I have been awarded – jointly with David Doyle – a John Fell OUP Research Fund for a research project entitled ‘Measuring Government Policy with Text Analysis’. The project will run in 2016-2017.
Is government policy enhancing business activity or constraining it? Are government regulations becoming more or less business friendly? Is government policy more favourable to some sectors than others? These and similar questions are ones that citizens and businesses ask every day, but social scientists have only limited tools for measuring governments’ business policies, except through broad-brush surveys of regulatory environments. Against this backdrop, we propose to apply the recent advances in computational linguistics to develop a novel machine text analysis to produce detailed estimates of government policy across time and policy fields.