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Reflections on Allan H. Meltzer’s Contributions to Monetary Economics and Public Policy

17 days ago

Book Description
Allan H. Meltzer (1928–2017), a leading monetary economist of the twentieth century, is memorialized in eleven essays by prominent economists. Among his achievements, Meltzer transformed the field of central banking and dissected the economic disasters of the 1930s and the first decade of the 2000s as well as the recovery from high inflation in the early 1980s.
The first chapters focus on his landmark A History of the Federal Reserve, 1913–1986, explaining that the Fed’s biggest successes are tied to its adherence to classical monetary theory and also examining the monetarist counterrevolution. Next, the book turns to the monetary transmission mechanism and his close work with Karl Brunner on the Brunner-Meltzer Model; it argues that Meltzer’s understanding of monetary

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Gregg Gelzinis on Reforming FSOC and How to Limit Future Financial Crises

25 days ago

David Beckworth: Our guest today is Greg Gelzinis. Greg is a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress. Greg’s work focuses on financial institutions, financial markets, consumer finance policy, and financial regulation more generally. Greg joins us today to discuss these issues. Greg, welcome to the show.
While transcripts are lightly edited, they are not rigorously proofed for accuracy. If you notice an error, please reach out to [email protected]
Greg Gelzinis: Thanks for having me on.
Beckworth: Glad to have you on. You’ve done some interesting work. I had a chance to read some of your papers. I’m looking forward to our discussion today about financial regulation. I think financial regulation is one of these issues that is under most people’s radars. Many people

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Ostrom's Tensions

26 days ago

Elinor C. Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009, with recognition for her path-breaking work on institutions organized to address common-pool resource settings. She and her collaborator and spouse, Vincent Ostrom, contested the scholarship of mainstream political economy, public administration, and public policy in their quest to understand how individuals resolve a variety of social dilemmas. Ostrom’s work challenged the belief that a system of governance based on expert public officials could perform better and should a priori be preferred to a system based on citizens’ self-governance. Like any great and productive scholar, her body of work includes tensions, flaws, and inconsistencies that must be confronted by scholars looking to engage, critique, and advance her distinctive

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The Need for Humility in Policymaking

September 12, 2019

Regulations impact a wide array of market and social activities that influence our daily lives. Regulations are attempts to correct perceived market failures, caused by information asymmetries, externalities, and principal-agent problems, and to provide public goods, which would otherwise be underprovided. Government actors are responsible for identifying these issues, weighing the costs and benefits of intervention, and designing and implementating regulations to improve society.Good regulations help mitigate issues in the economy without inciting new problems and without the costs exceeding the benefits of intervention. This requires intensive analysis and an awareness of the complexities of social life. Our society is complex and dynamic where people face knowledge and incentive

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Bonus Episode: Watch Party for the Fed’s Historic Interest Rate Cut

August 7, 2019

David Beckworth: Hey, Macro Musing listeners. This is a special bonus episode for all you die-hard fans out there. Last week the Federal Reserve made an historic change in policy by cutting interest rates for the first time since December, 2008. The Fed had been raising rates since 2015 so this is a major policy change and is expected by many to be the first of several more interest rate cuts this year. As part of this historic decision, our friends at Employ America organized a Fed watching party the day of the announcement in Washington DC. The party started just before the Federal Open Market Committee, which is the Fed’s decision making body for monetary policy announced its decision and continued through the press conference of Jay Powell.
While transcripts are lightly edited, they

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Bonus Episode: Watch Party for the Fed’s Historic Interest Rate Cut

August 7, 2019

David Beckworth: Hey, Macro Musing listeners. This is a special bonus episode for all you die-hard fans out there. Last week the Federal Reserve made an historic change in policy by cutting interest rates for the first time since December, 2008. The Fed had been raising rates since 2015 so this is a major policy change and is expected by many to be the first of several more interest rate cuts this year. As part of this historic decision, our friends at Employ America organized a Fed watching party the day of the announcement in Washington DC. The party started just before the Federal Open Market Committee, which is the Fed’s decision making body for monetary policy announced its decision and continued through the press conference of Jay Powell.
While transcripts are lightly edited, they

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Conversations with Tyler: Alain Bertaud

July 26, 2019

Conversations with Tyler is coming to New York City!
Join Tyler and special guest Alain Bertaud on September 9th for a live recording of the podcast. Have a drink, meet fellow fans, and hear the conversation Tyler wants to have with Alain Bertaud. Space is limited, so register today.
Doors open an hour before the show at 5pm. Please arrive early to grab a seat and enjoy a drink on us. Note that seating is first come, first served; we cannot guarantee everyone will get a seat. 
To receive notifications about this event, please sign up for the Conversations with Tyler email list here.
With five decades of urban planning expertise in forty cities across the world, Alain Bertaud believes that bridging the gap between economics and urban planning would immensely improve the welfare and

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Saving Social Security

June 19, 2019

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has produced a slideshow on social security reforms. Download the slides here.

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The Future of Work

March 29, 2019

Technological innovation is a driving factor of economic growth, that both disrupts current practices and creates new opportunities. For instance, it changes the structure, nature, and meaning of work in both positive ways (such as productivity gains, the development of remote work, etc.) and in more disruptive ways (such as how automation can lead to job loss, economy-wide shifts in industries and skills, etc.). As a society, we tend to both yearn for and caution against technological change and economists, policymakers, and the general public have an interest in how technology will impact our society.
This two-day conference, in partnership with the Niskanen Center, aims to explore the role of markets, civil society, and government in shaping the future of work and technology. It will

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James M. Buchanan

March 18, 2019

This book explores the academic contribution of James Buchanan, who received the Nobel Prize for economics in 1986. Buchanan’s receipt of the Prize is noteworthy because he was a maverick within the economics profession. In contrast to the preponderance of economists, Buchanan made little use of mathematics and no use of econometrics, preferring to used logic and language to insert his ideas into the scholarly community. Moreover, his ideas extended the domain of economic inquiry along many paths that numerous economists subsequently pursued. Buchanan’s scholarship brought economics and political science together under the rubric of public choice. He was also a prime figure in bringing economic theory into closer contact with moral and social philosophy. This volume includes essays

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James M. Buchanan

March 15, 2019

This book explores the academic contribution of James Buchanan, who received the Nobel Prize for economics in 1986. Buchanan’s receipt of the Prize is noteworthy because he was a maverick within the economics profession. In contrast to the preponderance of economists, Buchanan made little use of mathematics and no use of econometrics, preferring to used logic and language to insert his ideas into the scholarly community. Moreover, his ideas extended the domain of economic inquiry along many paths that numerous economists subsequently pursued. Buchanan’s scholarship brought economics and political science together under the rubric of public choice. He was also was a prime figure in bringing economic theory into closer contact with moral and social philosophy.This volume includes essays

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When More Competition Does More Good Than Harm in Medical Care and Insurance Markets

February 19, 2019

How to Improve the US Healthcare System: More Government or More Market?
Most Americans agree that their country’s system of healthcare should be better, more convenient, and less expensive. But they disagree about how to fix it. Should policymakers try more government intervention through regulation and higher taxes? Or should they move toward more reliance on market competition among hospitals, physicians, insurers, and drug companies to attract consumers? Mark V. Pauly addresses these issues in “Giving Competition in Medical Care and Health Insurance a Chance.”
The Power and Limits of Competition

Modest gains can come from modest changes. Federal and state governments could take immediate steps toward more competition in settings that currently are strongly prevented from being

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The Market Process

January 8, 2019

Read the preface to the Mercatus Center edition by Peter J. Boettke and David L. Prychitko.
The Market Process presents a series of important and innovative articles written by economists of the Austrian school. Covering the gamut of economic issues, including equilibrium theory, free banking, public choice, and the problems of contemporary social reform, the book is an ideal introduction to the diversity of contemporary Austrian economics and its innovative trajectory of research in the late 20th century.
Drawing upon essays published in the journal Market Process during the 1980s, this book reflects an extended dialogue over the value and limitations of Austrian economics. It makes available to a wider audience contributions by some of the leading figures in the field. At the cutting

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Tensions in Political Economy

October 25, 2018

About the Series
The Tensions in Political Economy series consists of edited volumes of original essays that explore the research programs of key scholars in the tradition of mainline economics. These volumes delve into the tensions in a scholar’s work, including real and apparent gaps, short-comings, and inconsistencies, in order to highlight and encourage contemporary research aimed at providing novel solutions to these tensions and bridging the gap between theory and practice. Through this series, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University aims to further mainline economics by ensuring that these critical examinations of the writings of key figures are made available to students and scholars.
Books in this Series
BUCHANAN’S TENSIONS: REEXAMINING THE POLITICAL ECONOMY AND PHILOSOPHY

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Reflecting on the Work of Bruce Yandle

October 23, 2018

The Hayek Program Podcast includes audio from lectures, interviews, and discussions of scholars and visitors from the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Subscribe to the Hayek Program Podcast
Soundcloud | iTunes | Stitcher | Google Play

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Festschrift: Reflecting on the Work of Bruce Yandle

October 23, 2018

The Hayek Program Podcast includes audio from lectures, interviews, and discussions of scholars and visitors from the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Subscribe to the Hayek Program Podcast
Soundcloud | iTunes | Stitcher | Google Play

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Buchanan's Tensions

October 22, 2018

James M. Buchanan, Nobel Laureate in Economics and one of the premier political economists of the 20th century, was at the heart of the emergence of public choice theory and the reintroduction of politics to academic economic analysis. Like any great and productive scholar, his body of work includes tensions, flaws, and inconsistencies that must be confronted by scholars looking to engage, critique, and advance his distinctive project in political economy.
Buchanan’s work is important but also open for contestation and improvement. Buchanan’s Tensions: Reexamining the Political Economy and Philosophy of James M. Buchanan presents a critical assessment of Buchanan’s research and ideas. The contributions to this edited volume, which include original chapters by several of Buchanan’s

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Anarchy, State and Public Choice

June 8, 2018

Read the foreword to the Mercatus Center edition by Peter J. Boettke and Rosolino Candela.
Although most people believe that some form of government is necessary, the necessity of government was an assumption in political economy that had never been analyzed from an economic point of view. This changed in the 1970s when economists at the Center for the Study of Public Choice engaged in a systematic exploration of the issue. Anarchy, State and Public Choice, the first book-length treatment on the public choice theory of government, continues and extends the research program begun more than three decades ago. It reprints the main articles from the 1972 volume Explorations in the Theory of Anarchy, and it contains a response to each chapter by a new generation of economists, as well as new

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A Wakeup Call for Today’s Modern Workforce

May 15, 2018

Despite low unemployment numbers, the US faces low labor force participation rates. There are millions of Americans who do not have a job but are not counted as unemployed since they are no longer looking for work. Who are these people, why are they not working, and how can policymakers help?

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Inclusive Regulatory Reform: Solutions for the Poor and Entrepreneurs

May 2, 2018

Academics have documented that many well-intentioned, but ill-informed, regulations disproportionately harm these groups. Unfortunately, finding and implementing solutions has proven difficult.
The event will include a keynote address and two discussion panels that consider:
The Problem. Scholars doing in-depth economic analysis will present their research on the economic barriers that regulation can create for the poor, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.
The Solution. Government representatives from the state, federal, and Canadian government will discuss current efforts to reduce regulatory burdens and prevent economic harm.
Agenda
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  |  Check-In & Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.  |  Welcome Remarks
Eileen Norcross, Vice President of Policy Research, Mercatus

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Inclusive Regulatory Reform: Solutions for the Poor and Entrepreneurs

May 2, 2018

Academics have documented that many well-intentioned, but ill-informed, regulations disproportionately harm these groups. Unfortunately, finding and implementing solutions has proven difficult.
The event will include a keynote address and two discussion panels that consider:
The Problem. Scholars doing in-depth economic analysis will present their research on the economic barriers that regulation can create for the poor, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.
The Solution. Government representatives from the state, federal, and Canadian government will discuss current efforts to reduce regulatory burdens and prevent economic harm.
Agenda
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  |  Check-In & Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.  |  Welcome Remarks
Eileen Norcross, Vice President of Policy Research, Mercatus

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Smart Financial Regulation Roundtable: Implications of Cryptocurrencies

March 7, 2018

The Institute for Financial Markets and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University are co-hosting an educational event on the financial regulation of cryptocurrencies. Join us for this timely conversation on the regulation of crypto-assets within the securities and futures markets.
Learn as leading experts discuss the current state of play in cryptocurrency. How it is being used and what problems can it potentially solve? How are cryptocurrencies currently regulated and does that regulation make sense? Hear from scholars, regulators, and industry experts as they debate whether digital assets pose unique risks and how regulators should adapt to the new technology.
This meaningful study will discuss what structural, procedural, or substantive regulatory changes might need to be addressed

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Pathway to Economic Growth Series: Avoiding Policies that Undercut Economic Gains with Uncertainty

March 1, 2018

Scholars at the Mercatus Center are continuously researching policies that promote economic growth. That research touches on the best ways to develop the necessary talent for growth, create an environment that encourages innovation, and the importance of continuing policies that work. This final entry in the series highlights how risks posed by uncertainty undercut economic gains. Policy Areas that Undercut Economic Growth:
Unsustainable Spending: Charts by Veronique de Rugy put the federal funding gap in perspective and explain how rising per capita spending and ever greater entitlement spending make the federal debt an impediment to growth.    
Suspending the Debt Limit: De Rugy calls for fiscal responsibility instead of unlimited federal spending on credit. View this short video for a

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Pathway to Economic Growth Series: Continuing Policies that Promote Growth

February 23, 2018

In past weeks, we’ve shared research from Mercatus Center scholars identifying policies that promote economic growth, including developing the talent that promotes economic growth and creating an environment that encourages innovation. This week’s research highlights ways to measure success so policymakers can determine which policies have been effective.
Improve Tax Policy: Jason Fichtner, Scott Drenkard, and Andrew Schaufele sit down to discuss the effect of federal tax reform on states, including opportunities to lower rates and broaden the tax base. Veronique de Rugy examines whether or not tax reform is already working, identifying the real ways we should measure its success.
Reduce Burdensome Regulations: Patrick McLaughlin finds that newly issued regulations during the Trump

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Pathway to Economic Growth Series: Fostering Innovation

February 16, 2018

In last week’s “Pathway to Economic Growth,” we shared recent research by Mercatus Center scholars that explores how our nation can develop the talent that drives economic growth. Innovation is another vital element in economic growth. This week, Mercatus Center scholars offer recommendations on how to create a policy environment that encourages innovation. The Big Picture
Capitalize on the profoundly positive correlation between innovation and human prosperity: Adam Thierer describes the importance of creating a policy environment where moonshots are possible.
Understand the economic impact of regulations: Research by Patrick McLaughlin and Oliver Sherouse shows how states experience different economic effects from federal regulation based on their unique mix of private-sector

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Smart Financial Regulation Roundtable – Regulating Derivatives Markets

November 17, 2017

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University and the Institute for Financial Markets (IFM) co-hosted a conference on smart financial regulation — with a particular emphasis on derivatives.
Derivatives markets have a rich history of helping important sectors of the economy manage their risks. For these markets to continue to grow and innovate in response to market participant needs, the regulatory framework must be flexible and dynamic, so it can support an efficient and orderly market environment.
The ongoing debate over financial regulation in a Dodd-Frank Act world offered a timely opportunity for a nonpartisan roundtable that informs and fosters dialogue on appropriate and practical regulation.
This event brought together market participants, regulators, policymakers, and scholars to

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Modernizing US Telecom Law: Lessons from Denmark

October 17, 2017

Globally, the telecommunications, media, and Internet industries are converging and rapidly changing. These dynamics have strained legacy regulations and regulatory agencies like the Federal Communications Commission, which was created in the midst of the Great Depression in 1934. Most countries have eliminated state-owned media and phone companies and some, like Denmark, South Korea, and Japan, have dismantled or diminished the role of their national telecommunications agencies in recent years.Amidst calls to modernize the FCC and the Communications Act, American regulators and lawmakers are looking around the world for successful models. Please join the Mercatus Center at George Mason University for a discussion with policy experts and regulators about the future of US communications law

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Hayek’s neo-Roman liberalism

August 30, 2017

This article argues that Hayek employed a neo-Roman concept of liberty. It will show that Hayek’s definition of liberty conforms to that provided by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner, respectively the chief theorist and leading historian of the neo-Roman concept. It will go on to demonstrate how the genealogy of liberty Hayek provides is also the same as that offered by Pettit and Skinner. This is important, as the neo-Roman concept is not regarded, either by Hayek or by neo-republicans led by Pettit, as a product of political theory. Instead it is viewed as underpinning a historical tradition. Hayek’s self-conscious association with this tradition reinforces the article’s prior claim that Hayek’s conceptual writing on liberty is neo-Roman. Finally, the article considers how the neo-Roman

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