DSPS PhD student Brenner and DPP professor Fazekas publish new article on impact assessment in Governance

November 24, 2021

DSPS PhD student Dominik Brenner and DPP assistant professor Mihály Fazekas have published a new article in the prestigious academic journal Governance on the impact of impact assessments, that is a structured accounting of the costs and benefits of proposed new legislation, taking into account a diversity of stakeholder views. In theory, impact assessments should create higher quality laws that endure even in the face of swings in political power. While existing research has focused on the role of impact assessments during the law-making process, we know little about their effects on laws post-enactment. To test if the presence of impact assessments has an effect on the durability of laws, this article brings together state-of-the-art statistical methods and a novel dataset of more than 2500 adopted laws in France, Hungary, Italy, and the UK. We show that impact assessments lower the likelihood of modifications of laws for both first and repeated modifications. This effect is even more pronounced when political power shifts in terms of ideology and party seat shares. Our findings indicate that impact assessments, as part of the broader evidence-based policy-making paradigm, can moderate frequent modifications of laws, especially when politics is volatile.

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