MERCATUS CENTER AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

MERCATUS CENTER AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

Arlington, VA

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ABOUT

The mission of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is to advance knowledge about how markets work to improve our lives by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying sound economics to offer solutions to society's most pressing problems.

IN THE NEWS

FEECON BRINGS CHAMPIONS OF FREEDOM TOGETHER FOR FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Nobody brings the ideas of freedom and sound economics to life quite like the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), through its decades of publications and in-person seminars, and today through its engaging website content. Now FEE is holding its first annual conference, FEEcon, featuring more than 70 sessions and 10 distinct...

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CREATING STATE BUDGET SOLUTIONS FOR PENNSYLVANIA

Rather than raise taxes to cover budget shortfalls, the Pennsylvania state government has indicated that it plans to streamline government programs and cut wasteful spending. The Commonwealth Foundation, an Atlas Network partner based in Harrisburg, is stepping up to the challenge of presenting the government with prudent and pr...

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COSTS EXCEED $1 TRILLION ANNUALLY FOR U.S. FEDERAL TAX COMPLIANCE

Federal tax regulations in the United States are incomprehensibly complex, with the Internal Revenue Code now reaching 74,608 pages that contain 2.4 million words, as well as an additional 7.7 million words of regulatory clarification from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The annual cost of compliance has reached more than $1...

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APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR 2016 BASTIAT PRIZE FOR JOURNALISM

The ideas of liberty can only have an impact on the world if they are communicated to others effectively, and the most compelling examples of such communication are worthy of recognition and reward. As such, journalists, bloggers and other writers are hereby invited to enter their work in the 2016 Bastiat Prize for Journalism, p...

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NEW ZEALAND HERITAGE BUILDING REGULATIONS PLACE PUBLIC AT RISK

There is artistic and cultural value in maintaining historically significant buildings, but preservation efforts can also lead to public safety risks. Earthquakes threaten the older foundations and facades of heritage-designated buildings in New Zealand, explains “Deadly Heritage,” a recent joint report of Deloitte New Zealand a...

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IEA ‘THINK CONFERENCE’ FOCUSES ON WORLD’S ECONOMIC PROBLEMS

The world is filled with problems, but few people recognize how markets have dramatically improved quality of life throughout the world in recent decades. Advocates of free markets are often drowned out by mistaken cries for protectionism, so the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) established its Think Conference l...

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OIL PRICE VOLATILITY THREATENS FISCAL HEALTH OF TOP-PERFORMING STATES

Global crude oil prices finally started to creep back up in June in response to both political disruptions to oil production and growing demand. This trend — a reversal of what we’ve seen since 2014 — may be a good sign for producers, but it also introduces volatility into the market. This not only poses a threat to producers as...

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ALASKA, NEBRASKA, WYOMING TOP MERCATUS LIST OF STATE FISCAL HEALTH

At nearly $20 trillion and counting the U.S. national debt grows still larger every day, as federal officials borrow money hand over fist to finance uncontrolled spending. It’s easy to overlook state-level finances in comparison, but the fiscal health of states makes a tremendous difference in whether individuals and families th...

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PUERTO RICO’S FISCAL CRISIS HAS BEEN SLOWLY BUILDING FOR DECADES

Government planning and management of the economy can have disastrous consequences that last for generations. Puerto Rico today faces a fiscal crisis that traces its origins to profligate public corporations set up during the 1940s, in the style of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, explain a set of recent publications...

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LEARN LIBERTY VIDEO SERIES CELEBRATES FIFTH ANNIVERSARY

The ideas of liberty can seem simple at first glance, but complex arguments undergird the value of individual freedom, property rights, and free markets. Five years ago, the Institute for Humane Studies launched a new program, Learn Liberty, devoted to making those arguments accessible and understandable for the online media of...

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FREEST CITIES INDEX EMPOWERS UTAH RESIDENTS WITH COMPARATIVE RANKINGS

The freedom to relocate and “vote with one’s feet” can sometimes spur local governments to compete with favorable policies — but this effect only works well when people can make informed decisions about which cities are actually better or worse in relevant categories. The Libertas Institute, an Atlas Network partner in Utah, is...

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REMEMBERING RENOWNED ECONOMIST DOUGLASS NORTH

The institutions, rules, and norms of civil society serve as the foundation for free markets, and perhaps more than any other economist, the research of Nobel laureate economist and historian Douglass North emphasized the role of these institutions in fostering widespread human flourishing. North, who long served as a member of...

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SLASHING REGULATORY RED TAPE IN CANADA

Canada has become a model for how to slash red tape and reform policy, fostering new economic freedom and growth, argues Atlas Network partner the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. In a new study, “Cutting Red Tape in Canada: A Regulatory Reform Model for the United States?,” the organization highlights a law passed th...

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RANKING U.S. STATES BY FISCAL CONDITION

Most U.S. state governments are nearly back to fiscal normalcy following the Great Recession of 2007–09, but there still exist troubling signs that states are ignoring the risks in unfunded programs, according to a new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. States that appear to be fiscally robust must take s...

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MERCATUS: LOW COSTS FOR TRANSITION TO FISCALLY SOUND PUBLIC PENSIONS

Most state and local public pensions are chronically underfunded, and use accounting standards that understate their true actuarial risk. Long-term financial solvency requires fundamental public pension reform, but government employees don’t want to see their benefits scaled back so changes to the system are a sticky subject for...

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RANKING KNOWN STATE SUBSIDIES TO PRIVATE BUSINESSES

While corporate welfare, whether in the form of subsidies or bailouts, is more often associated with the federal government, state governments also regularly use generous, targeted subsidy packages to entice corporations to locate within their borders. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University use data from the Subsidy Trac...

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TIME-LAPSE VIDEO CAPTURES GROWTH OF U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS

Patrick McLaughlin and Robert Greene, researchers for Atlas Network partner Mercatus Center, published a paper on the unintended consequences of accumulating regulations in the U.S. earlier this year. As of mid-2013 there were 235 volumes of U.S. Federal government regulation; that's 18 times the regulation the U.S. had in 1950....

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