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. 21, No. 3, Winter

A Retrospective on the Mexican Bailout
According to the conventional view, the International Monetary Fund's bailout of Mexico in 1995 was a success because it restored confidence in the collapsing peso, led to a quick economic recovery, and possibly stemmed the outbreak of a global...
Between Colbert and Adam Smith
Some writers tell us that they do not really write their novels. Instead, they create characters, dramatis personae, and then sit back and watch. They let the characters meet, interact, like and dislike, love and hate each other, and pretty well...
China's Urban Pension System: Reforms and Problems
Since the beginning of the Chinese economic reform in the early 1980s, China's urban pension system has undergone a series of reforms. The pre-reform system existed only in the state and urban collective sectors and was a pure PAYGO system within...
Creating a Futures Market for Major Event Tickets: Problems and Prospects
In a 1995 article in this journal, we discussed the legal, economic, and ethical concerns in trying to prevent "free-market" ticket scalping. (1) Since the time that article appeared, the Internet has become a source of information as well as a...
Germany's Postwar Growth: Economic Miracle or Reconstruction Boom?
During the past two decades there has been a heated debate about the causes of the German so-called Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) after the Second World War. This debate came somewhat unexpectedly, as the German war generation always took...
How Large Is the Federal Financial Safety Net?
In the 1980s and early 1990s, U.S. taxpayers paid $130 billion to make good on the federal government's guarantee to protect depositors in thrift institutions (U.S. GAO 1996: 14). The crisis affecting thrifts in the late 1980s exhausted the funds...
Institutional Distortions, Economic Freedom, and Growth
Two developments in the 1980s revived interest in growth theory and modified the way most economists study the determinants of growth. First, the contributions by Romer (1986) and Lucas (1988) launched a host of new growth models that abandoned...
Lange and Hayek Revisited: Lessons from Czech Voucher Privatization
Since the sudden demise of communism in the late 1980s, economists have regarded the transition from command to market economies in Central and Eastern Europe with intense interest. In addition to studying the transition, they have begun using the...
Public Health and the Placebo: The Legacy of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act
The current literature regarding Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of drugs generally focuses on measuring the costs and benefits of the rather long drug approval process that was created by the Kefauver-Harris Amendments of 1962. (1)...
Some Observations on the Return of the Liquidity Trap
Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler...
Some Tendencies of Social Welfare and the Problem of Interpretation
Recently, economic historians have stumbled upon some tendencies or "constants" of social welfare in the United States that span more than 150 years. From the 1820s to the 1990s, the length of time families received private or public assistance...
Using Experiments to Inform the Privatization/deregulation Movement in Electricity
At the University of Arizona, electronic trading (now commonly known as e-commerce) in the experimental laboratory began in 1976 when Arlington Williams conducted the initial experiments testing the first electronic "double-auction" trading system,...
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