About Us

The Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise is dedicated to understanding the role that markets play in the economy and in society. The Institute’s mission is to generate intellectually rigorous research and an open dialogue to discover and understand how free enterprise affects peoples’ lives and the well-being of society.

Current Research

Educational Test Scores, Education Spending, and Productivity in Public Education: National Trends and Evidence Across States and Over Time, 1990 – 2015

John Garen

Concerns about the performance of traditional public schools have been with us for quite a num

Can Credit Rating Agencies Affect Election Outcomes?

Igor Cunha, Miguel A. Fereira and Rui C. Silva

We show that credit rating agencies can have a significant effect on election outcomes. We identify these effects by exploiting exogenous variation in municipal bond ratings due to Moody’s recalibration of its scale in 2010.

Nominal GDP versus Price Level Targeting: An Empirical Evaluation

James Fackler

In response to the ongoing discussion in the literature of the appropriate framework for monetary policy, we compare two of the most frequently discussed alternatives to inflation targeting—targeting either the level of nominal GDP or the price level—within the context of a simple vector autoregr

Can Mergers and Acquisitions Internalize Positive Externalities in Funding Innovation?

Mark Liu

Technological innovation is a key driver of economic growth.

Investment in Human Capital and Labor Mobility: Evidence from a Shock to Property Rights

Christopher P. Clifford and William C. Gerken

We show that the assignment of property rights to client relationships affects employee behavior
in the industry for financial advice. Our identification comes from staggered firm-level entry into

In the News

The Council of Economic Advisers recently released a study on deregulating health insurance markets which cites a 2017 study on the Affordable Care Act by Charles Courtemanche and Aaron Yelowitz in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management

This report examines the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP) test scores for Kentucky students for the roughly 25-year time span from the 1990s forward, as well as changes in funding (inclusive of state, local, and federal) of K-12 in the Commonwealth during that period. Changes in the racial gap in test scores are also examined, along with the gap between the scores of students from low-income families and students from other families.

California is one of five states that has implemented automatic, state-run individual retirement accounts, known as “auto-IRAs,” in recent years. California’s workers—many of whom aren’t adequately preparing for retirement—should absolutely be saving more, and on paper, auto-IRAs move in that direction. But that doesn’t mean all of those workers are coming out ahead.

Is the Medicaid work requirement to blame for people losing their healthcare?  Dr. Yelowitz told MedPage Today that this report draws some unfounded conclusions.


An ambulance ride of just a few miles can cost thousands of dollars, and a lot of it may not be covered by insurance. With ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft far cheaper and now available within minutes in many areas, would using one instead be a good idea?  Find out in The New York Times

Our Next Event

Andy Puzder
Why Millennials Should Embrace Capitalism and Reject Socialism

March 27, 2019
5:30pm to 6:30pm

Gatton 111, Kincaid Auditorium