranking (paper)
 Strategic Plan for Risk Communication at the Food and Drug Administration
(paper)

Baruch Fischhoff
Slides
 Mort Webster, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
 Considering Risk in Developing a Regulatory Response to Climate Change (slides)
 Uncertainty and the IPCC (paper)
Mort Webster
Slides

 Howard Kunreuther, University of Pennsylvania 
 At War with the Weather and Other Extreme Events (slides)
 

Howare Kunreuther
Slides

 Question and Answer

  Open Discussion

Audio: Panel Three 
 

 
Panel Four
Integrating Risk Assessment and Risk Management

Better integration of science, economics, and decisionmaking has long been a significant concern in regulation. Most recently, the National Research Council report, Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment, made several recommendations for changing how these issues are addressed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These recommendations, as well as preceding proposals and newer ideas for fundamental change, have significant implications for how environmental and numerous other risks are assessed and regulated.

 Introduction: Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair
 

Lisa Robinson

 Moderator: Kara Morgan, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Kara Morgan

 Gail Charnley, HealthRisk Strategies
 Assessing and Managing Risk: First Things First (slides)

Gail Charnley
Slides
 Bernard Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh
 Integration of Risk Assessment and Risk Management: The Need for Caution (slides)
Bernard Goldstein
Slides

 Adam Finkel, University of Pennsylvania
 Solution-Focused Risk Assessment: Reversing the 'Red Book' Relationship (slides)

Adam Finkel
Slides

 Sandra Hoffmann, Resources for the Future
 Risk Assessment and the Behavioral Science of Economics (slides)

  Sandra Hoffmann
Slides

 Question and Answer

  Open Discussion

Audio: Panel Four 
 

Introduction

 Jonathan Wiener, Society for Risk Analysis  

J. Wiener

 Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future

Alan Krupnick

 Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair

Lisa Robinson

Panel Five
What does Benefit-Cost Analysis Tell Us? Positive and Normative Justifications

While benefit-cost analysis has long been the dominant method for assessing regulatory impacts, its focus on individual preferences and on monetary valuation of nonmarket benefits has been the subject of some debate. This panel will discuss the role of benefit-cost analysis as a positive or normative framework. It will also consider alternatives to benefit-cost analysis, including cost-effectiveness analysis and utilitarian decision analysis, as aids to decision-making.

 Moderator: Joseph Cordes, George Washington University  

Joseph Cordes

 James Hammitt, Harvard University
 Positive and Normative Justifications for Benefit-Cost Analysis (slides)
 Saving Lives: Benefit-Cost Analysis and Distribution
(paper)

James Hammitt
Slides

 Jonathan Baron, University of Pennsylvania
 
Prospects for Utilitarian Decision Analysis (slides)
 Prospects for Utilitarian Decision Analysis (paper)

Jonathan Baron
Slides
 David Meltzer, University of Chicago
 
Self-Selection in Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
David Meltzer

 Maureen Cropper, Resources for the Future
 
What Should Benefit-Cost Analysis Tell Us? (slides)

Maureen Cropper
Slides

 Question and Answer

Question and Answer

Audio: Introduction and Panel Five 

 
Panel Six
Beyond Efficiency: Incorporating Equity in Regulatory Analysis

While Federal agencies have been required to consider the distributional impacts of their regulatory actions for many years, these effects are not subject to the same sort of rigorous assessment as economic efficiency. This session will discuss how to improve consideration of distributional impacts and equity.

 Introduction: Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair  

Lisa Robinson

 Moderator: Kelly Maguire, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  

Kelly Maguire

 Don Fullerton, University of Illinois
 Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy
(slides)

Don Fullerton
Slides

 Matthew Adler, University of Pennsylvania
 Incorporating Equity Metrics into Regulatory Review (slides)
 Risk Equity: A New Proposal
(paper)

Matthew Adler
Slides
 Scott Farrow, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
 Incorporating Equity in Regulatory and Benefit-Cost Analysis: Don’t Let the Ideal be the Enemy of the Useful (slides)
 Incorporating Equity
(paper)
Scott Farrow
Slides

 Wilhelmine Miller, George Washington University
 Whose Injustice? Relevant Inequalities for Regulatory Analysis and How We Should Address Them
(slides)

Wilhelmine Miller
Slides

 Question and Answer

  Open Discussion

Audio: Panel Six 
 

 
Lunch Speaker

 Introduction: Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future  

Alan Krupnick

 Paul Portney, University of Arizona
 Benefit-Cost Analysis and Common Sense: Friends or Foes?
 

Paul Portney

 Question and Answer

  Question and Answer

Audio: Lunch Speaker 
 

 
Panel Seven
Do We Know What We Prefer? Implications of Behavioral Economics for Research on Preferences

Nonmarket benefits of regulatory policies, including reduced risks to human health and the environment, are often valued using stated or revealed preference methods. However, work by behavioral economists has challenged the assumptions that underlie these methods, suggesting that individual preferences often diverge from the standard tenets of rational choice. This panel will consider diverse perspectives on this problem.

 Introduction: Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair  

Lisa Robinson

 Moderator: James Hammitt, Harvard University  

James Hammitt

 Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future
 Behavioral Economics and Stated Preference Methods
(slides)

Alan Krupnick
Slides

 David Laibson, Harvard University
 
How are Preferences Revealed? (slides)
 How are Preferences Revealed? (paper)

David Laibson
Slides
 Jason Shogren, University of Wyoming
 
Two Cheers and Six Nagging Questions (slides)
 Do French Students Really Bid Sincerely? (paper)
Jason Shogren
Slides

 David Schkade, University of California, San Diego 
 
Whose Preferences Should We Use? (slides)

David Schkade
Slides

 Question and Answer

  Open Discussion

Audio: Panel Seven 

 
Panel Eight
Concluding Roundtable: The Future of Regulatory Oversight

 Introduction: Lisa Robinson, Conference Chair  

Lisa Robinson

 Moderator: Jonathan Wiener, Duke University
 SRA Presidents' Recommendations to OMB (paper)
 10 Ideas to Improve Regulatory Oversight (paper)

 

Jonathan Wiener

 John Graham, Indiana University

John Graham

 Michael Livermore, New York University

Michael Livermore
 Richard Morgenstern, Resources for the Future
Dick Morgenstern

 Rena Steinzor, University of Maryland

Rena Steinzor

 Richard Zerbe, University of Washington

  Richard Zerbe

 Question and Answer

  Open Discussion

Audio: Panel Eight 

The Society for Risk Analysis and Resources for the Future would like to thank the following for providing additional support for this conference:

  • Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
  • Industrial Economics, Incorporated
  • Mercatus Center, George Mason University
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Regulatory Checkbook
  • Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • SRA National Capital Area Chapter
  • Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security
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