Regulation in Swiss Cantons: Data for One Century

26 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2016

See all articles by Simon Luechinger

Simon Luechinger

University of Lucerne

Mark Schelker

University of Fribourg; CREMA; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); SIAW, University of St. Gallen

Date Written: March 2016


We present and illustrate novel data on more than a century of regulation in Switzerland. We provide quantitative measures for Swiss cantons on the annual stock of legally binding rules from 2006-2013 and on regulatory activity as reflected in the annual changes to such regulation from 1908-2013. We measure the stock of regulation by the number of enactments and characters, and the regulatory activity by the number of changed enactments and pages. We break down the measures by the level in the hierarchy of legal norms and by the issuing authority. The data reveal substantial cantonal heterogeneity in the stock of regulation and the extent and development of regulatory activity. Regulatory activity generally increased over the century, though in a non-monotonic and volatile manner. Quantitatively, regulation at the level of decrees and regulation by the executive dominate. We also construct our measures for the federal level from 2006-2013 (stock) and 1848-2013 (activity).

Keywords: regulation, regulatory activity

JEL Classification: H100, H700, K200, Y100

Suggested Citation

Luechinger, Simon and Schelker, Mark, Regulation in Swiss Cantons: Data for One Century (March 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Simon Luechinger

University of Lucerne ( email )

Frohburgstrasse 3
P.O. Box 4466
Lucerne, 6002

Mark Schelker (Contact Author)

University of Fribourg ( email )


CREMA ( email )

Gellertstrasse 18
Zurich, CH 8006

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

SIAW, University of St. Gallen ( email )

Bodanstrasse 8
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000

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