A new paper for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University conducts an economically rigorous analysis of the problems posed by space debris and concludes that the problem is significantly more legally, institutionally, and economically complicated than some may believe.
A new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University finds that part of the problem can be traced to a flaw in the SSDI program’s administrative structure: even if an applicant is twice denied disability benefits by the Disability Determination Service, he or she can often obtain benefits by appealing the rejection to an administrative law judge (ALJ). This study analyzes ALJ decisions using case studies, economic literature, descriptive statistics, and econometric analysis.
Many scholars have worried that regulation deters entrepreneurship because larger firms can
overcome the costs of complying with regulations more easily than smaller firms. Using novel
data on the extent of US federal regulations by industry at the four-digit NAICS (North
American Industry Classification System) level, the RegData database of the Mercatus Center at
George Mason University, and data on firm births and employment from the Statistics of US
Businesses, we run fixed effects regressions to show that more-regulated industries experienced
fewer new firm births and slower employment growth in the period 1998 to 2011.
A new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University synthesizes psychologists’ research on intrinsic motivations with research on the motives of entrepreneurs and shows that entrepreneurs are often motivated by a desire to succeed in competition with others. Consumer choice in markets provides validation to entrepreneurs about who provides the “best” product, so government intervention that results in disruption of choices in markets can make entrepreneurs who care about mastery worse off and harm economic growth.
A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University finds that regulations intended to improve the quality of child care often focus on easily observable measures, such as group sizes or child–staff ratios, that do not necessarily affect the quality of care but do increase the cost of care. These regulations can have unintended consequences, including increasing the cost of child care while decreasing the wages of child care workers. Eliminating regulatory standards that do not affect the quality of care while focusing on those that do, such as teacher training, will improve the quality of child care while making it more affordable to low-income families.
In a new paper published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, economist Dima Yazji Shamoun and toxicologist Edward J. Calabrese show that shifting the debate to process objectivity would allow better evaluation of risk assessments. In doing so, the paper draws from the government’s own guidance for best practices for performing risk assessments. This paper provides a crucial first step toward enabling those who monitor regulatory agencies to hold them to those practices.
A new paper published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University explores several concrete examples of how technology is helping to reduce market deficiencies, dealing a blow to demands for government regulation. The political pressure to increase regulations in fields as diverse as environmental policy and consumer protection ignores the evidence that advancing technology is providing customers and entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools to solve problems without government intervention.
The current public debt crises in Western democratic countries provide an important illustration of what Adam Smith had described as the “juggling trick” – namely deficit increases, accumulation of debt, and debasement of currency – that all governments resort to when confronted with public bankruptcy. In this paper, we utilize the discussion on the public sector growth to illuminate the puzzle in political economy regarding effective government constraints, or questions of how to ‘tame leviathan.’…
Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues in The Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in Bloomington conducted fieldwork in metropolitan police departments across the United States. Their finding in support of community policing dealt a blow to the popular belief that consolidation and centralization of services was the only way to effectively provide citizens with public goods.
This book chapter demonstrates that there has been from Adam Smith to Vernon Smith a tradition of economic scholarship that is grounded in the decision calculus of individuals, or what F.A. Hayek referred to as the logic of choice, which requires neither the heroic assumptions of omniscience, nor that individuals are interacting with each other in frictionless environments.
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.
Rebounding after disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods can be daunting. Communities must have residents who can not only gain access to the resources that they need to rebuild but can overcome the collective action problem that characterizes post-disaster relief efforts.