Matthew D. Mitchell
    Matthew D. Mitchell

    Mercatus Center at George Mason University

    Director, Project for the Study of American Capitalism
    Senior Research Fellow

    CGO Papers
    Op-ed: Time to free America from the Antiquities Act

    The act provides no institutional checks on the president’s power.

    Op-ed: Markets Should Determine Our Future Energy Sources

    Government policies that bet on one technology over another reduce innovation for both the winners and losers.

    Op-ed: Dreamers Deserve a Legislative Fix

    Far from being a drain for those already in the country, immigrants increase employment options, according to economic theory.

    Op-ed: Paying more at the pump will not fix California’s roads

    Californians will now be paying almost 60 cents per gallon in taxes for their gasoline purchases—an increase of 12 cents [ … ]

    Op-ed: California’s Soaring Gas Taxes Aren’t Even Going to the Roads

    How “user fee” gas taxes, intended to support transportation maintenance, have been re-allocated to unrelated programs.

    Op-ed: Let the market determine energy sources’ futures

    No matter who the subsidies go to, they come out of the pockets of average taxpayers.

    Op-ed: fossil fuels in the ground, supports a form of economic self-destruction

    Unless we are really willing to accept drastic drops in our living standards, we’ll need fossil fuels.

    Op-ed: ‘Dreamers’ are worth the wall

    Concerns about falling wages and “stolen” jobs derive from a partial and misleading view of the economy,

    Op-ed: 11 Billion reasons to raise park entry fees

    The proposed fee hike is an appropriate way to raise funds to carry out park repairs.

    Op-ed: Mixed Signals for U.S. Solar Industry

    The U.S. solar industry has been growing successfully because access to cheaper solar panels manufactured outside the U.S. has lowered the cost for solar companies to operate.

    Students Present Research on Capitol Hill

    Undergraduate Research Fellows from the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University presented research at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, on February 28, 2018. Their presentation was part of the annual event Utah’s Research on Capitol Hill, organized by Utah State University.

    Koopman Joins Center for Growth and Opportunity

    Christopher Koopman, former Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, has joined The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University as Senior Director of Strategy and Research.

    Op-ed: Tariffs and Econ 101

    Trump already is hurting blue-collar Americans by raising tariffs.

    Op-ed: Telling Dreamers to ‘get in line’ misses the mark on immigration

    Josh Smith suggests that common arguments against DACA do not reflect the economic benefit that immigrants create in the U.S.

    Op-ed: Allow the testing of driverless cars on their roads

    Allowing testing of self-driving technologies will create safer roads for everyone.

    Op-ed: Despite safety record, Chernobyl haunts nuclear power industry

    Using nuclear power to generate electricity can reduce carbon emissions more safely than any other type of power technology.

    Op-ed: Flight-sharing could bring Uber to the skies

    All we need is a clearer definition of common carrier.

    Applied Econometrics Workshop for Summer Interns

    Dr. Briggs Depew, assistant professor of economics and finance in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, and an affiliated scholar with the Center for Growth and Opportunity led a week-long workshop on applied econometrics to participants of the CGO’s student fellowship programs.

    Koopman Participates in Emerging Technology in Transportation Panel

    Christopher Koopman joins panelists to discuss drone delivery, autonomous vehicles, flight sharing, and more.

    Koopman Testifies Before Joint Economic Committee

    Christopher Koopman testified before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee on May 22, 2018.

    Koopman Discusses Aviation Empowerment Act on Podcast

    Christopher Koopman discusses the future of public policy in the aviation industry.

    Congratulations to Graduating CGO Student Research Fellows

    This May, the Center for Growth and Opportunity celebrated the graduation of 19  student research fellows from Utah State University.

    Op-ed: The High Cost of Solar Mandates

    As the demand for homes in the Golden State has increased, the housing supply has failed to respond.

    Native American Student Mentorship Participants Join Week-Long Research Lab

    Students from Utah State University Eastern’s Blanding campus visited the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University this week as they participate in the Native American Student Mentorship Program (NASMP).

    Distinguished Professor Spends Sabbatical at Center for Growth and Opportunity

    Dr. Keith Criddle, Ted Stevens Distinguished Professor of Marine Policy at University of Alaska Fairbanks, spent his Spring 2018 sabbatical with the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.

    Op-ed: It’s a new day for daily fantasy sports betting

    The Supreme Court’s decision opens the door for lawmakers to reconsider the entire issue.

    Economist and Scholar Aaron Hedlund Joins the Center for Growth and Opportunity

    Aaron Hedlund, assistant professor of economics at the University of Missouri and visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, has joined the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University as Visiting Senior Fellow and Acting Director of Academic Outreach.

    Social Security and the Increasing Longevity Gap

    This working paper contributes to the discussion about Social Security reform by developing a new measure of the progressivity of a Social Security system.

    Summer Student Workshop: “Building Your Research Toolkit”

    The Center for Growth and Opportunity hosted its first annual Summer Student Workshop on June 7-8. It was a successful launch to one of its many new student development programs since the CGO’s launch last year

    Taxis, Taxis and Governance in the Vehicles-For-Hire Industry

    This research creates a taxonomy for better understanding regulation that accounts for public and private enforcement of the overlapping regulatory approaches in the vehicle-for-hire industry.

    Op-ed: Energy Markets Serve National Security Better than Favoritism

    It is unlikely that keeping these coal and nuclear plants online will promote U.S. national security.

    Hansen Participates in Public Lands Discussion

    Megan Hansen joins panelists at a Public Lands Discussion featuring Senator Mike Lee.

    Smith Discusses Renewal Portfolio Standards on Podcast

    Josh T. Smith takes part in a discussion on Renewal Portfolio Standards (RPS).

    Op-ed: Ineffectiveness of Renewable Portfolio Standards

    Most academic research shows RPS to be expensive and ineffective environmental policies.

    Op-ed: Hydro Projects Get Lost in Red Tape

    Due to red tape, only 3 percent of existing dams with small-scale hydropower potential produce power in the United States.

    Shughart Discusses Applied Microeconomic Theory and Public Choice on Podcast

    William F. Shughart II is interviewed by Hayek Program scholar Jayme Lemke.

    Op-ed: How Pork-Barrel Spending Shapes the Ideological Composition of Congress

    Pork barrel spending dilutes the role of ideology in politics.

    Op-ed: How Banning Plastic Straws Could Make Pollution Even Worse

    Politicians advocating EPS bans ignore the costs they would impose as well as the environmental tradeoffs.

    Op-ed: Conservative Media Skew Story on ‘Dreamer’ Arrests

    Dreamers are actually less likely to be arrested than U.S. citizens.

    CGO Co-Sponsors 2018 National Mental Health Court Summit in Park City

    Recently, the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University co-sponsored the National Mental Health Court Summit. This 3-day conference held in Park City, Utah, is one of the nation’s largest gatherings of mental health court professionals, experts, and practitioners.

    Op-ed: ESA and Cooperative Conservation in the West

    These bills increase information sharing between individuals, tribes, local governments, and private organizations.

    Net Metering in the States

    This paper first explains how electricity markets work, how net metering works, and then offers multiple suggestions for reform.

    Op-ed: Replacements for plastic straws have their own problems

    Various bans on plastic straws are backed by good intentions, yet, these efforts could be tailored to better causes.

    Op-ed: The risk of risk aversion at the Federal Aviation Administration

    Congress can reorient the FAA to embrace the future and all of the benefits it has to offer.

    Op-ed: Moratorium on soda taxes puts California on the right track

    Soda taxes hurt the very people they are meant to help and aren’t effective in reducing public health problems.

    Op-ed: A Texas price-gouging law is backfiring

    Professor Michael Giberson, of Texas Tech University and CGO Undergraduate Research Fellow Halea Walker explain the negative effects of Texas’s emergency price gouging law and the perverse incentives it creates.

    Amy Rees Anderson Sponsors New Program for Female Academic Entrepreneurs

    Utah business icon partners with the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University to sponsor fellowships for female students pursuing careers in academia.

    Op-ed: Improving wildfire policy is good for more than just the environment

    The many wildfires burning across the country show just how our responses need to be multi-pronged.

    CGO Student Research Fellow Interns at Interior Dept.

    Rebekah Yeagley, Undergraduate Research Fellow and Amy Rees Anderson Academic Entrepreneur at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, spent her 2018 summer break as an intern for the Department of Interior in the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs in Washington, DC.

    Op-ed: Reexamining presidential power over national monuments

    Congress should outline when, where, and how a president may use the authority under the Antiquities Act.

    Professor Craig Palsson Speaks with CGO student fellows on careers in academia

    On September 17th, Dr. Craig Palsson shared his unique story to finding his path to academia and pursuing a PhD in Economics with Graduate and Undergraduate Research Fellows at the Center for Growth & Opportunity at Utah State University.

    Koopman Participates in Panel on Regulation of Emerging Aerial Tech

    Christopher Koopman joined this discussion on how lawmakers and regulators can foster innovation while protecting safety and privacy.

    A Review of the Environmental Effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard’s Corn Ethanol Mandate

    This research explores the environmental consequences of mandating ethanol in greater detail and makes recommendations for how to mitigate these impacts.

    USU President Noelle Cockett Welcomes new cohort of CGO Fellows

    At a gathering of the newest cohort of CGO Graduate and Undergraduate Student Research Fellows and Koch Scholars, Utah State University President Noelle Cockett challenged students to do three things as they participated in the academic programs sponsored by the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University: embrace questions and friendly debate, be inclusive, and reach out to others.

    Amy Rees Anderson Meets with First Cohort of Academic Entrepreneur Fellows

    On September 5th, renowned businesswoman Amy Rees Anderson visited Utah State University to launch the Amy Rees Anderson Academic Entrepreneurs fellowship, a program for female business and economics students interested in pursuing graduate degrees and careers in entrepreneurship and academia.

    Op-ed: Landowners can help save endangered species

    Many landowners want to help save endangered species as long as it is not harming their own livelihood.

    Op-ed: The problem with metering solar energy customers

    Net metering is meant to promote rooftop solar adoption and green electricity supplies, yet it does so at high cost.

    The Amendment of the Stock Act and the Prices of Stocks Most Held by Congress

    This research suggests the stock prices of those stocks most commonly held by congressional members increase when restrictions on insider trading are relaxed.

    Op-ed: The ethanol mandate has failed in its original purpose

    The ethanol mandate not only increases water consumption but pollutes the water as well.

    William Shughart Speaks to CGO Fellows on Proven Techniques & Emerging Research

    Professor William F. Shughart II spoke at the Center for Growth and Opportunity’s weekly student fellows meeting on Monday, Oct. 1. Shughart is the J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at Utah State University as well as Senior Editor at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.

    Koopman and Hansen Participate in Workshop: Best Practices in Policy Research

    This session workshopped best practices to improve research quality without breaking the budget.

    Koopman in Roundtable on Emerging Issues in Transportation Policy

    Roundtable on current regulatory approaches to autonomous vehicles, lessons learned, and emerging issues that states will encounter.

    Op-ed: Trump’s Ethanol Plans Double Down on Bad Environmental Policy

    The negative environmental impacts of growing corn make large ethanol mandates unsustainable in the long run.

    Koopman Discusses Permissionless Innovation on Podcast

    Christopher Koopman talks about his research work on “permissionless innovation.”

    Op-ed: Daylight Saving Time Costs More Than It’s Worth

    No evidence whatsoever has been found that moving clocks forward in the spring saves energy.

    Op-ed: CAFE Standards vs. Economics

    The announcement of plans to ease the nation’s fuel economy standards (known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, or CAFE) triggered numerous defenses of the regulation.

    Revision of the Regulations for Listing Species and Designating Critical Habitat

    Drawing on previous research, the authors evaluate likely outcomes of the proposed rule change.

    Revision of the Regulations for Prohibitions to Threatened Wildlife and Plants

    Drawing on previous research, the authors evaluate likely outcomes of the proposed rule change.

    Op-ed: Reducing the Ethanol Mandate is Smart Environmental Policy

    Effects eat away at the possible environmental benefit of the ethanol mandate.

    Op-ed: New Incentives Can Help Protect Endangered Species

    Property owners regularly lose the economic value of their land in protecting species and are not compensated.

    Fawson speaks to students: pushing for opportunity and recognizing capability

    Through his remarks, Fawson encouraged the fellows to pursue unique and interesting opportunities.
    “I’m passionate about helping students understand what they’re capable of,” he said. “We don’t really see what we’re capable of doing. Oftentimes, others see more. Great mentors help unlock those opportunities and experiences that reveal something about ourselves.”

    How Does Lobbying Regulation Affect the Stock Prices of Firms That Lobby the Most?

    This research examines the effect of political activity on a firm’s value by analyzing the impact of a policy change that increased public disclosure requirements associated with lobbying.

    Op-ed: Ocasio-Cortez is Right: Amazon Subsidies Do More Harm Than Good

    Amazon is a massively wealthy company, so why should it receive millions in tax incentives to locate in specific areas?

    Op-ed: The Many Benefits Immigrants Bring to the US

    There is little evidence that restricting immigration will improve America’s economic situation.

    Op-ed: Don’t Fret the Lame Duck

    We should all stop worrying and learn to love the lame ducks.

    Video: Are We Ready For The Future of Work? — Tech_States:2018

    This panel from the Tech_States: 2018 tech policy summit explores what we know (and don’t know) about tech’s disruption and outline the current proposals surrounding universal basic income, job retraining, and the current regulatory landscape.

    Video: What’s Next for Transportation Innovation? — Tech_States:2018

    This panel outlines what steps have been taken, where public policies can improve, and what’s in store for the future of transportation.

    Video: Should States Regulate Data Privacy? — Tech_States:2018

    California’s recently passed data privacy law — the strictest in the country — may become a model for other states looking to take action. Illinois and Texas have passed biometric privacy laws that may have sweeping effects on how we use platforms like Facebook and Google.

    Op-ed: Why the Trump Administration Should Stop Propping Up Coal

    Efforts to support coal plants waste taxpayer dollars in an attempt to stall coal’s decline.

    Video: The Next Frontier for Infrastructure? — Tech_States:2018

    This panel will discusses what is going well (and not) at a state level and ways in which public policies can continue to make strides toward the future.

    Video: Dr. Eytan Sheshinski – Innovative Solutions to Save Social Security

    For the inaugural “Excellence in Innovation” Speaker Series event on Thursday October 12, 2017, the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University welcomed renowned financial economist and scholar Dr. Eytan Sheshinski to address students, faculty, and the public.

    Video: Overstock’s Seth Moore Speaks at The Center for Growth and Opportunity

    On April 19, Seth Moore, Senior VP of Analytics at Overstock.com visited the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University to share his insights on policies that promote innovation in tech.

    Video: Durable Entitlements and Resilience in Fishery Social Ecological Systems

    Researcher Keith Criddle of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau, delivered his presentation about durable entitlements and resilience in fishery social ecology at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, on February 28, 2018.

    Video: The Center For Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University — About Us

    We provide paid opportunities for students to participate in research fellowships and mentorship programs that link them with scholars and academic professionals at USU and institutions across the country.

    Cooperative Conservation: Determinants of Landowner Engagement in Saving Endangered Species

    This policy paper analyzes surveys of private landowners to better understand factors that deter them from engaging in conservation efforts and to identify […]

    How Do Refugees Impact Labor Markets in the United States?

    This paper summarizes the academic research on the impact of refugees on labor markets in the United States.

    Consumer Protection, Ticket Bots, and the BOTS Act

    Comments addressing the issue of using ticket purchasing software and the Better Online Ticket Sales Act.

    Op-ed: We should be welcoming these families, not tear gassing them

    The only reason the caravan’s demographics should matter is in determining what kinds of asylum and visas to offer them.

    Op-ed: Trump is wrong about coal subsidies

    Playing favorites in energy markets always backfires and ends up burning consumers.

    Op-ed: Google and Facebook’s Biggest Problem Isn’t Controlling their Platforms…

    Tech companies are attempting to achieve many different—sometimes conflicting—goals at once.

    How Does Occupational Licensing Affect U.S. Consumers and Workers?

    This paper examines the existing research on the effects of occupational licensing and concludes with a discussion of possible reforms.

    Op-ed: Lessons to take from drones shutting down Gatwick airport

    We should focus on efforts to empower and educate drone operators to be responsible when flying.

    Op-ed: The Shutdown is Ruining Our National Parks

    The current shutdown sheds light on fundamental issues in park management.

    The Benchmark: Is data privacy a market failure?

    In the high-stakes fight over privacy regulation, we seem to be forgetting the most important question.

    Dynamics of Deterrence: A Macroeconomic Perspective on Punitive Justice Policy

    This research presents evidence of a “lost cohort” of individuals who have higher rates of prison admission and arrests compared to the generations before and after.

    Op-ed: Act Now to Keep Housing More Affordable

    Research from groups inside and outside of Utah shows much of the supply of good, affordable housing is dwindling.

    The Benchmark: We should welcome the future of work

    Technology is changing today’s workplace. That’s a good thing.

    The Benchmark: Parks over politics

    The latest government shutdown shows that America’s national parks are too important for politics.

    Op-ed: Banning flavored tobacco and vaping products does more harm than good

    Attempts to ban flavored tobacco are unlikely to curb youth smoking.

    Op-ed: The right strategy for handling general contractors

    There is a wealth of evidence that shows licensing presents problems of its own that lead to higher costs and little to no changes in quality of service.

    Op-ed: Licensing hurts, not helps, Utahns

    we find that alternatives to licensing could provide the same benefits without the costs.

    The Benchmark: What fracking can teach us about solving climate change

    It will take serious innovation to reduce global carbon emissions, but history suggests that a solution is not as far off as we might think.

    Op-ed: The Wall Won’t Work

    Lawmakers should be focused on finding solutions that protect those fleeing violence and searching for opportunity.

    CGO Launches Experimental Economics Program

    New experimental economics program at Utah State University to be advised by Nobel Laureate Vernon L. Smith and program director Lucas Rentschler.

    The Benchmark: Who benefits from the gig economy?

    The short answer: Everyone.

    Op-ed: Walls Don’t Stop Migrants, But Tariffs Might

    There are other policy changes that can prevent the need for it in the first place.

    What Is the Relationship between Renewable Portfolio Standards and Electricity Prices?

    This research examines the effects of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) on electricity prices.

    Op-ed: Onerous Iowa occupational licensing laws limit opportunity and cost millions

    These unnecessarily high costs stem from the heavy state regulation of those who want to make a living in the beauty industry.

    The Benchmark: No one reads online privacy policies

    That’s probably a good thing.

    Smith Testifies before the Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee

    Josh T. Smith testified before the Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on February 13, 2019.

    Annual Review 2018

    2018 has been an exciting year of fast growth and hard work. We are optimistic and proud of the progress we have made.

    The Benchmark: Toward a better Green New Deal

    Regulatory reform and the future of energy.

    Op-ed: Our Climate Solution? It May Be Written In the Stars

    Fusion power could likely be the next source of energy added to that list.

    The Benchmark: Instead of replacing fossil fuels, let’s fix them.

    We can achieve a green future without politics.

    Do Immigrants Threaten US Public Safety?

    This research examines the existing literature on crime rates among legal and illegal immigrants as well as the effects of public policy programs to legalize illegal immigrants.

    Op-ed: Why rent control won’t protect the poorest

    High prices indicate scarcity, and high rent is no exception.

    What Should be Included in a State’s Sales Tax Base?

    Tax policy researchers across the political spectrum agree that narrow, targeted policies (such as tax credits) are usually a better way to address the regressive nature of the tax than blanket exemptions.

    The Benchmark: Riding in cars with strangers

    How the sharing economy has increased trust by reducing transaction costs.

    Can We Build Our Way Out of Urban Traffic Congestion?

    This research examines the costs of expanding highway capacity as well and how the unintended consequences of doing so may actually increase demand.

    Op-ed: We can’t copy China’s game plan if we want to beat them to 5G

    Rather than running from what’s made the U.S. the leader in technology and telecommunications, we should embrace it.

    Constitutions and Blockchains: Competitive Governance of Fundamental Rule Sets

    This analysis highlights the competitive benefits and costs that result from choices in constitutional governance, with a view to the intended functions of a given blockchain.

    The Benchmark: Does our immigration system encourage crime?

    Let’s stop talking about bad hombres, and start talking about bad incentives.

    VIDEO: Interview with Dr. John B. Taylor

    Posted March 26, 2019 in News On March 26, 2019 CGO Academic Director Frank Caliendo sat down with Stanford University professor and internationally-renowned economist Dr. John B. Taylor to discuss a number of pressing topics, including the US national debt, spending, Social Security, and the outlook for economic policy and the economy.

    Carbon Pricing in the Private Sector

    This research provides useful insight into how U.S. companies are responding to a growing body of climate research and public pressures related to climate change.

    Megan E. Hansen and Christopher Koopman Participate in Tech Policy Bootcamp

    Together with the James Madison Institute, the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University held a joint tech policy event in Tallahassee, Florida on March 27, 2019.

    The Benchmark: Smokey Bear’s big lie

    It’s going to take a lot more than you to prevent forest fires.

    Dr. John B. Taylor Delivers George S. Eccles Memorial Lecture in Economics

    On March 26, 2019, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business and the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University welcomed noted economist and scholar, Dr. John B. Taylor, to speak at the George S. Eccles Memorial Lecture in Economics.

    Down Payments and the Homeownership Dream: Not Such a Barrier After All?

    This research examines the effect of down payment requirements on rates of homeownership in the US.

    Op-ed: Why are states chasing away robot dogs?

    Putting roadblocks in the way of innovations should not come without deep consideration.

    The Benchmark: The electrical grid is changing

    It’s time our regulations changed too.

    Op-ed: The US Biofuel Mandate Does More Harm Than Good

    The EPA proposed a new rule to allow the year-round sale of E15 fuel, a gasoline mixed with biofuel produced from corn.

    Op-ed: Want border security? Drop the wall and welcome more immigrants

    Policymakers should focus on expanding opportunities for people to peacefully and productively work in the U.S.

    The Benchmark: Is America Full?

    Not even close.

    Rebekah Yeagley Wins Undergraduate Research Competition

    Economics major and Undergraduate Research Fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, Rebekah Yeagley, recently attended the 2019 conference for the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

    CGO Undergrad Fellow Joshua Lyman Wins Prize During USU Research Week

    CGO Undergraduate Research Fellow Joshua Lyman recently presented his research project, “How Government Regulation has affected Pharmaceutical Innovation” during Utah State University’s Student Research Symposium and was presented with the award for best undergraduate research presentation in its category.

    Mark Houser to lead CGO Student Programs

    Former Cato Institute Student Programs Manager joins the Center for Growth and Opportunity as Sr. Director of Academic and Student Programs

    CGO Fellows Present at Student Research Showcase

    On April 15, CGO undergraduate and graduate student research fellows presented their research projects at the 2019 CGO Student Research Showcase in the Huntsman Hall Perry Pavilion.

    Crises in the Housing Market: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Lessons

    This research from Carlos Garriga and Aaron Hedlund reviews the latest research regarding the causes, consequences, and policy implications of housing crises.

    Smith Testifies Before Colorado House Finance Committee

    Josh T. Smith testified before the Colorado state legislature’s House Finance Committee on April 17, 2019.

    The Benchmark: The new identity politics

    How the quiet battle over biometric data will shape the future.

    Op-ed: If you love forests, let them burn

    Fire suppression is an expensive answer to stopping wildfires.

    CGO Scholar Published by American Economic Association

    The Center for Growth and Opportunity’s Visiting Senior Fellow / Acting Director of Academic Outreach Aaron Hedlund recently had a research paper published by the American Economic Association in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

    The Benchmark: The rise and fall of the female typist

    Why we should be optimistic about technology’s impact on women.

    Op-ed: National park entry fees are vital

    We should allow for more local management of parks so that those who know their parks best can effectively maintain them.

    The Benchmark: Burning down the house

    How current wildfire policy is encouraging riskier real estate development.

    Does Expanding Highway Capacity Solve Urban Congestion Problems?

    This Research in Focus explains why highway expansion has, at best, only a limited impact on congestion.

    Modifications to Fuel Regulations to Provide Flexibility for E15 and to Elements of the Renewable Identification Number Compliance System

    The EPA seeks comment on changes to rules governing sales of E15, a gasoline blend with up to 15% ethanol.

    The Benchmark: When “innovation” goes wrong

    Let’s rethink the ethanol mandate.

    The Benchmark: Uber drivers aren’t employees

    Where do we go from here?

    Immigration and Spatial Equilibrium: The Role of Expenditures in the Country of Origin

    This research investigates where immigrants to the US choose to live and their impact on economic activity in cities across the US.

    Executive Discretion and the Antiquities Act

    This policy paper reviews the relevant literature on the extent of executive discretion under the Antiquities Act.

    The Benchmark: The surprising leaders in the fight against climate change

    U.S. companies are succeeding where the federal government has failed.

    Podcast: Robert Krol Discusses Highway Expansion, Tolls, and Congestion

    Dr. Robert Krol of California State University was a guest on Economics Detective Radio to discuss the policy paper he wrote for The Center for Growth and Opportunity.

    Podcast: Brian Isom Discusses How Policy Changes Can Reduce Wildfires

    CGO Research Manager Brian Isom expounds on wildfire policy.

    CGO Welcomes Google Policy Fellow for Summer 2019

    CGO welcomes Jon Matt to the research team as a Google Policy Fellow.

    OP-ED: APPA opinion on electric rates misses mark, retail choice better for customers: Academics

    Competition is protecting consumers just as well as state regulators.

    A New Role for the FDA in Medical Device Regulation

    This policy paper examines the role of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in regulating emerging nutrition technologies.

    Op-ed: How to protect monuments and local communities

    The Antiquities Act allows for abrupt changes from one administration to the next, leaving local people in the dark.

    Radio: Christopher Koopman on American Radio Journal

    Christopher Koopman talks with Lowman Henry about the impact on consumers of anti-trust actions against big tech firms.

    Op-ed: Tax reform contributes to Utah’s economic success

    Based on our economic research, it is clear that the best path for continued prosperity in Utah is in lowering overall rates and broadening the base.

    Radio: Megan E. Hansen talks public lands on Lars Larson Show

    Megan E. Hansen discusses what can be done to balance national land and public need.

    Occupational Licensing Effects on Firm Entry and Employment

    This research suggests that if state policymakers were to reduce the cost of obtaining a license in their state, they may be able to attract new businesses and improve overall employment opportunities for residents.

    Op-ed: Is Big Tech biased?

    Many of our fears are just plain overblown.

    The Benchmark: Are nonexistent connected cars slowing our WiFi?

    The FCC can easily fix the problem.

    Journal on Migration and Human Security Publishes CGO Immigration Research

    Recent working paper for the Center for Growth and Opportunity published in the Journal on Migration and Human Security.

    Megan E. Hansen Discusses Improving Public Lands Management on C-SPAN

    Megan E. Hansen shares suggestions for how to improve public lands management.

    The Benchmark: You probably can’t pass the US citizenship test

    And other ways we can improve our immigration process.

    The Benchmark: Bringing mom to work (and bringing work to mom)

    How technology empowers a new generation of working moms.

    Occupational Licensing and Immigrants

    This research examines how immigrants, in particular, are impacted by occupational licensing rules in the US.

    The Benchmark: The Border Patrol’s problems aren’t about Facebook

    They’re about the Border Patrol’s culture.

    Op-ed: Unnecessary regulation headaches for workers, business worst in these states

    Different states have different rules and fees for those applying to get licenses, those laws can have a significant impact on who — and how many people — businesses choose to hire.

    The Benchmark: The road to wildfire is paved with good intentions

    It’s time to give forest managers the tools they need.

    Impeding or Accelerating Assimilation? Immigration Enforcement and Its Impact on Naturalization Patterns

    This research examines how differences in immigration enforcement, at the city-level, determine the effects of enforcement on naturalization rates.

    The Benchmark: Beyond the Fight for $15

    The case for universal basic income.

    Op-ed: The Right Way to Shape Our Low-Carbon Future

    While renewables will certainly play a role in our low-carbon future, they aren’t our only option for reducing carbon emissions.

    The Resilience Approach to Cybersecurity Policy in the Internet of Things Ecosystem

    This research explores how to address cybersecurity issues without stifling innovation in the growing network of interconnected devices.

    The Benchmark: Driverless cars could transform our roads

    But there’s a long way to go.

    Does Occupational Licensing Impact Access to Dental Care?

    This paper explores the academic literature on occupational licensing to understand whether licensing laws are contributing to this shortage.

    The Benchmark: Reskilling tomorrow’s workforce

    The role of on-the-job learning.

    Op-ed: Want To Help Immigrants? Reform Occupational Licensing Restrictions

    An unlikely immigration issue is actually a collection of state policies that hold immigrants back — occupational licensing.

    The Benchmark: Why immigration raids backfire

    Raids won’t keep people from coming to the US.

    Op-ed: Changes to the Endangered Species Act will benefit endangered plants and animals

    The law’s success rate suggests there is some room for improvement.

    Immigration and the Stock Market

    This study examines the relationship between increases in immigration and the stock prices of firms most likely to be affected by immigration.

    Op-ed: Protecting immigrants boosts US stocks

    Our new research indicates that mass deportations could have an adverse effect on stock markets.

    Radio: Megan E. Hansen Discusses ESA Changes on American Viewpoints

    Megan E. Hansen was a guest on American Viewpoints to discuss changes to the Endangered Species Act.

    The Benchmark: Chasing Away the American Dream

    How reforming zoning rules could unleash home-based businesses.

    CGO Research Published in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance

    Visiting Senior Fellow and Acting Director of Academic Outreach at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University Aaron Hedlund and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Vice President Carlos Garriga recently had their CGO working paper Crises in the Housing Market: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Lessons, published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance.

    Op-ed: Soliciting donations from jurors can bias criminal court verdicts

    Every year, millions of Americans file into courthouses for jury duty. They form a critical constitutional pillar of the criminal justice system — an unbiased trial by a jury of one’s peers.

    Op-ed: Should We Focus on Highway Expansion to Reduce Congestion?

    Unfortunately, adding lanes to a highway is not a cure-all policy for congestion relief.

    Op-ed: Block the misuse of facial recognition, not the tech itself

    It should not hinder the future of the technology in other applications where it shows real potential.

    The Benchmark: From Booze Cruise to Silicon Sands

    What Tijuana teaches us about immigration.

    The Benchmark: Did Gavin Newsom kill the sharing economy?

    Probably not, but it won’t be pretty.

    The Impact of Economic Activity on Criminal Behavior: Evidence from the Fracking Boom

    This study finds that there is an initial twenty-two percent reduction in the number of criminal cases filed in areas affected by the fracking boom.

    Monumental Debate: What Past Reforms of the Antiquities Act Can Teach Us about Current Controversies

    This research suggests that past reforms have been effective at limiting executive power to designate large national monuments in western states without […]

    The Benchmark: “Look at the Camera for Entry”

    Balancing the freedom to experiment and fear.

    A Primer on Housing Finance Reform

    This paper summarizes key findings from this literature and provides suggestions for how to increase resiliency in U.S. housing markets.

    Op-ed: A Reset for the Renewable Fuels Standard?

    The environmental record for biofuels is bleak , but upcoming regulatory reviews offer a chance to change course.

    The Benchmark: Immigrants, Robots, and the American Farmer

    Farmers are finding new ways to bring in their crops.

    TURF Wars: Group Dynamics in Resource Management

    This study examines the effect of separating fisheries into Territorial Use Rights for Fisheries (TURF).

    The Benchmark: Want to See Green Tech Thrive?

    Rethink how we fund it.

    Op-ed: Look to history to reform the Antiquities Act

    In its 113-year history, the Antiquities Act has gone through several cycles of controversy, reform and relative harmony.

    The Benchmark: “The great moral renovator of society”

    Mark Zuckerberg takes on free speech.

    Radio: Trump administration moves to change fair-housing rule

    Aaron Hedlund discusses the disparate impact rule under the Fair Housing Act on Marketplace.

    Radio: Is giving people a voice dividing or bringing us together?

    Christopher Koopman discusses free speech and what big tech industries are doing on The Lars Larson Show

    The Benchmark: Finding Meaning in a Future of Less Work

    Concerns about automation, in particular, have become deep-rooted and widespread in political debates and popular culture alike.

    TV: Christopher Koopman discusses the future of internet regulations on Liquid Lunch with John Tabacco

    Christopher Koopman discusses the future of social media and internet regulations.

    Op-ed: Let’s make Utah the ‘Sandbox State’

    Utah is now full of “regulatory sandboxes” where innovators can safely test their ideas and experiment for a limited time with relaxed regulatory requirements.

    The Benchmark: Would deportations even work?

    And what does work mean?

    Knight Foundation Announces Partnership with CGO

    The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University is pleased to announce a $250,000 investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to further research focused on how content moderation policies are affecting user behavior and [ … ]

    Op-ed: Power outages are not the wildfire solution California needs

    A guaranteed way to prevent powerlines from causing fires, it comes at an incredibly high cost.

    The Benchmark: With Nuclear Power, the Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

    Misconceptions about nuclear energy have proven to be far more deadly than atomic meltdowns.

    The Benchmark: The Opportunity Cost of Public Transit

    Why Shiny New Projects Don’t Produce Results

    Op-ed: What college football can teach us about innovation

    What does football have to do with innovation? In short, everything.

    Sources of Consumer Inertia in the Individual Health Insurance Market

    This paper examines the causes of inertia in health insurance by examining Covered California, the largest U.S. health insurance Marketplace.

    The Benchmark: The future of education may not be what you think

    College still matters, but it’s not the only option.

    Op-ed: Healthcare policy and the challenge of inertia

    Why are Covered California enrollees willing to pay so much to stick with their plan?

    Are Marijuana and Alcohol Substitutes?

    This research suggests that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes.

    Podcast: Brian Isom discusses wildfires on the Upzoned podcast

    Brian Isom wildfires, power outages, and market incentives to make even the driest, most overbuilt corners of the US fire-safe.

    TV: Legal Marijuana and Drunk Driving

    Author of CGO working paper, Benjamin Hansen joins the Kennedy show on Fox Business.

    The Benchmark: Let’s tear down the invisible wall

    It’s time to fix our immigration system.

    The Benchmark: Was your Thanksgiving dinner radioactive?

    Probably, but don’t call your doctor just yet.

    Op-ed: Democrats wrong on big-tech solutions

    Why do people seem so “addicted” to the Internet? It may be passion, not addiction.

    A Primer on the Past, Present, and Future of Higher Education

    This policy paper examines ongoing changes in the cost of attending college, the returns on investing in education, and debt financing of college over the past few decades.

    The Benchmark: The end of shopping as we know it?

    How AI and data analytics are transforming retail.

    CGO Postdoctoral Research Associate Publishes Work in Public Choice

    Is there more violence in areas with many small countries or only a single large one?

    Housing Affordability: Trends, Consequences, and Policies

    This paper discusses key trends in housing affordability and analyzes the effects of policy interventions designed to increase homeownership and make housing more affordable.

    On Regional Borrowing, Default, and Migration

    This paper examines the relationship between city finances, migration, and default, using both theoretical models and empirical analysis.

    Strategic Reporting and the Effects of Water Use in Hydraulic Fracturing on Local Groundwater Levels in Texas

    This research analyzes data to examine the effect of hydraulic fracturing on local water availability and the tendencies of producers […]

    The Benchmark: All I want for Christmas is a shorter commute

    Making transportation work for workers.

    Qualifying Facility Rates and Requirements

    This comment evaluates the likely effects of proposed rule changes on competition in the electricity industry.

    How Do Taxes Affect Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Productivity?

    This Research in Focus examines how income tax policy shapes incentives for innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States.

    What Can Be Done to Address Rising Student Debt?

    This Research in Focus summarizes the data and existing research on student debt and possible policy reforms.

    The Benchmark: Sanctuary for immigrants?

    Crime, trust, and community in America.

    Estimating the Effect of New Jersey’s 2005 Administrative-Nurse Mandate on Mortality and Availability of Care for Hemodialysis Patients

    This research uses a synthetic control method to compare patient outcomes in New Jersey to a control group of states meant to mimic what would have happened in New Jersey if the nurse-staffing rule had not been enacted.

    The Benchmark: Lessons from the ashes

    Why Australia is a stark reminder that wildfires remain a major risk to our forests and communities.

    Op-ed: Utah tax reform a step in the right direction

    While not flawless, Utah’s tax reform is a great start to modernizing the tax code, lowering rates, and offering better services to those who need it most.

    Stringent Immigration Enforcement and the Mental Health and Health-Risk Behaviors of Hispanic Adolescent

    This research demonstrates some of the unintended consequences that can be inflicted when immigration enforcement policies are not carefully crafted.

    Eli Dourado joins Center for Growth and Opportunity

    The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University is excited to welcome Eli Dourado as a Senior Research Fellow.

    The Benchmark: Bringing home the virtual bacon

    Virtual reality and the future of work.

    Asylum Application, Interview, and Employment Authorization for Applicants

    This comment summarizes the proposed rule change, discusses the economic impacts of refugees, and then details research showing the risks of pushing refugees into black markets by making it harder for them to work legally.

    Center for Growth and Opportunity welcomes William Rinehart

    He brings years of expertise in policy research and will be managing CGO’s portfolio of technology policy research.

    Op-ed: Clearing a Path for New Infrastructure

    The Trump administration is right to streamline the environmental-review process.

    Op-ed: A 15-year-old N.J. law is costing patients real time and money with no real benefit, study finds

    The rule requires that if a nurse is serving in an administrative capacity for even a few moments, that nurse may not assist with providing care to patients

    Leapfrogging Smart Meters: Permissionless Innovation, Electricity, and Consumers

    This policy paper points out a number of reasons why smart thermostats have been more effective at reducing energy use than smart meters rolled out under SGIG.

    The Benchmark: Is 2020 the year of micromobility?

    Trial and error in American cities

    Rethinking the Value of Life: A Critical Appraisal of the Value of a Statistical Life

    This research explores the key issues underlying the value of a statistical life.

    The Benchmark: The Space Launch System is an irredeemable mistake

    How pork-barrel politics and exploding development costs created a rocket that only a military contractor could love.

    Undergraduate CGO Fellow Receives Perfect Marks for Research Presentation

    Last semester, a handful of Center for Growth and Opportunity student fellows participated in Utah State University’s annual Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium. One of them, Robbie Spofford, received top marks for his presentation of a paper he co-authored “Voluntary or Not, Still No Equilibrium Play in the Ultimatum Game: A Failed Replication.”

    Innovations and Decentralized Energy Markets: Technologies and Institutions for a Clean and Prosperous Energy Future

    This research examines the potential for digital technologies to provide new services to consumers, discusses how current utility regulations prevent the use and growth of digital technologies, and suggests policy changes.

    OP-ED: How Private Innovation Leapfrogged Political Plans for Smart Meters

    New technologies have expanded the ability of utilities to engage electricity consumers in conserving energy and reducing electricity demand during peak hours. Innovations are providing consumers more information about how and when they use electricity. Innovations are also giving customers more control over their own power consumption.

    The Benchmark: Warren’s new plan on disinformation is a misguided effort to tackle a complex issue

    Social media platforms are already doing most of what Warren wants to implement.

    OP-ED: Positive changes to the Endangered Species Act

    While addressing climate change will take time, there are also steps we can take in the immediate term to better protect endangered species here in the United States.

    Bio

    Matthew D. Mitchell is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Project for the Study of American Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is also an adjunct professor of economics at Mason. In his writing and research, he specializes in public choice economics and the economics of government favoritism toward particular businesses, industries, and occupations.

    Mitchell has testified before the US Congress and has advised several state and local government policymakers on both fiscal and regulatory policy. His research has been featured in numerous national media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, US News and World Report, National Public Radio, and C-SPAN

    Education
    • PhD, Economics, George Mason University
    • MA, Economics, George Mason University
    • BA, Political Science, Arizona State University
    • BS, Economics, Arizona State University