This Note examines the neoclassical economic framework that pervades contemporary benefit-cost analysis and considers how the fields of behavioral economics and hedonic adaptation may offer superior tools for assessing how regulations impact human behavior. These new hedonic metrics attempt to quantify happiness-rather than monetize utility-and measure how outcomes influence well-being and affect Through the evaluation of three case studies, this Note considers the flaws of the current approach and how hedonic metrics can supplement prevailing techniques to address these shortcomings. Finally, this Note assesses the legal regimes that govern how courts review agency decisionmaking and suggests that the failure to incorporate hedonic metrics may render agency actions vulnerable to challenge under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Included in

Law Commons