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RegData: A Numerical Database on Industry-Specific Regulations for All U.S. Industries and Federal Regulations, 1997-2012

George Mason University Mercatus Center Working Paper No. 12-20

83 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2012 Last revised: 13 Nov 2014

Omar Al-Ubaydli

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Patrick A. McLaughlin

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

We introduce RegData, formerly known as the Industry-Specific Regulatory Constraint Database. RegData annually quantifies federal regulations by industry and by regulatory agency for all federal regulations from 1997 to 2012. The quantification of regulations at the industry level for all industries is without precedent. RegData measures regulation for industries at the two-, three-, and four-digit levels of the North American Industry Classification System. We created this database using text analysis to count binding constraints in the wording of regulations, as codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, and to measure the applicability of regulatory text to different industries. We validate our measures of regulation by examining known episodes of regulatory growth and deregulation as well as by comparing our measures to an existing, cross-sectional measure of regulation. We then demonstrate several plausible relationships between industry regulation and variables of economic interest. Researchers can use this database to study the determinants of industry regulations and to study regulations’ effects on a massive array of dependent variables, both across industries and across time.

Keywords: regulation, industry

JEL Classification: K2, L5, N4, Y1

Suggested Citation

Al-Ubaydli, Omar and McLaughlin, Patrick A., RegData: A Numerical Database on Industry-Specific Regulations for All U.S. Industries and Federal Regulations, 1997-2012 (November 2014). George Mason University Mercatus Center Working Paper No. 12-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2099814 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2099814

Omar Al-Ubaydli

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-4538 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Patrick A. McLaughlin (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-9670 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.patrickamclaughlin.com

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