RegTech and Predictive Lawmaking: Closing the RegLag between Prospective Regulated Activity and Regulation

John W. Bagby, Nizan Geslevich Packin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regulation chronically suffers significant delay starting at the detectable initiation of a "regulable activity" and culminating at effective regulatory response. Regulator reaction is impeded by various obstacles: (i) confusion in optimal level, form and choice of regulatory agency, (ii) political resistance to creating new regulatory agencies, (iii) lack of statutory authorization to address particular novel problems, (iv) jurisdictional competition among regulators, (v) Congressional disinclination to regulate given political conditions, and (vi) a lack of expertise, both substantive and procedural, to deploy successful counter-measures. Delay is rooted in several stubborn institutions, including libertarian ideals permeating both the U.S. legal system and the polity, constitutional constraints on exercise of governmental powers, chronic resource constraints including underfunding, and agency technical incapacities. Therefore, regulatory prospecting to identify regulable activity often lags the suspicion of future regulable activity or its first discernable appearance. This Article develops the regulatory lag theory (RegLag), argues that regulatory technologies (RegTech), including those from the blockchain technology space, can help narrow the RegLag gap, and proposes programs to improve regulatory agency clairvoyance to more aggressively adapt to changing regulable activities, such as by using promising anticipatory approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-177
Number of pages51
JournalMichigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Government agencies
  • Power (Social sciences)
  • Blockchains
  • State power
  • Astronautics


Dive into the research topics of 'RegTech and Predictive Lawmaking: Closing the RegLag between Prospective Regulated Activity and Regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this