Valuing Life

Humanizing the Regulatory State

Cass R. Sunstein

Valuing Life
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Cass R. Sunstein

240 pages | 7 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Cloth $25.00 ISBN: 9780226780177 Will Publish October 2014
E-book $18.00 ISBN: 9780226129426 Will Publish October 2014
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is the nation’s regulatory overseer. In Valuing Life, Cass R. Sunstein draws on his firsthand experience as the Administrator of OIRA from 2009 to 2012, to argue that we can humanize regulation—and save lives in the process.
 
As OIRA Administrator, Sunstein oversaw regulation in a broad variety of areas, including national security, immigration, energy, environmental protection, and education. This background allows him to describe OIRA and how it works—and how it can work better—from an on-the-ground perspective. Using real-world examples, many of them drawn from today’s headlines, Sunstein makes a compelling case for improving cost-benefit analysis, a longtime cornerstone of regulatory decision-making in this country, and for taking account of variables that are hard to quantify, such as dignity and privacy. He also shows how regulatory decisions about health, safety, and life itself can benefit from taking into account behavioral and psychological studies, including new findings about what scares us, and what does not. By better accounting for people’s fallibility, Sunstein argues, we can create regulation that is simultaneously more human and more likely to achieve its goals.
 
In this highly readable synthesis of insights from law, policy, economics, and psychology, Sunstein breaks down the intricacies of the regulatory system and offers a new way of thinking about regulation that incorporates human dignity.
Eric Posner, University of Chicago
“What happens when the world’s leading academic expert on regulation is plunked into the real world of government? Sunstein is that expert, and he was the regulatory boss of the US government from 2009 to 2012. Valuing Life describes both how Sunstein’s ideas about regulation influenced his tenure in government, and how his experiences in government have influenced his ideas about regulation. This immensely rewarding book, written in the humane, beautiful style that Sunstein is known for, should be read by everyone who cares about how our government works.”
John D. Graham, Indiana University and former Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB
“Written with clarity and elegance, this book explains how White House oversight of the federal regulatory state is conducted—both the procedures and the analytics.  It is a must read for academics and practitioners interested in improving the quality of federal regulation.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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