Federal regulations have undeniably proliferated since the 1970s, which witnessed the creation of several well-known regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Energy (DOE).
In fact, the total number of pages published in the annual Code of Federal Regulations—the set of books in which all federal regulations in effect in each year are published—has increased from 54,843 in 1970 to 175,496 in 2013.
Government, the Great Obstructor
Is it possible to really understand how this accumulation of regulation affects our economy? For example, do regulations negatively affect employment levels? Are workplace safety regulations actually leading to workplace safety? Can we explain why this accumulative trend exists in the first place?
A new publicly searchable database, RegData 2.0, was created to help us answer these types of questions and more.
Scholars with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, as well as other institutions, have often used descriptive statistics in conjunction with empirical evidence to tell stories — sometimes, profound ones.
For many reasons, Americans pick up and move. Often such moves involve economic motivations. Determing the causes of Americans’ migration from non-right-to-work states to states with such legal protections, is an interesting policy puzzle which lends itself well to descriptive statistics.
On August 4, California Judge Kent Kellegrew took the unusual step of removing a citizen’s initiative from the ballot that would have dramatically reformed pensions for all future employees in Ventura County, California by moving them from a defined benefit pension to a defined contribution retirement.
Judge Kellegrew declared that only the legislature could make the change, and that putting an initiative on the ballot would be a waste of public resources. While proponents of the initiative...