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. 37, No. 1, Winter

China's Future and the Determining Role of the Market for Ideas
The ultimate success of China's search for economic prosperity, cultural renaissance, and a "peaceful rise" depends, in large part, on whether a free market for ideas can reemerge and flourish in China. The concept of the "market for ideas" (sixian...
Economic Policy Uncertainty and Small Business Decisions
The U.S. economy has experienced a slow recovery from the 2007-09 recession. Economic growth remains below its historical average. One possible contributor to the poor economic performance is economic policy uncertainty. For example, the future course...
Have Multilateral Conventions Lowered Bribery around the World?
Corruption is generally defined as the use of public office for private gains (Bardhan 1997). Jain (2001) provides an overview of the agency model of the origin and spread of corruption in an economy. The economy consists of three groups of actors:...
Making Inroads: China's New Silk Road Initiative
China's New Silk Road initiative is a multistate commercial project as grandiose as it is ambitious. Comprised of an overland economic "belt" and a maritime transit component, it envisages the development of a trade network traversing numerous countries...
Margaret Thatcher's Privatization Legacy
Economic policy has taken an antimarket turn in recent years, with many nations increasing regulations, running large deficits, and embracing repeated stimulus actions by central banks. There is, however, one good-news story in economic policy that...
Monetary Regimes and Inflation: History, Economic and Political Relationships, 2nd Ed
Monetary Regimes and Inflation: History, Economic and Political Relationships, 2nd ed. Peter Bernholz Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2015, 240 pp. An extensive academic literature exists on central bank independence and economic performance,...
Politics as a Peculiar Business: Insights from a Theory of Entangled Political Economy
Politics as a Peculiar Business: Insights from a Theory of Entangled Political Economy Richard E. Wagner Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016, 234 pp. Over the past few decades, insights from complexity theory and networking analysis...
Religious Liberty and Economic Prosperity: Four Lessons from the Past
Many political scientists and economists have argued that expanded civil liberties and general political freedom are conducive to economic growth (e.g., Smith [1776] 1976; North, Wallis, and Weingast 2009). One subset of these civil liberties--religious...
The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level: A Comment on Tutino and Zarazaga
In their essay, "Inflation Is Not Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon" (Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, June 2014), Antonella Tutino and Carlos E. J. M. Zarazaga question Milton Friedman's famous dictum that "inflation is always...
The Japanese Experience with QE and QQE
This article provides an overview of the three episodes of quantitative easing (QE) pursued by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) since 2001. It begins with a brief account of the initial reluctant shift to unorthodox policies under BOJ Governors Hayami and Fukui...
The Microeconomic Perils of Monetary Policy Experiments
The Federal Reserve (Fed) tells us that its experiments in quantitative easing (QE) are stimulating the economy, and financial news services obediently echo that message. But there is reason to believe that, under current unusual market conditions--especially...
The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve
The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve Peter Conti-Brown Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016, 368 pp. Why should the president and Congress defer to the Federal Reserve on monetary policy? One of the typical justifications...
The Stationary Bandit Model of Intellectual Property
We propose a new model of intellectual property that presents a different view than the market failure/monopoly rent model advanced by Arrow (1962), in which governments protect inventors from private theft. Instead, using Olson (1993), we represent...
The Vanishing American Corporation: Navigating the Hazards of a New Economy
The Vanishing American Corporation: Navigating the Hazards of a New Economy Gerald F. Davis Oakland: Berrett-Koehler, 2016, 222 pp. In his Introduction to The Vanishing American Corporation, Gerald F. Davis, the Wilbur K. Pierpont Collegiate...
Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? A Story of Women and Economics
Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? A Story of Women and Economics Katrine Marcal New York: Pegasus Books, 2016, 230 pp. John Maynard Keynes once wrote of Hayek that one of his arguments was "an extraordinary example of how, starting with a mistake,...
Why Have the Fed's Policies Failed to Stimulate the Economy?
The Fed's sustained low policy rate, quantitative easing (QE), and forward guidance have stimulated financial markets and boosted asset prices but have failed to stimulate the economy. As planned, the Fed's efforts to lower bond yields and reduce the...
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