Measuring Regulatory Responsiveness in India: A Framework for Empirical Assessment

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 9, Issue 2 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

This paper seeks to create a measurable set of benchmarks to measure responsiveness of regulators to citizens’ preferences. We construct a set of benchmarks of responsive conduct, and ascribe corresponding quantifiable outputs to each benchmark. We then empirically measure the responsiveness of four statutory regulators in India, against these benchmarks. We find generally low levels of responsiveness among the four statutory regulators covered in this study and significant variations in the levels of responsiveness among them. We also find significant differences in the legal requirements for responsive regulation-making in the laws that establish these regulators. Lastly, we find a correlation between the legal requirement for responsiveness and the degree of responsiveness exhibited by these regulators. We argue that the measures proposed in this paper provide a strong objective basis to measure regulatory responsiveness for regulators located in a similar legal and institutional context.

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