Measuring Regulatory Complexity

89 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2020 Last revised: 23 Mar 2023

See all articles by Jean-Edouard Colliard

Jean-Edouard Colliard

HEC Paris - Finance Department

Co-Pierre Georg

EDHEC Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 15, 2023


Despite a heated debate on the complexity of financial regulation, a comprehensive framework to study regulatory complexity is lacking. We propose one inspired by the analysis of algorithmic complexity in computer science. We use this framework to distinguish different dimensions of complexity, classify existing measures, develop new ones, compute them on two examples - Basel I and the Dodd-Frank Act - and validate them using novel experiments. Our framework offers a quantitative approach to the policy trade-off between regulatory complexity and precision. Our toolkit is freely available and allows researchers to measure the complexity of any normative text and test alternative measures.

Keywords: Financial Regulation, Capital Regulation, Regulatory Complexity, Basel Accords

JEL Classification: G18, G28, G41

Suggested Citation

Colliard, Jean-Edouard and Georg, Co-Pierre, Measuring Regulatory Complexity (March 15, 2023). HEC Paris Research Paper No. FIN-2020-1358, Available at SSRN: or

Jean-Edouard Colliard (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Finance Department ( email )


Co-Pierre Georg

EDHEC Business School ( email )

58 rue du Port
Lille, 59046

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