Regulation

Regulation

Research

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.
Robert Krol | Jun 24, 2015
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, economist Robert Krol demonstrates that governments are more likely to set up barriers to new technology when the performance advantage of the new technology is small or incremental and lobbying costs are low. Incumbent businesses threatened by a new technology may use the government to block businesses using the new technology from entering the market. Ultimately, government protection of incumbent businesses reduces consumer well-being.
James Bailey, Douglas Webber | Jun 17, 2015
By 2010, the average US state had passed 37 health insurance benefit mandates (laws requiring health insurance plans to cover certain additional services). Previous work has shown that these mandates likely increase health insurance premiums, which in turn could make it more costly for firms to compensate employees. Using 1996–2010 data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages and a novel instrumental variables strategy, we show that there is limited evidence that mandates reduce employment. However, we find that mandates lead to a distortion in firm size, benefiting larger firms that are able to self-insure and thus exempt themselves from these state-level health insurance regulations. This distortion in firm size away from small businesses may lead to substantial decreases in productivity and economic growth.
Edward J. Timmons , Anna Mills | Feb 17, 2015
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.

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Expert Commentary

Apr 28, 2016

The commonwealth of Kentucky is famous for many great things: fried chicken, a major horse race and baseball equipment, to name a few. Unfortunately for the citizens of the Bluegrass State, it is also the only state that does not allow physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances.
Apr 27, 2016

This month, Detroit’s operating agreements with Uber and Lyft will end, placing ride-sharing in the Motor City in legal limbo. Over the last two years, 32 states have passed ride-sharing laws and another 15 are currently considering legislation, including Michigan.
Apr 13, 2016

The usual policies of tax expenditures, subsidies and other government handouts to businesses are generally ineffective at spurring economic growth, so states have little to lose by foregoing such strategies and focusing on simplicity and stability when it comes to economic policy.
Mar 03, 2016

Labor unions themselves are not the problem, and workers have a right to voluntarily organize. But this right doesn’t extend to forcing others to contribute to negotiations that may make them worse off.
Feb 17, 2015

Our study is just a glimpse of the inefficiency and hardship generated by unnecessary occupational licensing laws. Countless low income workers are being forced to jump through arbitrary hoops to obtain employment with very little observable benefit accruing to consumers.
Jun 16, 2014

Consider the “Red Flag Laws” of the late 19th century, which required early automobiles traveling on roads to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag in order to warn others on horses of the vehicle’s approach.

Charts

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.

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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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