Information and Uncertainty in Regulatory Processes: Evidence from the Implementation of EPA Waivers

Now published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory:

Agencies must simultaneously weigh technical information along with the political and distributive consequences of their decisions. In a study of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of federal pesticide regulations, I show that the EPA accounts for both case and constituency factors. I assess the effects of both uncertainty and information in agency decisions. I offer the use of a multilevel model with three types of random effects to capture specific case factors (the crop, the pest, and the pesticide) to account for unobservable heterogeneity in outcomes. The models show that the impacts of uncertainty and information depend on the decision environment.