The Evidence on Universal Preschool

Calls for universal preschool programs have become commonplace, reinforced by President Obama’s call for “high-quality preschool for all” in 2013. But any program that could cost state and federal taxpayers $50 billion per year warrants a closer look at the evidence on its effectiveness.  In a new study, David J. Armor reviews the major evaluations of preschool programs, including both traditional programs such as Head Start and those designated as “high quality,” and argues that the evaluations do not paint a positive picture.

Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine? Revisited

Tort reform that limits medical malpractice (“med mal”) suits can affect healthcare spending in a couple of different ways. However, on theoretical grounds, it is not clear whether tort reform will reduce healthcare spending.  New research from Myungho Paik, Bernard Black and David A. Hyman revisits the impact of tort reform and med mal risk on healthcare spending.  They find that there is no evidence that adoption of damage caps reduces either Part A or Part B Medicare spending, and in fact, there is some evidence that specific caps lead to higher Part B spending.

New Regulation Looks at Emergency Care, E-Cigarettes, and Food Labeling

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA ), enacted in 1986, requires Medicare-contracting hospitals with emergency rooms to screen and stabilize anyone presenting for emergency care, regardless of ability to pay. An article in the new issue of Regulation proposes that EMTALA regularly violates the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. Also in this issue, Michael L. Marlow argues that the FDA’s treatment of e-cigarettes jeopardizes public health, and Robert Scharff and Sherzod Abdukadirov say that there is little evidence that the FDA’s new food labels will improve Americans’ health.

Global Economic Freedom Dips

As Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich Hayek have stressed, freedom of exchange and market coordination provide the fuel for economic progress. In the 2014 Economic Freedom of the World report, global economic freedom decreased slightly. Hong Kong retained the highest rating for economic freedom, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Mauritius, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Australia, Jordan, Chile, and Finland. The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to 8th in 2005 to 12th in this year’s report.

Recent Commentary


October 22

A Dangerous World? Threat Perception and U.S. National Security

Featuring the editors John Mueller, Woody Hayes Senior Research Scientist, Mershon Center, Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University, and Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; and Christopher Preble, Vice President, Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; with comments by Frank Hoffman, Senior Research Fellow, National Defense University; and James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic; moderated by John Samples, Vice President and Publisher, Cato Institute.

12:00pm Hayek Auditorium

Of Special Note

Win a Free iPad Mini

Win a Free iPad Mini

Sign up in the month of October to receive any of Cato’s free emails, and you’ll automatically become eligible to win a free, brand new iPad Mini – 7.9” screen, 16 GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, iSight camera, and much more. A winner will be selected at random on October 31 from the email addresses of all who have signed up.

It’s a win – win. You’ll be able to start receiving emails on upcoming Cato events, links to Cato’s newest research reports, multimedia products, podcasts, special book and ebook offers, and more, while being in line to receive a free iPad Mini. Sign up now.

Special! 10 Copies for $10

Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

32nd Annual Monetary Conference

32nd Annual Monetary Conference
Alternatives to Central Banking: Toward Free-Market Money

Thursday, November 6, 2014
9:00 a.m. — 6:15 p.m.

When the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, its powers were limited and the U.S. was on the gold standard. Today the Fed has virtually unlimited power and the dollar has no backing. Leading scholars and advocates for fundamental monetary reform will discuss the case for sound money and the reforms needed to realize it.

Details and registration