Measuring and Modeling the U.S. Regulatory Ecosystem

10 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2017 Last revised: 1 Jul 2017

Michael James Bommarito II

LexPredict, LLC; Bommarito Consulting, LLC; Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology; Michigan State College of Law

Daniel Martin Katz

Illinois Tech - Chicago Kent College of Law

Date Written: June 30, 2017

Abstract

Over the last 23 years, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has required over 34,000 companies to file over 165,000 annual reports. These reports, the so-called "Form 10-Ks," contain a characterization of a company's financial performance and its risks, including the regulatory environment in which a company operates. In this paper, we analyze over 4.5 million references to U.S. Federal Acts and Agencies contained within these reports to measure the regulatory ecosystem, in which companies are organisms inhabiting a regulatory environment. While individuals across the political, economic, and academic world frequently refer to trends in this regulatory ecosystem, far less attention has been paid to supporting such claims with large-scale, longitudinal data. In this paper, in addition to positing a model of regulatory ecosystems, we document an increase in the regulatory energy per filing, i.e., a warming "temperature." We also find that the diversity of the regulatory ecosystem has been increasing over the past two decades. These findings support the claim that regulatory activity and complexity are increasing, and this framework contributes an important step towards improving academic and policy discussions around legal complexity and regulation.

Keywords: complex systems, legal complexity, techno-social systems, diversity, regulation, legal science, empirical legal studies, natural language processing

JEL Classification: D72, D73, G14, H11, K10, K20, K22, L51, O51

Suggested Citation

Bommarito, Michael James and Katz, Daniel Martin, Measuring and Modeling the U.S. Regulatory Ecosystem (June 30, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2891494 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2891494

Michael James Bommarito II

LexPredict, LLC ( email )

MI
United States

HOME PAGE: http://lexpredict.com

Bommarito Consulting, LLC ( email )

MI 48098
United States

HOME PAGE: http://bommaritollc.com

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

Michigan State College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

Daniel Martin Katz (Contact Author)

Illinois Tech - Chicago Kent College of Law ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

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

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