RegData Tracks Extent of Federal and State Regulation


This week our old friend Chad Reese of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University hosts a new podcast about Mercatus’ RegData project, and highlights the impressive award nomination it recently received.

Patrick McLaughlin and Omar Ahmad Al-Ubaydli launched the RegData project around four year ago with the Mercatus Working Paper “A Numerical Database on Industry-specific Regulations for All U.S. Industries and Federal Regulations, 1997-2012.” They published this description of RegData at the time:

RegData is a new database that quantifies federal regulation. It analyzes the text of federal regulations to create novel and objective measures of the accumulation of regulations in the economy overall and across different industries in the United States. In addition, RegData measures the degree to which different groups of regulations, such as those from a particular agency, target specific industries.

In the podcast this week, Chad and his colleague Kate De Lanoy talk with Patrick and James Broughel about the analysis that they’ve done with the database and how they’ve applied it to the impact of existing regulations at the state as well as federal levels:

RegData’s snapshots of 34 states show the real-world effects of how regulations shape economic growth, job creation, and opportunity for everyday citizens. So far, it has helped inform regulatory reform efforts in seven states, including Kentucky and Virginia, with more in progress. … [RegData] offers a new way of capturing regulatory information in minutes that previously would take a person hours, weeks, or even years to obtain.

Guests also discuss the Atlas Network announcement that the RegData project is a finalist for the 2018 Templeton Freedom Award. Congratulations to our friends at Mercatus on their nomination, and thanks to the research team over there for the large volume of valuable work they’re produced over the years.

Read the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s own flagship regulatory reform study, “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State,” here.