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What are Regulatory Proxies Measuring? Open Access

Without reliable measures of regulatory activity, attempts to understand regulations’ effect on the economy will be hindered, so the lack of correlation between the variables currently being used in the economic literature is troubling. The fact that none of them are closely correlated perhaps suggests that each variable captures a different facet of regulation, or perhaps our simple correlations do not adequately capture relationships among them. For example, one might expect CFR pages or constraints to follow the Regulators’ Budget or Federal Register pages with a lag (and our correlation measures include no lag). Nevertheless, these results suggest that further research is needed if we are to understand the effects of regulation on economic growth.

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