fbpx Rear Visibility and Some Unresolved Problems for Economic Analysis | Harvard Kennedy School


Rear Visibility and Some Unresolved Problems for Economic Analysis. Cass Sunstein, September 12, 2019, Paper, "In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized its rear visibility regulation, which requires cameras in all new vehicles, with the goal of allowing drivers to see what is behind them and thus reducing backover accidents. In 2018, the Trump administration embraced the regulation. The rear visibility rule raises numerous puzzles. First: Congress’ grant of authority was essentially standardless – perhaps the most open-ended in all of federal regulatory law. Second: It is not easy to identify a market failure to justify the regulation. Third: The monetized costs of the regulation greatly exceeded the monetized benefits, and yet on welfare grounds, the regulation can plausibly be counted as a significant success. Rearview cameras produce a set of benefits that are hard to quantify, including increased ease of driving, and those benefits might have been made a part of “breakeven analysis,” accompanying standard cost-benefit analysis." Link