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 examine those research questions in the most effective way, the Center has designated four research areas to provide a framework for the way these questions will be examined by our scholars and students.

research pillars

Financial Choice and Security
The quality of an individual’s life is, in part, related to their freedom and ability to make meaningful employment and business contributions and to participate in financial markets to ensure life-long financial 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. As a result, health economics, education economics, and environmental economics and related topics in applied microeconomics are of interest to the Center.
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. This includes the evaluation of new financial instruments and products, dynamic labor market conditions, and evolving regulatory practices.
Roles of Business and Government in Society
Business and government play distinct roles in the economy and in our lives. 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.

upcoming research


The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to regulate interstate commerce. Despite this, many states are considering enacting taxes on internet sales for products that originate in other states. The Center’s research will examine state efforts to tax internet commerce and the economic results of those efforts.


Water is a scarce resource, and as such, it is important to know whether water management regimes are allocating water to its highest-valued use. This research will draw on the model of institutional change and economic performance developed by Nobel Laureate Douglass North to better understand if there are ways to allow for institutions to allocate scarce water resources more efficiently.


All pension systems face rapidly changing demographic, economic, and social circumstances. Researchers are examining how other countries approach their pension systems, as well as recommending innovative ways that risks should be shared among participants in a public pension system like Social Security.


As the price to successfully suppress wildfires continues to escalate, it becomes increasingly important to examine what is contributing to these rising costs and what can be done to mitigate them. The research will analyze the cost of wildfire suppression versus the cost of wildfire mitigation. With massive, devastating, and expensive wildfires occurring each year, this research will be critical to understanding whether current public policies are able to address how to minimize the damage of wildfires in the U.S.