Social Science Scholar: Lex Legal Fellowship 2019 in Madrid, Spain

This past summer, I worked on two different projects through Social Science Scholars. During the initial part of the summer, I worked on my Honors Thesis and IDEA grant research project in the region of Catalonia focused on the region’s declaration of independence. On the latter half of the summer, I became a Lex fellow…

Are Gun Owners Cowards?

Many Americans are under the impression that gun owners are overcome by fear. This idea is everywhere, in news articles and editorials, scientific research, social media, blockbuster films, and other forms of popular culture.

Proportional Voting for the House of Representatives?

Proportional voting would also encourage the formation of additional parties. Under the current system, a party that gets 20% of the votes gets nothing. Under proportional voting, a party that gets 20% of the votes gets 20% of the seats. No longer would people think that if they voted for minor parties, they would be wasting their votes.

Candidate Entry and Political Polarization

In particular, relative to independent candidates, political parties are even more polarized but yield more efficient elections since the majority party is more likely to win due to vote coordination of its supporters.

Lessons From Amazon’s Decision To Cancel New York City Headquarters

It’s easy for politicians to demonize rich corporate executives and demand they fund solutions. Most of us aren’t rich and thus won’t have to chip in, making for an easy sell. But a lack of money is often not the biggest problem, and solutions that ask more people to contribute force public officials to maintain some fiscal discipline.

Is Infrastructure the Silver Bullet to Rural Poverty?

We have three key findings: (1) nationally, the construction of the ADHS increased income by 0.4 percent (2) about half of the benefits occur in counties outside of the ARC (3) despite these modest gains, they are not large enough to break the cycle of poverty in Appalachia. Had the ADHS not been built, incomes in Appalachia would be lower than they are today. However, the region is still in decline, so at best the construction of the ADHS only softened the fall.

New Book: Political Capitalism By Dr. Randall Holcombe

Frequent demands that the government should do something (about so many things!) are too often based on wishful thinking—the thought that if government is given the power to act, it will do what the critics want. But giving the government power to do something too often means giving the elite more power to use the system for their benefit. I don’t claim that my book has all the answers; but problems cannot be effectively addressed without understanding their causes. My book explains why cronyism and favoritism toward special interests has become increasingly common.