In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
Featuring Maqbool Ali Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Oman; Salem Ben Nasser Al Ismaily, Omani Center for Investment Promotion and Export Development; and Fred McMahon, Centre for Globalization Studies Fraser Institute.
The United States has signed free trade agreements with four Middle Eastern countries–Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Bahrain–and plans to sign a fifth with Oman this month. The hope behind the U.S. policy is that expanding economic freedom and openness in the Middle East will create private-sector opportunities in a region plagued by high trade barriers and stagnant growth. Can freer markets bring more democracy and peace to the region? Two speakers from Oman, one of the freest and most open economies in the Muslim world, will offer their insights from the government and private sectors, with comments from a leading expert on economic freedom in the Middle East.