Unaccompanied Minors and Unintended Consequences

The recent surge in unaccompanied immigrant children (UAC) is portrayed by many immigration restrictionists as a failure of immigration enforcement. But according to Cato scholar Alex Nowrasteh, American policies crafted in the 1990s likely unintentionally had a role in incentivizing some of the migration and the smugglers that carry many of the migrants. “The law of unintended consequences,” says Nowrasteh, “combined with partisan politics has created a profoundly disturbing crisis at the border.”

Political Reform in China: Elections, Public Goods, and Income Distribution

The control of large bureaucracies is a difficult task. In autocratic countries, controlling local officials is further complicated by the weakness of established channels to receive feedback from citizens. To address this problem, several autocratic governments have introduced local elections in recent years. New research from Monica Martinez-Bravo, Gerard Padró i Miquel, Nancy Qian, and Yang Yao provides a rigorous empirical analysis of how village-level elections in China that were instituted in the 1980s and 1990s changed the incentives for local officials.

Did Hurricane Zone Building Codes Make Houses Less Safe?

In the new issue of Regulation, Carolyn A. Dehring and Martin A. Halek investigate whether state and federal mandated changes in coastal building standards mitigate hurricane damage to residential properties in high-hazard coastal areas. They find that coastal construction code changes associated with the National Flood Insurance Program are associated with more structural damage to coastal property. Also in this issue, Daniel A. Crane looks at how Tesla is dealing with political challenges mounted by the powerful car dealers’ lobby, and Logan Albright and Ike Brannon analyze how many jobs will the individual states lose if Congress raises the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

End the Export-Import Bank

The ostensible purpose of the U.S. Export-Import Bank is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. So what’s not to like? Well, according to Cato scholar Daniel J. Ikenson, the U.S. Export-Import Bank does more harm than good: “It assists some – mostly large, politically savvy, deep-pocketed – U.S. companies at the expense of others. …It is an exercise in picking winners and losers with the winners being those firms and industries with the most effective K Street operations.”

Recent Commentary


July 14

When Is Foreign Internal Defense (FID) a Smart Policy Tool for Washington?

Featuring David S. Maxwell, Associate Director, Center for Security Studies & Security Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Sean McFate, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council; Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution; and James B. Story, Director, Office of Western Hemisphere Programs, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State; moderated by Jennifer Keister, Visiting Research Fellow, Cato Institute.

11:00am Hayek Auditorium

July 16 - July 17

After Dodd-Frank: The Future of Financial Markets

Featuring Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman, House Financial Services Committee; Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Member, House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee; Richard Kovacevich, Chairman Emeritus, Wells Fargo & Company; Tyler Cowen, General Director, Mercatus Center at George Mason University; Sharon Brown-Hruska, Vice President, National Economic Research Associates and Visiting Professor of Finance, Tulane University; John Coates, Professor of Law and Economics, Harvard Law School; Daniel M. Gallagher, Commissioner, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Josh Rosner, Author, Reckless Endangerment, Graham Fisher & Co.; and more.

10:00am July 16: The Newseum; July 17: Cato Institute

Of Special Note

Cato Home Study Course

Cato Home Study Course

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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.

2014 Cato University

2014 Cato University

Cato University is the Cato Institute’s premier educational event of the year, bringing together like-minded people to share ideas on how to advance, enhance, and defend the principles of liberty, free markets, and individual rights. This annual program, held this year at the magnificent Rancho Bernardo Inn just a few miles north of San Diego, brings together outstanding faculty and participants from across the globe — all sharing a commitment to liberty and learning.