Setting the Regulatory Agenda: Statutory Deadlines, Delay, and Responsiveness

Congress imposes statutory deadlines in an attempt to influence agency regulatory agendas, but agencies regularly fail to meet them. What explains agency responsiveness to statutory deadlines? Taking a transaction cost politics approach, the authors develop a theory of responsiveness to deadlines centered on political feasibility to explain how agency managers map rulemaking onto calendar and political time. This theory is tested on all unique rules with statutory deadlines published in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions between 1995 and 2012. The argument and findings about the timing and ultimate promulgation of rules have implications that reorient the study of the regulatory agenda from legal and political into more managerial terms.

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Setting the Regulatory Agenda: Statutory Deadlines, Delay, and Responsiveness. Public Administration Review 79, 5 p710-720 (2019)], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions:


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Work Title Setting the Regulatory Agenda: Statutory Deadlines, Delay, and Responsiveness
Open Access
  1. Anthony M. Bertelli
  2. Kathleen M. Doherty
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Public Administration Review
Publication Date June 24, 2019
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited November 01, 2023




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  • Added Creator Kathleen M. Doherty
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