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In this brief overview of regulatory reform, Professor Rose-Ackerman discusses issues that form the landscape upon which the professors, legislators, and regulators who have contributed to this symposium will debate. Professor Rose-Ackerman touches on two bills which were proposed in the most recent congressional session and concludes that the most fervent supporters of the reform movement do not likely understand the policy behind the tools with which they propose to prune the regulatory thicket. She goes on to delineate the differences between risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, concluding that the uncertainties and unquantifiable nature of risk assessment make it too unreliable a test upon which to base serious decisions to cut resources which protect human health, safety, and the environment.
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