Can you, in some simple way, measure how complex a country’s legal system has gotten? This 41-page study perhaps does exactly that, more or less:
“Measuring the Complexity of the Law: The United States Code,” Daniel Martin Katz [pictured here] and Michael James Bommarito II, SSRN report #2307352, August 1, 2013.
The study comes equipped with 97 footnotes. Here is an example of that — or rather half an example. This is the first half of footnote #11:
“This implies some sort of ‘scaling’ relationship that could be evaluated by comparing some reasonably accepted measure of societal complexity with that of legal complexity. There is unlikely to be strict coupling between these two objects as there are often lags between changes in societal circumstances and changes in the relevant rule environment. Indeed, an important question for scholars of institutional design is how to create second-order rules that can help reduce this lag by creating triggers that would automatically yield reconsideration of the existing rule environment. Identifying the precise conditions that should trigger change in the landscape is anon-trivial matter as the rule environment should change when necessary but otherwise hold the status quo (so as to enforce prior expectations). Thus…”