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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Regulatory impact assessment (RIA) has spread throughout the globe. It is a systematic and mandatory appraisal of how proposed primary and/or secondary legislation will affect certain categories of stakeholders, economic sectors, and the environment. This article reviews the theoretical underpinnings of this ‘recent interest’ comparing the two sides of the Atlantic. It introduces the logic of RIA and the terms of the debate in the US and Europe. It proceeds by exploring different theoretical explanations. It draws on principal–agent models but also shows their limitations and considers alternative theories of regulation. Furthermore, it moves from theory to empirical evidence and reports on the main findings and their implications. Finally, it brings together theories and empirical evidence, and introduces a framework for research.

Keywords: regulatory impact assessment, legislation, stakeholders, economic sectors, environment

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