The Legacy of the Council on Wage and Price Stability

Applying benefit-cost analysis in the White House regulatory oversight process served as a basic mission of the Council on Wage and Price Stability (CWPS) during its seven-year lifespan (1974–1981). This paper reviews that CWPS experience, which involved filing comments in over 300 proceedings at more than 25 federal regulatory agencies. Many of the CWPS filings are now available through the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. This paper draws on those filings, identifying persistent and pervasive deficiencies in the economic analysis regulators then and now often use as support for new regulation. CWPS filings fostered greater acceptance of benefit-cost analysis in regulatory decisions; such analysis is now required by executive order.

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