In recent decades, governments increasingly use regulatory indicators as a new tool of policy design. Like other policy tools, regulatory indicators aim to steer behavior of actors in the economy and in society. Yet, unlike traditional tools, they do so without the coercive or financial backing of the state apparatus. Regulatory indicators typically present themselves as a product of science (i.e. evidence-based), and the pressure they exert is mainly reputational. Examples of regulatory indicators are the educational rankings of the OECD, the credit ratings of public debt, and the governance indicators of the World Bank. The stress test of the European Banking Authority (EBA), the case study in this project, is an eminent case of a regulatory indicator.
Despite their increasing importance, not much is known on how these regulatory indicators are made. Indicators are presented as objective facts and all agency involved in their development is stripped away. Notwithstanding the regulatory impact of choices in indicator design, the actors responsible for their production remain anonymous backseat drivers. This project addresses this gap with an in-depth case study of the development of the EBA stress test. The project conceives regulatory indicators as a being coproduced through both political and technocratic mechanisms.