The Political Economy of Australian Regulatory Reform
Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Lane, AM and McLaughlin, P (forthcoming) ‘The Political Economy of Australian Regulatory Reform’, Australian Journal of Public Administration
32 Pages Posted:
Date Written: August 28, 2020
The problem of regulatory accumulation has increasingly been recognised as a policy problem in its own right. Governments have then devised and implemented regulatory reform policies that directly seek to ameliorate the burdens of regulatory accumulation (e.g. red tape reduction targets). In this paper we examine regulatory reform approaches in Australia through the lens of policy innovation. Our contributions are twofold. We first examine the evolutionary discovery process of regulatory reform policies in Australia (at the federal, intergovernmental and state levels). This demonstrates a process of policy innovation in regulatory mechanisms and measurements. We then analyse a new measurement of regulatory burden based on text analytics, RegData: Australia (see Al-Ubaydli and McLaughlin 2017; McLaughlin et al 2019). RegData: Australia uses textual analysis to count “restrictiveness clauses” in regulation—such as “must”, “cannot” and “shall”—thereby developing a new database (RDAU1.0). We place this “restrictiveness clauses” measurement within the context of regulatory policy innovation, and examine the potential for further innovation in regulatory reform mechanisms.
Keywords: RegData, regulatory accumulation, regulatory reform policies, regulatory analytics
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