Coercive government actions that target another country often act like a boomerang, turning around and knocking down freedoms and liberties in the “throwing” nation. Two developments in the United States illustrate the boomerang effect: the rise of government surveillance and the growing militarization of the police.
In the developing world, kidnapping is relatively common, and a market for kidnap insurance has arisen in response. We provide a model that allows us to analyze how kidnap insurance affects the interaction between the kidnapper and the victim’s family when both are self-interested and have complete knowledge.
James Buchanan argued that the role of the political economist is to “stress the technical economic principles that one must understand in order to assess alternative arrangements for promoting peaceful cooperation and productive specialization among free men.” Although Buchanan is never mentioned in Mass Flourishing, Edmund Phelps, a Nobel laureate in economics, embraces this role of the political economist in analyzing the positive and normative implications of modern economic growth that began in the West during the early nineteenth century.
Mired in the imaginary world of long run equilibrium, mainstream neoclassical economics is oblivious to the obstacles that stand in the way of successful social cooperation. Its arid mathematical models, engaged in an in-depth analysis of a world where the economic problem has already been successfully resolved, simply assume away the problems that any economy faces in achieving an optimal coordination of means and ends.
This paper examines how pre-disaster systems of self-governance aid in post-disaster community recovery. Our analysis focuses on the Mary Queen of Vietnam (MQVN) community and Gentilly, examines the effectiveness of their systems of self-governance prior to Hurricane Katrina and explores the role these systems played in promoting community recovery after the disaster.
The science of economics is born out of the puzzle that the coordination of economic activities presents to our imagination. The solution to that puzzle is the entrepreneurial market process. Israel Kirzner has argued that the market economy operates with ruthless efficiency to coordinate economic activities and realize the gains from social cooperation under the division of labor because of the institutional framework within which it operates, namely private property rights.
Applying benefit-cost analysis in the White House regulatory oversight process served as a basic mission of the Council on Wage and Price Stability (CWPS) during its seven-year lifespan (1974–1981). This paper reviews that CWPS experience, which involved filing comments in over 300 proceedings at more than 25 federal regulatory agencies.
Economists often model national defense as a pure public good optimally provided by a benevolent and omnipotent "defense brain" to maximize social welfare. This paper critically considers five assumptions associated with this view.
State and local governments often turn to increases in sales taxes to generate added revenue. Estimates of fresh revenue from the higher tax tend to be overly optimistic, partly because the number of sales tax exemptions tends to rise with the rising tax rate.
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Roslyn Layton and Michael Horney survey broadband in America and compare broadband costs around the world. They find that the United States is a global leader in broadband, as measured by the level of broadband-enabled economic activity, the number of Internet-based companies, the level of digital exports, and the level of Internet-enabled employment.
Mercatus PhD Fellow Vipin Veetil, along with Akshaya Vijayalakshmi and Srikanth Viswanathan, address Amartya Sen's criticism of cash-transfer programs such as education vouchers in the Wall Street Journal.
When most people think of prison gangs, they think of chaotic bands of violent, racist thugs. Few people think of gangs as sophisticated organizations (often with elaborate written constitutions) that regulate the prison black market, adjudicate conflicts, and strategically balance the competing demands of inmates, gang members, and correctional officers.