Work and Dependency

The Work & Dependency research group examines the relationship and tensions between a culture of work, self-reliance, and self-governance and the role of government programs.

This project will build on the work by Hayek Program scholars on self-governance as well as on the failures and unintended consequences of government programs. This project will explore the importance of self-governance and the challenge of dependency; how the balance between work, social associations, and government programs changed over time in the US and how this change manifests in levels of individual responsibility and/or social dependency among the citizenry; and how a more active state erodes the common conventions of community interdependence necessary to sustain a free society.

Re-Evaluating Community Policing in a Polycentric System

Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues in The Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in Bloomington conducted fieldwork in metropolitan police departments across the United States. Their findings in support of community policing dealt a blow to the popular belief that consolidation and centralization of services was the only way to effectively provide citizens with public goods.

Nudging in an Evolving Marketplace

Behavioral economics claims to have identified certain systematic biases in human decision-making with the implied assumption — sometimes leading to an explicit policy proposal — that these biases can only be corrected through centralized planning. While the appropriateness of policy corrections to perceived biases remains an open debate, far less attention has focused on the role markets already play in “nudging” consumers toward more mutually beneficial outcomes.

The Federal Reserve System's Overreach into Credit Allocation

The Federal Reserve System’s attempts to direct the allocation of credit since 2007 have been overreaching, wasteful, morally hazardous, and fraught with serious governance (potential cronyism) problems. Accordingly, the Fed should remove itself, or be removed by Congress, from the formulation and implementation of credit-allocation policies.