Regulatory Complexity and Policy Uncertainty: Headwinds of Our Own Making

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Economics Working Paper 15118

Abstract:

The U.S. regulatory system has grown increasingly expansive, intrusive and complex in recent decades, its tax system has become ridiculously complicated, and its economic policies have become less predictable. I present several pieces of evidence related to these developments and discuss some of their costs. I then sketch some ideas to arrest or reverse these developments. In this regard, I stress the importance of simplicity in regulatory design, the advantages of policy designs that foster predictable regulatory responses, and the need for new institutions to restrain ineffective, excessively burdensome and capricious regulations.

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