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An Overview of RegData: Using Text Analysis to Develop New Measures of Federal Regulation by Industry and Year
RFF Internal Seminar
Patrick McLaughlin, Senior Research Fellow,
Mercatus Center, George Mason University
Retrospective studies of the economic effects of regulations have used a variety of measures of regulatory stringency and complexity without settling on one as superior. Patrick McLaughlin of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University will present measures from RegData,(aka IRCD), a new publicly-available database that provides a novel quantification of federal regulations based on the number of binding constraints (e.g., "shall" or "must") in each title of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). RegData also assesses the applicability of each title in the CFR to various industries to create the first industry-specific quantification of constraints in federal regulation. RegData thus permits within-industry and between-industry analyses of the causes and effects of federal regulations. One early result from RegData is that the number of constraints in federal regulation has grown by about 20% from 1997 to 2010, while the number of pages in the CFR has grown by about 26% over the same period. Another early result is that the average 3-digit NAICS industry was targeted by 14% more regulations in 2010 relative to 1997. For more information, see
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Bring your own lunch.
4th Floor Conference Room
1616 P St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
All seminars will be in the 7th Floor Conference Room at RFF, 1616 P Street NW. Attendance is open, but involves pre-registration no later than two days prior to the event. For questions and to register to an event, please contact Khadija Hill at (tel. 202-328-5174). Updates to our academic seminars schedule will be posted at
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