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

The Effects of E-Cigarette Taxes on E-Cigarette Prices and Tobacco Product Sales: Evidence from Retail Panel Data

Charles Courtemanche, Chad Cotti, Joanna Catherine Maclean, Erik Nesson, Michael Pesko, Nathan Tefft

Click here for the summary


The Allocation and Exchange of Property Rights as a Way to Understand Comparative Economics Systems and Managerial Economics

John Garen

Economic systems are described by the manner that property rights are allocated to individuals, to the government, or to interests groups. Property rights entail control of use of assets, claim on the net income from an asset, and transferability of the previous two.

Medicaid Coverage across the Income Distribution under the Affordable Care Act

Charles Courtemanche, James Marton, Aaron Yelowitz

This chapter examines trends in Medicaid enrollment across the income distribution after the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.

Social Security and Medicare Spending Growth: Is It Just More Seniors or More Per Senior?

John Garen

Long-term federal budget forecasts show sizable increases in federal spending in the coming decades. A large share of this increase in spending is due to Social Security and Medicare.

The Effects of Traditional Cigarette and E-cigarette Taxes on Adult Tobacco Product Use

Michael F. Pesko, Charles Courtemanche, Johanna Catherine Maclean

We study the effects of traditional cigarette tax rate changes and e-cigarette tax adoption on use of these products among US adults. Data are drawn from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and National Health Interview Survey data over the period 2011 to 2017.

In the News

ISFE's Director Charles Courtemanche was featured on the Gatton College of Business and Economics most recent edition of the Dean's series, "Simon Says". His research and the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise were both discussed.

ISFE's Director Charles Courtemanche and co-authors have a new study out saying imposed taxes on e-cigarette leads to more smoking of traditional cigarettes which is featured in the National Review.

ISFE Director, Charles Courtemanche and co-authros examine how e-cigarette taxes will increase the purchase of traditional cigarettes.

A new study by ISFE's Director, Charles Courtemanche, and co-authors says e-cigarette taxes may drive vape users to traditional smokes is featured in Breitbart News.

ISFE's Director, Charles Courtemanche's new e-cigarette study suggesting raising taxes on them could encourage traditional smoking is featured on Forbes.com.

Our Next Event

Lunch and Learn - Lessons Learned from an Entrepreneur - Guest Speaker : Josh Konowe
Co-Sponsored by: The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, and The Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise

March 26, 2020
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Venture Studio, Gatton College of Business, Room 124