Using Technology To Better Quantify Regulatory Costs

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC
Image credit: 
Zffoto, Shutterstock

The Hoover Institution hosted "Using Technology to Better Quantify Regulatory Costs" on Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 12:00pm - 2:00pm EST.

How much do regulations cost? It's a simple question, but it defies simple answers. 

Since 1981, the White House has required most agencies to account for the costs of major regulations; and in recent months, the White House has issued more executive orders attempting to limit the regulatory costs that agencies can impose on the public. But even when agencies are trying to account for regulations' costs, those costs can be very difficult to predict and calculate.

QuantGov is a new effort to improve that analysis. By using computers to analyze the text of laws, QuantGov is a platform for predicting regulatory impacts based on the "restrictive phrases" found in the legal text. 

Discussing QuantGov-including the problems it was created to solve, and the ways in which those solutions can improve both governance and social science-we are three fellows from George Mason University's Mercatus Center, where QuantGov was created:

Patrick McLaughlin is a Senior Research Fellow at Mercatus, where he directs its Program for Economic Research on Regulation

Bentley Coffey is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, and affiliated with the Mercatus Center

Hester Peirce is a Senior Research Fellow at Mercatus, where she directs its Financial Markets Working Group

The discussion was moderated by Adam White, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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