Regulation

Regulation

Research

Robert Krol | May 05, 2016
Economist Robert Krol examines the problem of highway congestion, looking at how congestion pricing has been successful in the past and why it could be an attractive option in the future. There is mixed evidence about whether congestion pricing is regressive, but governments implementing congestion pricing could use several policy solutions to help reduce inequity. These include reducing other regressive taxes such as the gasoline tax and giving commuters the option to choose between toll lanes and toll-free lanes.
Marc Joffe, Jesse Martinez | Apr 12, 2016
Puerto Rico is facing a severe fiscal crisis, and new crises will be almost inevitable in the absence of major institutional changes in the commonwealth. History has bequeathed the island inefficient state-run enterprises and a government unable to balance its budget, but Puerto Rico could have a bright future if it undertakes the right reforms.
John A. Dove, Daniel J. Smith | Mar 22, 2016
Alabama currently lags behind its regional neighbors and the nation in economic growth and performance. This study undertakes a comprehensive analysis of Alabama's current fiscal situation as well as the reforms necessary to put Alabama on the road to economic prosperity.
Thomas Stratmann, Christopher Koopman | Feb 18, 2016
We examine the effect of entry regulation on ambulatory surgical centers and community hospitals and find that there are both more rural hospitals and more rural ambulatory surgical centers per capita in states without a certificate-of-need program regulating the opening of an ambulatory surgical center. This finding indicates that certificate-of-need laws may not be protecting access to rural health care, but are instead correlated with decreases in rural access.
Edward J. Timmons | Jan 26, 2016
Increasing licensing requirements for healthcare professionals is often promoted as a measure to improve the quality of care, but its main effect may be to raise costs for patients.
Sanford Ikeda, Emily Hamilton | Nov 04, 2015
A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University reviews the empirical literature on the effects of land-use regulations. The study finds that these regulations reduce the sup- ply of housing relative to what it would likely be in a free market and ultimately increase housing costs for consumers. Because lower-income households spend on average a larger percentage of their income on housing than higher-income households, the costs of these regulations disproportionately burden low-income households. Restraining the growth of land-use restrictions and rolling them back would benefit not only low- and middle-income households, but also overall economic growth.

Testimony & Comments

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Expert Commentary

Aug 23, 2016

While the federal mandate was repealed, the laws had already been passed in nearly every state. And bad policy, especially one that creates the types of winners and losers that CON programs do, can be difficult to undo.
Aug 15, 2016

City officials and residents around the country are concerned about the affordability of housing in their city.
Aug 15, 2016

Unfortunately, policymakers rarely use tools like risk tradeoff analysis, and they generally don't consider risk tradeoffs that happened in the past. Instead, they tend to focus only on the risk directly in front of them, ignoring other rising (and also falling) risks that occur in tandem.
Aug 05, 2016

Despite the struggles of some states there are reasons to be optimistic about the U.S. labor market in the long run. The gig economy—uber, Lyft, Air BnB and similar businesses—has enabled people to put idle resources to use, creating millions of earning opportunities that didn’t exist five years ago. We need additional technological advances to drive economic growth and create opportunities for America’s workers.
Jun 24, 2016

Disregarding the role of state and local governments will leave much of the problem unchanged. Only when Washington takes fundamental reform at a state-level seriously will everyone have a genuine chance to go out and succeed in the manner that Ryan has suggested.
Jun 22, 2016

As the White House blog says, “America’s capacity for creativity and invention is a major reason why our economy is the strongest and most durable in the world.” This is an accurate statement, but America’s economic success isn’t due to top-down investment in politically favored industries and firms. Instead, America’s ability to innovate is driven by risk-taking entrepreneurs who use their talent and ideas to provide us with new things that improve our lives.

Charts

Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia prohibit entry or expansion of healthcare facilities through “certificate-of-need” (CON) programs. These laws, which require government permission before a facility can expand, offer a new service, or purchase certain pieces of equipment, were enacted in the belief that restricting entry would lower health care costs and increase availability of these services to the poor.

Experts

Podcasts

Matthew Mitchell, | July 10, 2014
In this 20 minute podcast, Senior Research Fellow Matthew Mitchell and Associate Director of State Relations Michael Leland discuss taxi regulations that create barriers to entry for ridesharing applications and keep innovators from competing to create the best services available to consumers. Matt discusses red tape holding back taxi companies and how state regulators can move forward in a way that encourages innovation and is fair to existing firms.

Recent Events

Books

William Ruger, Jason Sorens | Mar 28, 2013
Now in its third edition, Freedom in the 50 States presents a completely revised and updated ranking of the American states based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.

Media Clippings

Matthew Mitchell | Jul 28, 2013
The Governor’s Opportunity Fund — just one of numerous economic-incentive programs operated by the state — is something like a slush fund the governor can use to “secure a business location or expansion project.”…
Eileen Norcross, Matthew Mitchell, | Jul 23, 2013
Detroit reports an unfunded pension liability of $634 million, but using more accurate accounting methods it's closer to $3.5 billion.
Matthew Mitchell | Jul 15, 2013
The scandal threatening McDonnell’s career is the likely outcome when people believe the governor’s job description entails promoting businesses, said Matthew Mitchell, a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Fairfax.
Matthew Mitchell | Jul 11, 2013
[A]s my research has emphasized, privileges lead to a host of economic problems because they undermine competition, encourage wasteful privilege-seeking, and put politicians rather than consumers in charge of allocating capital and resources.
Matthew Mitchell | Jun 17, 2013
"It [an incentive program geared toward a specific company] tends to undermine competition and lead to monopolistic behavior, so that means higher prices for consumers, potentially higher profits for producers,"
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