The Center for Growth and Opportunity’s goal is to conduct research in the pursuit of efficient and responsible solutions to pressing socioeconomic problems that will enable individuals to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. In order to effectively examine these socioeconomic problems, the Center has designated four research areas which scholars and students use as a framework to pinpoint applicable solutions. Follow the Center’s developing work in research in progress.

Research In Progress

Social Security and the Increasing Longevity Gap

Social Security

Sustainable reforms to public pension design have become a critical issue for countries facing demographic changes and increased spending demands. This research seeks to provide innovative solutions that could help ensure the investments Americans make throughout their lifetimes in the Social Security System will pay off.

Agricultural Productivity and Property Rights Revisited

Ag Markets

Projections about future agricultural productivity unsuccessfully predicted that global food supply could not keep pace with population growth. This research examines U.S. corn and wheat yield trends over the past 70 years to determine if there is any evidence of an end to technological, yield-enhancing progress and the impact of property rights on the creation and adoption of yield enhancing technology.

Institutions and Economic Development on Native American Lands


High poverty rates and low entrepreneurship rates have stunted economic growth on Native American reservations for decades. This paper analyzes the root causes of low economic development examining the institutional framework of the federal trust system as it relates to land and resource ownership for Native Americans living on reservations.

Revisiting Internet Commerce Taxes


Many states across the U.S. have adopted policies that, in one form or another, tax online retail sales. Recently, a petition to the Supreme Court has called new attention to these policies. This research project will discuss how public choice theory informs the current debate on the taxation of online sales.

Fixing a Monumental Problem: Reforming the Antiquities Act

Antiquities Act

Created in 1906, the Antiquities Act was created to protect scientific and historic artifacts by granting the President of the United States authority to designate federally-owned lands as National Monuments. Both sides of the political aisle argue that presidents have abused this power by creating multi-million-acre monuments, and more recently, that presidents can rescind or shrink monuments. This research assesses several potential amendments to the Antiquities Act.

Utilizing the SMarT Program to Prepare for Retirement

Utilizing the Save​ ​More​ ​Tomorrow (SMarT) Program to Prepare for Retirement

Public pension systems like Social Security will continue to face financing and solvency problems for the foreseeable future. This research examines whether private alternatives to public pensions, similar to the Save More Tomorrow (SMarT) program might assist households in preparing for potential cuts to social security benefits.

The Economics of Immigration Policy


For several decades, efforts to make sweeping changes to U.S. immigration policy have largely been stalled by partisan political battles. This research examines the long-term economic effects of various immigration policies.

Midnight Monuments


The term “Midnight Monuments” has been used to refer to National Monuments designated during a president’s lame duck period. This research examines whether the timing of monument designations has any effect on the size or frequency of presidential monument designations.

Attenuating and Revoking Use Rights to Public Trust Resources

Attenuating and Revoking Use Rights to Public Trust Resources

This research will review the implications of government agencies providing compensation for revoking permits to rights to public trust resources such as range, water, forests, and fisheries.

Research Pillars

Financial Choice and Security


The efficiency of financial markets and their effect on individuals and society, as well as the role of financial regulation, are topics of central importance to overall economic well-being.

Health, Education, and Environment


The life-long opportunities and growth of an individual over all phases of the life cycle, including opportunities to accumulate quality education and enjoy positive health outcomes, are paramount to a life of meaning and contribution.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship


The economic and legal frameworks of a society affect innovation and entrepreneurship. Likewise, innovation and entrepreneurship drive upward mobility and overall economic growth.

Roles of Business and Government in Society


Understanding the role of voluntary exchange through market transactions, as well as the role of public action, are central to the design of responsible solutions to social and economic issues.