In an article to be published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy in conjunction with
the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, legal scholar Timothy Sandefur explores the
history, theory, and operation of CPCN laws, also known as “Competitor Veto” laws, focusing on
evidence uncovered as part of litigation challenging such laws in Missouri and Kentucky. The
article concludes that because these laws are designed to protect incumbent businesses, there
must be reforms on the federal level to abolish them. Several possible reforms are considered,
along with objections.
This paper focuses on disability insurance but makes the case for considering reforms in tandem—that is, (1) developing disability program reforms that accommodate plausible retirement program reforms while properly aligning incentives to support work and savings and (2) providing a financially secure, vital safety net for disabled Americans.
We review four major regulatory reform statutes passed since the legal enshrinement of the
regulatory state by the Administrative Procedure Act in 1946. None of the four statutes can be
said to have accomplished its substantive goals (which usually involved reducing the burden of
This study provides a systematic analysis of selective consumption tax policy. We detail both the
motivations behind selective consumption taxes and the policy’s shortcomings. Empirically, we
explore how consumption of 12 goods—alcohol, cigarettes, fast food, items sold at vending
machines, purchases of food away from home, cookies, cakes, chips, candy, donuts, bacon, and
carbonated soft drinks—varies across the income distribution by calculating the goods’ income-expenditure elasticities.
Using monthly US data on project-grant awards in 2009 and 2010, we study which objectives presidents pursue in distributing resources. We also address theoretical and empirical ambiguities regarding when and which congressional districts receive distributive benefits. Our results show that core constituencies of the president’s party receive more federal funding in both presidential and congressional elections.
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, scholars Anna Mills and Edward J. Timmons examine differences in licensing requirements state-to-state and over time to explore the effect that optician licensing has on practitioner earnings.
A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University explores investment-based transition costs and calculates optimal investment portfolios for pension plans, both those that remain open to new participants and those that have been closed.
Previous research using data on convictions for corruption-related crimes from the Public Integrity Section (PIN) of the Department of Justice points to a positive correlation between the amount of corruption in a state and the amount of federal funds provided to the state for natural disaster relief. We take a closer look at the relationship between public corruption and disaster assistance, using more detailed data on corruption convictions for an expanded time period.
In a new empirical study of state-level fiscal data for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, economists David T. Mitchell and Dean Stansel examine these competing hypotheses and conclude that fiscal stress at the state level is positively correlated with spending growth and negatively correlated with the size of the state’s rainy day fund.
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, scholars Robert Emmet Moffit and Neil R. Meredith demonstrate that while the MSP Program grants new power to the OPM by setting standards designed to limit entry into the program, the law may decrease competition and increase consolidation in the health insurance market. Decreased competition in the health care market may lead to higher prices for consumers of health care and could revive calls for a public health insurance option.
Join Tyler Cowen and Peter Thiel in a serious dialogue on the ideas and policies that will shape the future of innovation and progress. This is the inaugural event of the Mercatus Center’s new Conversations with Tyler event series.