Defining Ideas

Defining Ideas

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The Consequences Of Land Ownership

by Gary D. Libecapvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A comparison between the United States and Latin America shows the power of property rights.

California Flies Blind On Testing: The Troubling Saga Of The State’s ‘Smarter Balanced Test’

by Williamson M. Evers, Ze’ev Wurmanvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From 1999 to 2013, California had a standard test (STAR – Student Testing And Reporting) to assess our students on California Standards in English Language Arts, Math, the Sciences, and Social Sciences. Within its first few years, the test format stabilized, and for the rest of its life, it remained essentially unchanged -- regularly releasing a fraction of its items to educate the students and parents about the expectations from our students and offering stable longitudinally comparable scaled scores.

Not Obama's Economy

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 27, 2018

Trump’s domestic economic programs have led to growth in spite of foolish trade policies.

Social Security’s Downward Spiral

by Charles Blahousvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, August 23, 2018

The program promises benefits far in excess of its projected revenues. Why haven't lawmakers acted? 

Did Germany Win The 100-Year War?

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, August 23, 2018

The country has gradually reassumed its historic continental influence.

Elizabeth Warren’s Surreptitious Socialism

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 20, 2018

The nationalization of corporate boards is anti-capitalist and unconstitutional.

Clean Air Vs. Dirty Hogs

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The common law of nuisance is the best defense against the costs Smithfield Foods has imposed on citizens.

Harvard’s Asian Exclusion

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 6, 2018

The University’s tortured defense of its treatment of a meritorious minority

When Courts Play Public Nuisance

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 30, 2018

A billion-dollar judgment against two companies for old, innocuous circulars. 

Kavanaugh And The “Chevron Doctrine”

by Michael McConnellvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 30, 2018

Expect this legal issue to come up during the confirmation hearings.


The Libertarian

Richard Epstein
Richard Epstein presents his classically libertarian perspective on national developments in public policy and the law. The Libertarian archives »


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The Caravan

Visit the Caravan, a periodic symposium on the contemporary dilemnas of the greater Middle East.

With its distinct intellectual assets and ongoing programs of policy-oriented research, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University is a uniquely distinguished contributor to the marketplace of ideas.

Defining Ideas builds on the strength of Hoover’s research: publishing on-line the original work of Hoover fellows and affiliated scholars, as well as that of task force and working group members, whose scholarship lies within the fields of economics, history, law, and political science.

This online journal is the result of our concerted efforts to be part of America’s most important conversations, conveying to the public and to lawmakers an in-depth understanding of key public policy issues. Crucial to this effort is a commitment to develop enduring solutions for the challenges that face our nation and our world—in effect, to advance ideas defining a free society.

Throughout history, ideas have had consequences for the human condition, both beneficial and detrimental. The Hoover Institution’s working groups have been convened to promote ideas that advance freedom, peace, and prosperity. Defining Ideas is intended to illuminate the work of these groups.



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The opinions expressed in Defining Ideas are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.