William A. Niskanen

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This modelling project examines the short-run effects of a program wherein the United States becomes the primary buyer of opium produced in Afghanistan and thereby reduces the global supply of heroin (refined opium). This research demonstrates that supply-side intervention will result in a large decrease in short-run world heroin supply, as well as many(More)
The publication of Charles Murray’s (1984) book Losing Ground has rekindled interest in the role ofgovernment in promoting economic equality using redistributive tax and expenditure programs. Murray concludes that spending on poverty programs may well have increased the number of poor people and that eliminating many of these programs might be a better(More)
For nearly a decade, I have argued that the Federal Reserve should maintain a target path of total demand in the American economy. The best measure of total demand, I suggest, is what the Department of Commerce calls “final sales to domestic purchasers.” This aggregate is equal to nominal gross domestic product minus the change in private inventories minus(More)
Economists, trained in the study of markets, learn early of various problems grouped under the heading of “market failure”—situations that, at least potentially, could justify government intervention to solve them. Cartels and monopolies, for example, are thought by many to require government antitrust action; optimal production of public goods like(More)
he many burdens of government include those attributable to taxation, monetary policy, regulations, and restrictions on civil liberties. This paper is specific to the economic burden of taxation, without in any way minimizing the other types of burdens. The economic burden of taxation is a function of three conditions: the level of the average tax rate, the(More)
is a series of distinguished essays on political economy and public policy. The Cato Institute takes its name from an earlier series of Cato's Letters, essays on political liberty written by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon in the 18th century, which were widely read in the American colonies and played a major role in laying the philosophical foundation for(More)
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