Missouri in the Middle on Regulations
According to a dataset from a new project released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Missouri is ranked 22nd in regulatory restrictions overall.
The Mercatus project to analyze state-level regulation is a continuation of the state-level analysis on regulations conducted in Missouri for the No Mo Red Tape campaign initiated under Gov. Greitens. Mercatus says of the effort,
Mercatus researchers Patrick McLaughlin and Oliver Sherouse created QuantGov, an open-source policy analytics platform designed to help create greater understanding and analysis of the breadth of government actions. The platform allows researchers to quickly and effectively examine bodies of text using some of the latest advances from data science, such as machine-learning and other artificial intelligence technology.
The top-regulated industries in Missouri are utilities followed by ambulatory health care and chemical manufacturing. Only three other states bordering Missouri have utility regulation in their top ten, and they are much further down on the list (Kentucky 7th, Tennessee 7th, Iowa 8th). It would be interesting to learn why Missouri regulated utilities so much more than our neighbors and the degree to which that might be driving up utility rates in Missouri.
While this study does not explicitly make the link, it is generally understood that regulation drives up cost. The difficult work is to determine which regulations are necessary and what costs are reasonable. Researchers and policymakers looking for more efficient ways to regulate may find this data useful.