Dr. Joan-Josep Vallbé of the University of Barcelona, and Dr. Núria Casellas of Wolters Kluwer, will present a paper entitled What’s the cost of e-Access to Legal Information? A composite indicator, at Doing Business: Past, Present, and Future of Business Regulation, a conference being held at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, 20 February 2014.
Here is the abstract:
There is a shared belief that e-government policies can help turning regulatory compliance less costly, thus improving the regulatory environment that surrounds economic growth. While there is a growing volume of literature assessing the economic, political, and social benefits of a good regulatory environment, the effects of online access to legal information on both governance and the business environment have been so far unexplored. On one hand, the Doing Business indicators are produced under the assumption of full availability of information on the procedures needed to set up a business. On the other, despite the cost of regulatory information discovery looms large for businesses, institutional economics literature has not yet provided a model for these specific costs of information discovery.
Therefore, the design and implementation of measures for online access to legal and regulatory information proves much needed to gain insights into the costs of information discovery and their effects on the regulatory environment for policy reform that are simply unavailable to us using current methods.
This paper makes two main contributions. First, it provides a model for the costs of discovery of legal information and an empirical test of the relationship between governmental online presence and legal publication, on one hand, and the quality of the regulatory environment, on the other. Second, it shows that current measures of access to legal information are in need of improvement and presents a composite indicator to measure the costs of online access to legal information.