In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, scholar Alexander William Salter examines several different proposed rules that the Fed could follow. Salter provides a framework to help policymakers better understand how incentives and information can affect monetary policy and discusses discretion-based and rule-based approaches to monetary policy.
The United States prison system is a potent example of American exceptionalism. No other country incarcerates nearly as many people. To give some perspective, if all 2.2 million prisoners constituted their own city, they would be the fourth largest in the country, just short of Chicago.
Public officials have blamed Wall Street and its complex financial products for causing the 2008 economic downturn. This article addresses three popular claims saying that complex financial markets are at fault and need more regulation.
This essay examines Virgil Storr’s Understanding the Culture of Markets particularly the relationship between cultures and constitutions and the particulars of the ideal-typical ‘spirit’ of capitalism.
We know that forty-nine of the fifty US states are running deficits despite being constitutionally required to balance budgets. How is that possible? In Deficits, Debt, and Democracy, Richard E. Wagner wrestles with this and other questions in regard to the fiscal commons.
Recent scholarship regarding the idea of a U.S. Empire has raised serious questions as to the feasibility and desirability of imperial ambitions. This paper traces the debate over the net-benefit of empire back to the Classical economists. Adam Smith argued that the British Empire was a net cost while John Stuart Mill concluded the same empire was a net benefit. Contemporary arguments about a U.S. Empire map neatly to the divergent views of Smith and Mill. In addition to engaging in an exercise in history of thought, the authors use Smith’s political economy as a means of adjudicating between the different claims regarding the feasibility of empire.
Using interview data collected in the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina, the authors argue and describe how meaningful social bonds that emerge out of and are facilitated by commercial activity as well as the social spaces provided by commercial entities can facilitate community rebound after a major disaster.
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.
While the "invisible hand" argument was initially focused on the ability of commerce to generate cooperation and ameliorate conflict among strangers, it gradually came to be exclusively associated with a sort of ruthless efficiency and the obtainment of optimality conditions. The authors attempt to recapture the doux-commerce thesis and its relevance for contemporary debates over commerce and culture.