Some of COSSPP Faculty’s Favorite Academic Books

Each year FSU’s newly tenured faculty are asked to hand-pick an item for the Libraries in a subject area of their choosing. The faculty’s picks are purchased and inscribed with the faculty member’s name, department, and the year. Faculty are asked to write a brief paragraph explaining why the book they selected is meaningful to…

COSSPP Faculty Impact on Scholarship: Influence at a Glance

As the spring semester comes to an end, we want to take a moment to celebrate the accomplishments and influence of faculty in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. This series of graphs produced by Dr. Jim Elsner offers a glimpse of the amazing work taking place in the College of Social Science…

Why Is Unemployment Rising?

This piece originally appeared on The Independent Institute blog. The obvious answer to the question in my title–that unemployment is rising because of the COVID-19 pandemic–is not quite correct. The virus is not causing unemployment to rise. The government’s response to the virus is causing unemployment to rise. I won’t offer an opinion on whether…

Aging Today: Can We Count on Having Social Security in the Future?

This piece originally aired during WFSU’s Aging Today segment. Social Security has been very successful in reducing poverty among older Americans. But the increasing number of recipients raises the specter that the system cannot be sustained. Economists estimate that without changing in financing, the average benefit will decrease 20% by 2030. Surveys report that at…

Social Science Scholar: Florida Housing Coalition

I am truly grateful for the opportunities that the College’s Social Science Scholars Program has been able to provide me with. The Social Science Scholars Program gave me a supportive network of students, both in my own class and from past cohorts, who I could talk to on a range of issues from involvement on campus to pursuing an undergraduate honors thesis. Not only has this program provided me with the opportunity to further myself both personally and professionally through gaining real world experience in data analytics, but without the Social Science Scholars program, I would certainly not have found myself in an internship that allowed me to apply concepts I learned in the classroom at Florida State to a meaningful cause where I could help further affordable housing advocacy in my community.

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.

Survey Research and the Politics of Old Age Welfare

A recent paper appearing in Theory in Action, co-authored by William R. Earnest and FSU Sociology Professor Irene Padavic and supported by FSU’s Pepper Center on Aging, tackles a flawed proposal from Robert Binstock about minimizing intergeneration conflict over elderly benefits and uses it to analyze how assumptions grounded in interest group liberalism inform current…

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…