Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA)

The concept of "regulation management" is derived from the so-called "Regulatory Impact Analysis" or "Regulatory Impact Assessment" (RIA) that governments conduct to better assess the impact of new legislation.

It is anticipated and assessed on a quantitative basis to what extent the future benefits of a regulatory project exceed the costs incurred or whether the politically set goals are achieved.

Originally, the quantitative, economic evaluation of political measures originated in the USA and Great Britain, respectively, but now all OECD countries use corresponding methods. The OECD itself is also promoting the use of RIAs as evidence-based assessment of regulatory measures. The methods are used as an instrument to avoid political interventionism or overregulation or the creation of inefficient bureaucracy.

Since 2002, the European Commission has been conducting a standardized „Impact Assessment“ as an integral part of the legislative process, focusing on the economic, social and environmental consequences of regulatory projects. In addition, especially in the area of regional and cohesion policy, the "modeling" of macroeconomic effects of the disbursement of subsidies is increasingly applied, for which, among other things, the standardized approach of the “HERMIN Models“ is used. Moreover, actors such as the World Health Organization (WHO) use "advance modeling" of the effects of political measures to establish their standards in the German federal states.

Since 2009, the Commission has been increasingly concerned with the scientific methodology of RIA. In this regard, the German federal government commissioned the national standards control (NKR) and the Federal Statistical Office (DE-STATIS) to develop a "Guide to the Determination and Presentation of Compliance Burdens in Federal Government Regulation Projects", which was published in 2012. In addition, the Brussels-based think tank "Centre for European Policy Studies" (CEPS) has been commissioned by the Commission to conduct a study in 2013 to evaluate the instrument and in particular the methodology of the RIA.

When preparing RIAs, the European Commission usually uses external services from research institutes, management consultants and auditing firms. These specialize either in one policy area, such as Thuenen or CAPRI in the field of agricultural policy, or in the implementation of the RIA itself, such as ECORYS. In the IA currently underway to revise Directive 2008/118/EC ("Excise Directive"), the Commission has worked with Ramboll has commissioned a management consultancy to carry out the project, which has specialized in corresponding "Socio Economic Impact Assessments" in an exemplary manner.

In the meantime, high-profile consultancies in the "Public Sector" area are increasingly offering their services to companies from the private sector. At the center of such projects is the modeling of an empirically based, quantitative projection of economic developments as a function of politically influenced variables. This is done partly with internal company data but also with publicly available data, such as from the socio-economic panel.


The OECD itself is also pushing the use of RIA as an evidence-based assessment of regulatory measures.