Regulatory Reduction and Benefit-Cost Analysis

In between terrorizing our allies at home and abroad, the new president has signed an executive order aiming for regulatory reform. Here’s the important part: Sec. 2. Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) Unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency (agency) publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed. Now, this is completely inoperable in practice since the definition of regulation is so loosey-goosey as to be useless. But, hey, let’s try to analyze it anyway. This rule supplements Executive Order

The Willingness to Pay for Pretrial Diversion

The New York Times has a magnificent story on the inequities of the pretrial diversion systems in use around the country. Can we use this to estimate a defendant’s willingness to pay for pretrial diversion, subject to the constraints of the budget curve? Use this quote from the article: It is impossible to determine how many defendants are barred from diversion for lack of money, but one jurisdiction offers a hint. The diversion program in New Orleans once cost as much as $1,200 and had about 300 participants. In 2009, when a new district attorney lowered the cost to $200,

My Review of Monogan’s Political Analysis Using R

The Journal of Statistical Software has published another review I wrote, this time of Monogan’s Political Analysis Using R: No Title No Description The book is a solid choice for a primary or supplementary text in a political or policy methodology class, at the level of advanced undergraduate or first-year graduate student. You can get more information from Springer’s website: Political Analysis Using R | James E. Monogan III | Springer This book provides a narrative of how R can be useful in the analysis of public administration, public policy, and political science data specifically, in…

Public Economics and GPS

This morning, I was walking to the office and trying to catch a caterpie when I thought to tweet, Amazed the GPS network hasn’t been crushed under the load of #PokemonGo users! When I realized, Whoa, someone might take me seriously. Then I decided to write a blog post instead. About GPS. And using it up. The Global Positioning System, GPS, is an amazing system. Technically, it is not very complicated, but all the individual components are, if that makes sense. It was originally envisioned just down the road from me at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and comprises