The Measurement and Importance of Economic Freedom

Since the initial publication of the Economic Freedom of the World report in 1996, numerous scholarly studies have used the data to examine the impact of economic freedom on investment, economic growth, income levels, and poverty rates. Virtually without exception, these studies have found that countries with institutions and policies more consistent with economic freedom have higher investment rates, more rapid economic growth, higher income levels, and a more rapid reduction in poverty rates.

Credible Leadership: Insights from Experimental Economics

We are certainly not the first to show that managers must keep their workers happy, but this is often discussed as a compromise or deviation from what is best for the organization. We show that such behavior is in fact directly in line with an organization’s best interest in a large number of cases. It is rational to prioritize a leader’s social credibility, and such abilities deserve equal recognition in evaluating a manager’s effectiveness. A government leader’s knowledge of economic conditions will prove meaningless if they cannot convince independent firms to invest locally. Similarly, an executive’s analytical brilliance or creative insight into consumer markets may not lead to business success unless they are able to maintain followership among employees in many areas of their firm.

Entrepreneurship Programs Can Help Ex-offenders Stay out of Prison

This piece first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. Struggling to re-enter society with nothing but lost time and the additional burden of a criminal record, ex-offenders have a 76.6% chance of being rearrested within five years. This is dramatic evidence of the failure of the so-called “punishment” or “retributive” approach to criminal justice, which promises…

Are E-Scooter Services Good for Cities?

In short, we don’t have enough information to make a judgement on whether e-scooters make a net positive contribution to the Tallahassee community (or other similar places). Hopefully, the city of Tallahassee can use their current pilot program to carefully evaluate the safety and management issues and develop an understanding of who is using the scooter services and whether it is leading to a reduction in auto use.

BetterWorldBooks Promotes Literacy Through Enterprise

etterWordBooks is an example of a growing trend within the US and across the globe to define their businesses in terms of improving the welfare and prospects for marginalized people and communities. Using a sustainable business model where profits also serve their social mission, children, families, and the planet benefit.

3 ways China benefits from the Hong Kong protests

This piece first appeared on The Conversation. The summer of 2019 has seen week after week of protest in Hong Kong. The protests began June 9 when as many as a million people marched against a bill that could allow suspects to be extradited to China. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, who was appointed by Chinese Premier…

Inequality: Capitalism’s Biggest Challenge

This piece first appeared on the Independent Institute blog. One of the most frequent shortcomings of capitalism cited by capitalism’s critics is inequality. People at the top of the economic ladder have so much more than those at the bottom. Inequality is capitalism’s biggest challenge because there is so much popular support for public policies…

The Facebook Settlement: Is This Justice?

This piece first appeared on the Independent Institute blog. The Federal Trade Commission has agreed to a $5 billion settlement with Facebook as a penalty for the social media giant’s unauthorized sharing of user data with consulting form Cambridge Analytica in 2017. Presumably, the settlement is warranted because of the harm done to users when Facebook shared…

Yesterday, the Beatles, and the Value of Earned Success

This piece first appeared on The Beacon The movie Yesterday is a tribute to the enduring legacy of popular music and its ability to bring joy to the human heart. Indeed, the movie succeeds as entertaining summer diversion. But it succeeds on another level as well by exploring the meaning and the dignity of work.  The movie…

Occupational Licensing Reform Could Help Keep Ex-Offenders Out of Prison

This piece originally appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. The criminal justice system in the United States is often described as a revolving door –– with good cause. According to a report from the Florida Department of Corrections, more than 60 percent of prisoners released in Florida are re-arrested within three years of release. The offenses with…