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Date and Location

February 8, 2024
4:15 PM - 5:45 PM ET
B-102: M-rcbg Conference Room


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Regulations can have huge impacts on businesses, individuals and society in general. Impact assessments (IAs) of government regulatory policy proposals set out their expected costs, benefits and risks and who is likely to face those impacts. In the UK, primary legislation can confer powers on Government ministers and other bodies to enact Statutory Instruments (SIs) and other secondary legislation. Because SIs have the same effect as Acts of Parliament, but face significantly less scrutiny, there has been a trend to increase the use of this mechanism for areas of policy or principle, rather than purely administrative procedures. This trend has implications for democratic accountability and the different timing and treatment of primary and secondary legislation also has important implications for the way impact assessments are carried out. 

This study group will explore the impact of a compound (primary and secondary) approach to introducing legislation, and consider the implications for estimating their expected impacts in an IA - particularly when the assessment of the secondary measure happens after some of the uncertainty related to the possible outcomes of the primary measure has been resolved and this can be taken into account in the secondary decision(s). We will discuss the limitations of the conventional NPV-based approach to assessing the impacts of compound measures and discuss the use of a real options approach to IAs to address this concern.  Primary legislation creates the opportunity but not the obligation to pursue secondary measures and should be assessed taking these future options into account.   
Stephen Gibson is Chair to the UK Regulatory Policy Committee (which scrutinises the Impact Assessments of UK regulations) and a Senior Fellow of the Mossavar-Rahmani School of Business and Government and has developed this exciting new and innovative approach to analysing the impacts of regulatory proposals with Dr. Jonathan Cave from the University of Warwick.

Recent paper:​

This study group / discussion is open to all. Registration is not necessary.
M-RCBG welcomes individuals with disabilities to participate in its programs. To request accommodations or ask questions about access provided, please email:

Speakers and Presenters

​Stephen Gibson

M-RCBG Senior Fellow