05 January 2017

Regulation Metrics

'Measuring the Temperature and Diversity of the U.S. Regulatory Ecosystem' by Michael James Bommarito II and Daniel Martin Katz comments
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 build a mean-field measurement of temperature and diversity in this regulatory ecosystem. While individuals across the political, economic, and academic world frequently refer to trends in this regulatory ecosystem, there has been far less attention paid to supporting such claims with large-scale, longitudinal data. 
In this paper, 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, as measured by the dimensionality of the regulatory space and distance between the “regulatory bitstrings” of companies. This measurement framework and its ongoing application contribute an important step towards improving academic and policy discussions around legal complexity and the regulation of large-scale human techno-social systems.
'The Economic Burden of Prescription Opioid Overdose, Abuse, and Dependence in the United States, 2013' by Curtis S Florence, Chao Zhou, Feijung Luo and Likang Xu in (2016) 54(10) Medical Care comments
It is important to understand the magnitude and distribution of the economic burden of prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence to inform clinical practice, research, and other decision makers. Decision makers choosing approaches to address this epidemic need cost information to evaluate the cost effectiveness of their choices.
The authors sought to estimate the economic burden of prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence from a societal perspective. They conclude that total economic burden of fatal overdose and abuse and dependence of prescription opioids is around US$78.5 billion, with over one third of due to increased health care and substance abuse treatment costs (U$28.9 billion) and approximately one quarter of the cost being borne by the public sector in health care, substance abuse treatment, and criminal justice costs.