Advocates of cosmopolitan ideals, to the extent that they engage with questions of institutional design, typically imagine replicating or refining existing, nation-state models of governance but on an international scale. This essay argues that cosmopolitan ethics need not go hand in hand with international government, and may be better served by a different approach.
I develop a positive theory of sovereignty that is rooted in political exchange. The key concept I use to characterize sovereignty is self-enforcing exchange of political rights. I conclude that a sovereign is an individual or body party to political exchange that does not rest on third-party enforcement. Importantly, sovereignty is an emergent phenomenon, defined in the process of bargains between holders of political power.
At the turn of the 21st century, biofuels appeared to be a solution to mounting concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, skyrocketing fuel prices, and dependence on foreign energy. When Congress passed the Energy Policy Act (EP Act) in 2005 with a renewable fuel standard (RFS) provision mandating producers to add ethanol to gasoline, it is unlikely that lawmakers thought the act would increase hunger and social unrest in the world’s poorest countries. However, unintended consequences frequently accompany even the most well intentioned policies.
A peculiar monetary institution emerged during the period of interregnum in Somalia from January 1991 to August 2012. Without a functioning government to restrict the supply of notes in circulation, Somalis found it profitable to contract with foreign printers and import forgeries. The exchange value of the largest denomination Somali shillings note fell from US $0.30 in 1991 to US $0.03 in 2008. However, the purchasing power eventually stabilized at the cost of producing additional notes.
In May of 2015, the European Commission released a package outlining the vision for its Better Regulation initiative, a program aimed at improving outcomes of the European Union (EU) regulation. The move represents a step forward for regulatory reform in the EU, and signals a potential shift in world leadership roles among countries promoting evidence based policy. The United States (US), once at the forefront of regulatory science and analysis, may now be lagging behind. If Better Regulation is implemented as its ambitious designers envision, this could signal a new role for the EU in advancing 21st century policymaking.
We estimate the effect of corruption on business activity in Brazilian municipalities. We employ a new measure of corruption based on data from random audits of municipal governments. Our results suggest that higher levels of corruption are generally associated with reductions in the number of business establishments.
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.
Occupational licensing is a major burden on economic liberty. It raises prices, restricts consumer choice, and deprives countless Americans of their right to earn a living for themselves and their families—often for no better reason than to enrich existing, politically influential firms. Among the worst of such abuses is the certificate of public convenience and necessity law, which does not even purport to protect the consumer against dangerous business practices or against incompetent or dishonest practitioners, but is explicitly designed to prevent economic competition.
What are the economic justifications for government intervention in the economy? In a market economy, prices coordinate the activities of buyers and sellers and convey information about the strength of consumer demand for a good and the costs of supplying it. Because trade is voluntary, buyers and sellers only make exchanges when both parties benefit. Under ideal market conditions, this process leads to an efficient allocation of goods without government intervention.
As the holiday season approaches, there are predictions that upwards of 1,000,000 drones will be purchased by Christmas. The FAA is currently working to create regulations on these consumer drones. Eli Dourado discusses these regulations and what the FAA should do on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.
The Midas Paradox is a landmark treatise that solves mysteries that have long perplexed economic historians, and corrects misconceptions about the true causes, consequences, and cures of macroeconomic instability. Like Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz’s A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960, it is one of those rare books destined to shape all future research on the subject.