Patrick McLaughlin

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.

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.

Prior to joining Mercatus, McLaughlin served as a senior economist at the Federal Railroad Administration in the U.S. 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.