Checks, Balances, and the Cost of Regulation: Evidence from the American States

Political Research Quarterly. 60(4):696-706.

Posted: 3 Jan 2006 Last revised: 20 Jan 2015

See all articles by Dorothy Daley

Dorothy Daley

School of Public Affairs and Administration

Donald P. Haider-Markel

University of Kansas

Andrew B. Whitford

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

This manuscript examines the relationship between political veto points, credible commitments and regulatory compliance costs. We extend the work on credible commitments in comparative political economy and apply this framework to environmental compliance costs in the American states. Our central purpose is to assess whether different types of political veto points credibly constrain regulatory change, and thus lower compliance costs. We conceptualize veto points broadly, including legislative oversight, gubernatorial powers, and direct democracy. We analyze state-level environmental regulatory compliance costs from 1988 to 1994 as a function of the structure of state political institutions and state political and economic characteristics. Our results suggest that a key veto point, the authority for legislators to review bureaucratic behavior, consistently reduces compliance costs. In comparison, citizen initiatives, gubernatorial powers, and stringent discharge rules do not systematically influence compliance costs.

Keywords: Credible commitment, regulatory compliance costs, environmental policy

JEL Classification: Q28, H11, K32

Suggested Citation

Daley, Dorothy and Haider-Markel, Donald P. and Whitford, Andrew B., Checks, Balances, and the Cost of Regulation: Evidence from the American States (2007). Political Research Quarterly. 60(4):696-706., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=873489 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.873489

Dorothy Daley

School of Public Affairs and Administration ( email )

University of Kansas
4060 Wescoe Hall, 1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States
785-864-9839 (Phone)

Donald P. Haider-Markel

University of Kansas ( email )

1541 Lilac Lane
Department of Political Science
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States
765-864-9034 (Phone)
765-864-5700 (Fax)

Andrew B. Whitford (Contact Author)

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy ( email )

Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-2898 (Phone)
706-583-0610 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://andrewwhitford.com

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