Not Just Treading Water: In Higher Education, Tuition Often Does More than Replace Lost Appropriations

No one disputes that the sticker price of college—what schools charge, not necessarily what students end up paying—has for decades been rising at a very fast clip. What analysts disagree about is why. In a new paper, Cato scholar Neal McCluskey argues that a popular “culprit”—the decline in direct public support for colleges and universities—is problematic, and likely distorted by the availability of federal student aid.

New Cato Handbook for Policymakers for 2017

Fidelity to our founding principles of respect for civil liberties and limited government may be easy when times are easy. The true test of our faith in those principles comes when we are beset by assaults from without and economic turmoil within, when public anxiety may temporarily make it seem expedient to put those principles aside. In the new Cato Handbook for Policymakers, Cato Institute scholars outline practical steps Congress and the administration could take — reforms of health care, financial regulation, taxes, surveillance, marijuana policy, civil asset forfeiture, war powers, immigration, transportation, trade policy, and more — to expand freedom and limit government.

Why Have the Fed’s Policies Failed to Stimulate the Economy?

The Fed’s sustained low policy rate, quantitative easing (QE), and forward guidance have stimulated financial markets and boosted asset prices but have failed to stimulate the economy. In the new issue of Cato Journal, Mickey D. Levy notes that recent trends make it increasingly clear that economic performance has been constrained by factors that are beyond the scope of monetary policy and that the Fed’s policies are contributing to mounting financial distortions with unknown consequences. Also in this issue, Chris Edwards looks back at Margaret Thatcher’s privatization legacy, and Ning Wang discusses whether a free market for ideas can reemerge and flourish in China.

Into the Abyss: Is a U.S.-China Trade War Inevitable?

Never have the U.S. and Chinese economies been more interdependent than they are today. Never has the value of the bilateral trade and investment relationship been greater. Never has the precarious state of the global economy required comity between the United States and China more than it does now. Yet, with Donald J. Trump ascending to power on a platform of nationalism and protectionism, never have the stars been so perfectly aligned for the relationship to descend into a devastating trade war.

Cato Institute 40th Anniversary

Recent Commentary

The Law and Disorder Presidency

We need a ground-up rethinking of our entire immigration system. A new system ought to be flexible, embrace America’s traditional openness, and have clear and simple exclusions that are easily enforceable.


February 27

Crude Strategy: Rethinking the U.S. Military Commitment to Defend Persian Gulf Oil

Featuring the editors Charles Glaser, Professor of Political Science and Director, Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, George Washington University; Rosemary Kelanic, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Williams College; and the contributing author Kenneth Vincent, Visiting Fellow, Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, George Washington University; with comments by John Glaser, Associate Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Emma Ashford, Research Fellow, Cato Institute.

11:00AM to 12:30PM
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

Of Special Note

The Welfare of Nations

The Welfare of Nations

What damage is being done by failing welfare states? What lessons can be learned from the best welfare states? And—is it too late to stop welfare states from permanently diminishing the lives and liberties of people around the world? Traveling around the globe, James Bartholomew examines welfare models, searching for the best education, health care, and support services in 11 vastly different countries; illuminating the advantages and disadvantages of other nations’ welfare states; and delving into crucial issues such as literacy, poverty, and inequality. This is a hard-hitting and provocative contribution to understanding how welfare states are changing the very nature of modern civilization.

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.

Now Available

The Libertarian Mind Audiobook

The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, is the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of libertarianism, and is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement. This acclaimed book is now available as a fully unabridged audiobook, ready for immediate downloading, on

CatoAudio – Now Available on the Cato Website

Every month CatoAudio puts you right in the middle of policy debates in Washington. Through highlights from the Cato Institute’s events and conferences, you can listen to in-depth discussions from well-known leaders, authors, experts, pundits, journalists, and scholars. Previously only available as a paid subscription service delivered by mail, CatoAudio is now available free of charge on the Cato website – which includes over five years of archived recordings.