Patrick McLaughlin

Senior Research Fellow
Director of Policy Analytics

Dr. Patrick A. McLaughlin is the Director of Policy Analytics and a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His research focuses primarily on regulations and the regulatory process.

Dr. McLaughlin created and leads the RegData and QuantGov projects, deploying machine learning and other tools of data science to quantify governance indicators found in federal and state regulations and other policy documents. The resulting database is freely available at, and has facilitated pioneering empirical research by numerous third-party users on the causes and effects of regulation.

Dr. McLaughlin has authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed studies in diverse areas, including regulatory economics, administrative law, industrial organization, and international trade. His book, The Impact of Federal Regulation on the Fifty States (with Oliver Sherouse), is available for download here.

Dr. McLaughlin has given expert testimonies before Congress and state legislatures on topics ranging from the economic implications of regulatory accumulation to the potential impacts of regulatory reform. His research and op-eds have been featured in a wide range of media outlets including The Economist, C-SPAN, WSJ, Politico, and The Hill.

Prior to joining Mercatus, Dr. McLaughlin served as a Senior Economist at the Federal Railroad Administration in the United States Department of Transportation and as a Visiting Scholar at the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Clemson University.