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The Growing Gap between Rich and Poor

by Kenneth L. Juddvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 1997

Hoover fellow Kenneth L. Judd believes that income inequality in the United States has been growing for two decades—and argues that we ain't seen nothin' yet. Why the gap will widen—and what can be done about it.

Why England Developed Healthy Markets-and Spain Didn't

by Douglass C. Northvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 1997

Over several centuries, England developed free markets-and a large cast of supporting institutions, including private property and an independent judiciary. During the same period, Spain failed to develop any such institutions, enduring economic stagnation instead. Why? It all started with some kings and queens who were short of funds. Nobel Prize-winner and Hoover fellow Douglass C. North explains.

How Much Growth Can America Expect?

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

President Clinton claims that the current economic growth rate of about 2.5 percent is pretty darned good. Not so fast, says Nobel Prize-winner and Hoover fellow Milton Friedman. The nation's economic history suggests that we should be doing much, much better.

Taxation and Economic Performance

via Analysis
Wednesday, May 1, 1996

Over the past two centuries, economists have debated whether or not higher rates of taxation lead to increased levels of government revenues. In the eighteenth century, Adam Smith pointed to a reduced level of revenues from substantially higher tariffs and duties on traded goods. In the twentieth century, the Laffer Curve postulated that there would be no government revenue at a taxation level of 100 percent or 0 percent. More recently, the debate focused on the tax increases of 1990 and 1993, which were designed to reduce the federal budget deficit through an increase in government revenues. In fact, the forecasted revenue generation following each tax increase fell short of the mark.

Increases in tax rates have not raised the desired additional revenues, but they have dampened economic activity. Higher tax rates tend to reduce the tax base as taxpayers have disincentives to work, produce, save, or invest. There are, however, incentives to hide, shelter, and underreport income as tax rates are raised. Thus, the economy as a whole tends to perform less well following a tax increase. Conversely, the economy tends to perform more favorably following a reduction in tax rates. In the postwar period, government revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product have averaged 19.5 percent despite marginal income tax rates as high as 92 percent and as low as 28 percent. Despite the historic record, policy makers continue to embrace the notion that an increase in marginal tax rates will raise revenues without any attendant adverse effects on economic growth, job creation, or standard of living.

The Democratic Advantage: The Institutional Sources of State Power in International Competition

by Barry R. Weingastvia Analysis
Friday, March 1, 1996

According to the standard wisdom in international relations, authoritarian states hold an advantage over democratic states because they can act more quickly and decisively. Yet over the last several centuries, every extended rivalry between an authoritarian state and a liberal one has been won by the liberal state: the Dutch revolt against Spain (late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries); the 125-year rivalry between England and France (1689-1815); the Anglo-French-American rivalry with Germany (late nineteenth through mid-twentieth century); and the American/Allied rivalry with the Soviet Union after World War II.

This paper shows why liberal democracies have a long-term advantage in international competition with authoritarian states. We argue that this reflects the greater ability of liberal states to establish credible limited government. This ability has both long-term advantages for growth and substantial short-term financial advantages during periods of intense international conflict. The financial advantages allow a liberal democracy to raise massive funds through debt, thus financing larger and longer wars. After developing the theoretical perspective, we study two cases, the 125-year rivalry between England and France and the more recent cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The Wealth of Nations in the Twentieth Century: The Policies and Institutional Determinants of Economic Development

via Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, January 1, 1996

This collection of essays, based on a conference at the Hoover Institution, compares the governmental policies and institutional determinants of economic development for sixteen countries within the context of Western economic development and national trends in the world economy. The study also includes an essay by Amartya Sen that examines the meaning of wealth and its different measurements.

The Kazakhs: Second Edition

by Martha Brill Olcottvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Sunday, January 1, 1995

The major events that shaped the present day Islamic nation of Kazakhstan.

Making Things Work: Russian and American Economic Relations, 1900–1930, a Bilingual Exhibition Catalog

via Books by Hoover Fellows
Wednesday, January 1, 1992

Making Things Work is an exhibition catalog for a joint historical exhibit of documents and photographs organized by the Hoover Institution on War, Revlution and Peace and the Committee on Archival Affairs of the Russian Federation (ROSKOMARKHIV).

Dear Comrades: Menshevik Reports on the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War

via Books by Hoover Fellows
Tuesday, January 1, 1991

Vivid reports of the struggle of two parties vying for supremacy in postczarist Russia.

The New Wealth of Nations

by Guy Sormanvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, January 1, 1990

The title of Guy Sorman's book pays homage to the great European economist Adam Smith and his book The Wealth of Nations. Smith was a moralist preoccuppied with the notion of social justice and a realist who believed in an unfettered free market. Sorman's study reiterates that the free market is the universal principle of development, that the free market works.