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Explaining the content of impact assessment in the United Kingdom: Learning across time, sectors, and departments

Fritsch, O; Kamkhaji, JC; Radaelli, CM; (2017) Explaining the content of impact assessment in the United Kingdom: Learning across time, sectors, and departments. Regulation & Governance , 11 (4) pp. 325-342. 10.1111/rego.12129. Green open access

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Abstract

While several studies have documented how evidence‐based policy instruments affect public policy, less research has focused on what causes changes over time in the analyses mandated by the instruments, especially in Britain. Thus, we take the analytical content of a pivotal regulatory reform instrument (impact assessment) as a dependent variable, draw on learning as a conceptual framework, and explain the dynamics of learning processes across departments, policy sectors, and time. Empirically, our study draws on a sample of 517 impact assessments produced in Britain (2005–2011). Experience and capacity in different departments matter in learning processes. Guidelines also matter, but moderately so. Departments specialize in their core policy sectors when performing regulatory analysis, but some have greater analytical capacity overall. Peripheral departments invest more in impact assessment than core executive departments. The presence of a regulatory oversight body enhances the learning process. Elections have different effects, depending on the context in which they are contested. These findings contribute to the literature on regulation, policy learning, and policy instruments.

Type: Article
Title: Explaining the content of impact assessment in the United Kingdom: Learning across time, sectors, and departments
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/rego.12129
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rego.12129
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Law, Political Science, Public Administration, Government & Law, evaluation, evidence-based policymaking, regulation, regulatory impact assessment, United Kingdom, ENVIRONMENTAL-IMPACT, REGULATORY ANALYSIS, EUROPEAN-UNION, QUALITY, POLICY, STATEMENTS, DIFFUSION, STATES, EU, US
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059312
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