The Dead Hand of Socialism: State Ownership in the Arab World

Extensive government ownership in the economy is a source of inefficiency and a barrier to economic development. Although precise measures of government ownership across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are hard to come by, the governments of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen all operate sizeable segments of their economies—in some cases accounting for more than two-thirds of the GDP. In a new paper, Cato scholar Dalibor Rohac argues that MENA countries need to implement privatization in order to sustain their transitions toward more representative political systems and inclusive economic institutions.

Clicking on Heaven’s Door: The Effect of Immigrant Legalization on Crime

According to an annual survey conducted in North American and European countries, approximately two-thirds of the people interviewed are concerned that illegal immigrants increase crime, whereas fewer have the same concern about legal immigrants.  New research by Paolo Pinotti indicates that legal status does significantly reduce the number of serious crimes committed by immigrants, and that the impact is highest for economically motivated crimes.

The Fourth Revolution in Government

The main political challenge of the next decade will be fixing government. In the new issue of Cato Policy Report, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge argue that a political revolution is in the air, driven partly by the necessity of diminishing resources, partly by the logic of renewed competition among nation-states, and partly by the opportunity to do things better.  Also in this issue, Cato vice president David Boaz considers the rise of libertarianism in the political world, and in an exclusive interview, Glenn Greenwald reflects on his explosive NSA disclosures one year later, and discusses No Place to Hide,  his new book on the matter.

Misallocation, Property Rights, and Access to Finance: Evidence from within and across Africa

A number of recent studies argue that misallocation of resources across firms is a prime cause of underdevelopment.  New research from Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan and Bent E. Sørensen asks two questions: what is the extent of capital misallocation within African countries, and why does misallocation vary across these countries? Kalemli-Ozcan and Sørensen identify relatively successful countries, such as South Africa and Botswana, relative to unsuccessful ones, such as Ghana and Nigeria, and suggest reasons behind their success. The results point to the importance of strong property rights and a well functioning financial system for the efficient allocation of capital.

Recent Commentary


September 10

Lessons from Ferguson

Featuring Alice Goffman, Author, On the Run (University of Chicago Press, 2014); Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Officers Against Prohibition (LEAP); Ethan Brown, Author, Snitch (Public Affairs, 2007); and Lauren Victoria Burke, Creator, Crewof42 Blog; moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.

4:00pm Hayek Auditorium

Of Special Note

Cato Home Study Course

Cato Home Study Course

Spend time with some of the world’s greatest minds and truest friends of freedom.

• Professionally prepared audio programs on the historical, philosophical, economic, legal, and moral foundations of individual liberty and limited government – including the thoughts and views of John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Adam Smith, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, Henry David Thoreau, Ayn Rand, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and others.

• Listen/Download at no cost.

• Programs you can enjoy at your own pace.

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.

Constitution Day

Constitution Day 2014

To celebrate Constitution Day and the publication of the thirteenth annual Cato Supreme Court Review, the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies Presents a Symposium:

The Supreme Court: Past and Prologue
A Look at the October 2013 and 2014 Terms

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

This annual event features leading legal scholars analyzing the most important decisions of the Supreme Court’s recent term, and a look ahead at what to expect during the Court’s next term.

Details and registration