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Vedder and Gallaway (1991) develop and test a unique theory about the interactions between the levels of spending captured by rent-seeking interest groups. They hypothesize that initially rent seekers cooperate in ways that expand government spending and rents. At some point, however, groups can...
Saving traditional small ‘mom and pop’ businesses has been a justification for political and court decisions preventing Wal-Mart from opening new stores virtually everywhere across the United States. We present the first rigorous econometric investigation of how Wal-Mart actually impacts the...
This paper examines the impact of economic freedom on income inequality using cross-sectional data for U.S. states. While previous research has explored this relationship internationally, the results have been conflicting. In addition, while it seems obvious that the large institutional...
Is capitalism contagious? Since WWI, global foreign policy has treated economic freedom/repression like a virus that spreads between countries. Most recently, the ?domino theory? of freedom has played prominently in U.S. foreign policy toward Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean during the...
Could bad weather be responsible for U.S. corruption? This paper argues that natural disasters create resource windfalls in the states they strike by triggering federally-provided natural disaster relief. Consistent with the theory that natural resource and foreign aid windfalls increase public...
To successfully coordinate natural disaster relief, society must solve Hayek’s “knowledge, problem” at three critical information nodes: (1) identification of disaster; (2) determination of what relief is needed and who needs which relief resources; and (3) evaluation of on-going relief...
We hypothesize the failure of government to protect the rights of individuals from violence committed by youths has led to the formation of youth gangs as protective agencies. Our theory predicts an opposite direction of causality between gang activity and violent crime than is widely accepted....
Previous literature stresses the importance of free media for economic development. By its nature TV, radio, and newspapers cross borders, allowing citizens to easily sample media from neighboring countries. This creates pressure for domestic reform and spreads media freedom between countries....
Entrepreneurship is the main engine of economic growth and prosperity. Previous research has explored both the factors that make individuals more likely to be entrepreneurs and the economic policies that foster entrepreneurial activity. In this paper we explore, for the first time, the...
It is well established that geographic areas benefit, in terms of the share of government spending they capture, from having a legislator with higher tenure, holding constant the tenure of other legislators. However, the implications of this literature for how the total production of legislation...