This paper analyzes how foreign interventions can result in a broadening of government powers and a concurrent reduction of citizens’ liberties and freedoms domestically. The authors develop an analytical framework to examine the effects of coercive foreign interventions on the scope of domestic government activities. Facing limited or altogether absent constraints abroad, coercive foreign interventions serve as a testing ground for domestically-constrained governments to experiment with new technologies and methods of social control over foreign populations.
This paper presents the results of the Mercatus Center’s Small Bank Survey, which include responses from approximately 200 banks across 41 states with less than $10 billion in assets each, serving mostly rural and small metropolitan markets.
We outline the work of James Buchanan and his influence and contributions to political economy, institutional analysis, and self-governance. In addition to pioneering the public choice movement, we argue that Buchanan’s greatest contribution to political economy was initiating the constitutional level of analysis in economics.
This paper discusses the nature of law as the fifth factor of production, or more fundamentally as the institutional framework within which the production process takes place. Unlike land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship, whose coordination is an outcome of institutional arrangements, the law itself is the institutional embodiment of the voluntary exchange processes evolving from the decisions, but not the design, of judges that form the reliable expectations about who 'plans' the coordination of the other four factors of production.
In a standard median voter model, low-income immigration increases the size of the welfare state. Other research suggests evidence for a group-interested voter model, which predicts that welfare will shrink with an increase in low-income immigration. We contend that neither model accurately describes political reality after testing these theories with United States date from 1970 to 2010.
Economic theory and reality demonstrate that privately enforced property rights can and do emerge under terrestrial anarchy, suggesting that private enforcement can also sustain a property rights regime under celestial anarchy. Economically, at least, celestial anarchy is no threat to flourishing outer-space commerce.
In 1992 the General Accounting Office (GAO) published a quantitative survey of Indian land ownership of twelve reservations, which was the first and still is the only survey of Indian land ownership. In our study we use 2010 data to show how ownership fractionation for these reservations has changed since the original GAO study.
In 1964 James Buchanan famously asked “What Should Economists Do?” He argued that economists should focus their intellectual attention on exchange and the institutions within which exchange takes place. This paper reflects on Buchanan’s message and looks at the development of that argument, and its implications in the wake of post-socialist political economy on the one hand, and the post-financial crisis of 2008 on the other.
Hayek argued that the central question of economics is the coordination problem: How does the spontaneous interaction of many purposeful individuals, each having dispersed bits of subjective knowledge, generate an order in which the actors’ subjective data are coordinated in a way that enables them to successfully dovetail their plans and activities?
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.
In Anarchy Unbound, Peter T. Leeson uses rational choice theory to explore the benefits of self-governance. Relying on experience from the past and present, Professor Leeson provides evidence of anarchy “working” where it is least expected to do so and explains how this is possible.