The Cato Journal

The Cato Journal is a leading free-market public policy journal. The Cato Journal features articles discussing politics and the economy of interest to scholars and professionals but accessible to a general audience as well.

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 2, Spring-Summer

Dollarization: The Case of Zimbabwe
This article investigates the recent monetary experience of Zimbabwe with dollarization. It shows how dollarization has allowed Zimbabwe to quash hyperinflation, restore stability, increase budgetary discipline, and reestablish monetary credibility....
Economic Freedom and Happiness
That liberty is necessary for greater happiness and a better life is a notion deeply rooted in the American sensibility. But is there a link between greater freedom and greater happiness across countries? In this article we explore this question by...
Gustav Cassel: In Defense of Private Property Rights
In their book on property rights, Terry Anderson and Fred McChesney (2003: 13) make the following statement: The idea that property rights might themselves be a distinct and explicit area of economic inquiry is relatively recent. In classical...
Markets, Tort Law, and Regulation to Achieve Safety
Markets, tort law, and regulation are alternative methods of achieving safety. Of these, the market is the most powerful, but it is often ignored in policy discussions. I show that both for the United States over time and for the world as a whole,...
Property Rights and Environmental Quality: A Cross-Country Study
Public policy often regards pollution and other measures of poor environmental quality as public bads that result from market failure and require government intervention through regulatory policies and more stringent environmental standards. In this...
Suckers, Punters, Pathbreakers: When Homo Oeconomicus Is Selflessly Selfish
Rational choice presupposes that people do what they like better than any available alternative, If, however, we mistrust what they declare to like or what psychology is supposed to tell us about it (a pardonable enough mistrust), we can only infer...
The Diversity of Debt Crises in Europe
The foreign debts of the European countries are at the core of the current crises. Generally, the crises are attributed to government budget deficits in excess of the values stated in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), as part of the Maastricht treaty....
The Impact of Ohio's EdChoice on Traditional Public School Performance
Over the course of the last 35 years, traditional public school student achievement in the United States has been stagnant, despite myriad reform efforts and a doubling in total expenditures on K-12 education (Ravitch 2000, Hanushek 1986, Greene 2005)....
The Virtues of Free Markets
Free markets have many virtues. Arguably, the most recognized is the expansion of individual choice--and thus freedom--through mutually beneficial exchange (see Bauer's definition of economic development in Dorn 2002: 356). This proposition is at the...
Why Do Federal Funds Trade at the FOMC'S Target Rate?
The role of inflation expectations on the part of economic agents is being increasingly recognized and incorporated into frameworks for the setting of monetary policy (for example, Piger and Rasehe 2008, Hetzel 2008). In this article, I describe how...
Why Some Cities Are Growing and Others Shrinking
Over the last three decades, large cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toledo have seen their populations shrink, while areas like Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, and Phoenix have seen their populations grow rapidly. Examining...