Call for Papers
Call for Papers
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to announce an open call for papers for our ongoing series of Mercatus Working Papers. Submissions should be related broadly to one of the following topics.
• Government Spending and Budgeting. The Mercatus Center’s Spending and Budget Initiative supports policy-focused research and scholarship on taxation, entitlements, budget process, pensions, and the effects of government spending, deficit, and debt on economic growth and prosperity. Papers may examine these subjects at the local, state, and/or federal level(s). Please send submissions to email@example.com, ATTN: Emily Washington.
• Regulation and Regulatory-Process Reform. The Mercatus Center’s Regulatory Studies Program supports policy-focused research and scholarship on subjects related to the benefits, costs, and effectiveness of regulation. Areas of particular interest include health and safety, financial markets, technology policy, and regulatory-process reform. Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, ATTN: James Broughel.
• Capitalism, Government, Politics, and Economic Freedom. The Mercatus Center’s Project for the Study of American Capitalism supports policy-focused research and scholarship that examine the relationship between free markets, government intervention, and political influence. Areas of particular interest include: measuring the magnitude, consistency, and distribution of the effects of government interventions in the local, state, or national economy (both general and industry specific); and institutional and policy reforms that would enhance economic freedom and opportunity for all. Please send submissions to email@example.com, ATTN: Rob Raffety.
All Mercatus Working Papers are double-blind peer reviewed and must meet rigorous scholarly and editorial standards.
Requests for Proposals
I. Market-Based Healthcare Solutions
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is seeking proposals to develop positive, market-oriented policy reforms to the healthcare system in the United States that would render it more efficient, less costly, and more consumer focused.
II. Government Involvement in Industries Index
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is seeking proposals to develop a comprehensive metric of government involvement in 96 different industries. While we don’t know the full list of components that would be used to produce such a measure of government involvement in industry, we suggest starting with taxes, subsidies, regulations, tariffs, and quotas.
Mercatus scholar Patrick A. McLaughlin has already developed a measure of federal regulations by industry, so we are looking for proposals to add the other components of this proposed index. The end product would look similar to economic freedom indexes such as Freedom in the 50 States or Economic Freedom of the World Index.
In this case, however, the unit of analysis would be the 96 industries that the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) defines in its three-digit classification set. While we are primarily interested in federal involvement in industry, we would consider proposals that assess state and local government involvement as well.
The Government Involvement in Industries Index would create a tool to communicate how government policies individually and jointly affect industry performance. We expect future researchers to use the tool to study industry outcomes such as, but not limited to, value-added to GDP by industry, employment by industry, firm creation and survival by industry, and innovation.
Furthermore, by examining several, or perhaps all, of the ways in which government(s) intervene in industries, we will be able to get a more complete picture of rent-seeking and government-granted privilege. Ideally, the index will help us understand not just the burdens the government places on industries but also the ways that government can grant privileges. Privileges could manifest in subsidies, taxes, tariffs, quotas, or regulations, but the current literature tends to focus on only one or two of those means of intervention—a shortcoming that this project could overcome. Our hope is that the project will help researchers ask dozens of economic freedom and privilege-related questions. For example, does one intervention beget further interventions? Do firms obtain privileges from government because they “play politics,” or do they play politics because government dispenses privileges?
Regulation data would come from RegData, which currently quantifies federal regulations for 96 different industries. Tax, tariff, quota, and subsidy data would need to be gathered. If other industry breakdowns are considered more tractable than three-digit NAICS codes, suggest them and the reason why different industry breakdowns might work better.
Combining these metrics into one comprehensive index will require careful consideration. There are several ways one might weight the various components. Proposals should consider whether and how to weight taxes, subsidies, quotas, tariffs, and regulation when combining these components into a single, industry-specific index of government involvement.
Proposals should indicate the proposed data sources, methodology, timeline, and resources necessary for completion of the project. It is our hope that, once created, the Index might be updated on a regular basis. Each proposal should:
- indicate specifically how data on taxes, subsidies, quotas, and tariffs would be gathered;
- suggest one or more methods for converting raw data on taxes, subsidies, quotas, and tariffs into a tractable set of unweighted indexes; and
- consider whether and how each component (taxes, subsidies, quotas, tariffs, and regulation) should be weighted when calculating a single, industry-specific index of government involvement in industry.
Each proposal should be accompanied by a description of the author(s), including their curriculum vitae, as well as a timeline for completion including a time set aside for peer review of the project. If the author(s) wish to develop their own website, as opposed to Mercatus development, please include a timeline and a detailed plan for completion.