Madmen, Intellectuals and Academic Scribblers

Stanford University Press, 2013

Book Forum
January 17, 2013 12:00PM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring the authors Wayne Leighton, Professor of Economics, Francisco Marroquin University, Guatemala; and Edward Lopez, BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism at Western Carolina University; with comments by Fred Smith, Founder and Chairman, Competitive Enterprise Institute; moderated by Ian Vásquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

What causes policy reform? And why do policies that impose net costs on society persist in democracies for long periods of time even though better alternatives are available and well known? Authors Wayne Leighton and Edward Lopez will explain what scholarship and the real world tell us about making change happen. Using examples from the United States, they will describe how ideas, rules, and incentives interact and how intellectual and policy entrepreneurs find ways of changing society’s institutions — for better and for worse. Fred Smith will comment on the authors’ prescriptions for setting up good rules and their upbeat outlook for advancing reform.