• Research Report

    Energy Subsidies: How comparisons should be calculated but aren’t

    posted October 27, 2013 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Over the last several years there have been a great many claims about energy subsidies for both renewables and traditional sources like coal and oil. The analysis hasn't, but should, focus on net subsidies, which includes both subsidies and penalties. The important question is - how are coercive policies distorting supply and demand relative to a free market?
  • Research Report

    The Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina: Medicaid Reform that Works for Patients, Providers, and Taxpayers Alike

    posted May 28, 2013 by Jonathan Ingram and Katherine Restrepo
    The Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina infuses the Medicaid program with winning market-based strategies of competition, accountability, transparency and a common-sense funding structure. Although policymakers should explore additional ways to make the Governor’s proposal even stronger, the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina represents a major step forward in transforming Medicaid into an affordable and successful health care safety net.
  • Research Report

    Peer Review of “The Economic, Utility Portfolio, and Rate Impact of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina”

    posted April 1, 2013 by David Tuerck, Ryan Murphy, & Paul Bachman
    A recent report from RTI International and La Capra Associates claims to find net economic benefits for North Carolina's renewable energy policies, but these benefits are mismeasured and spurious. Orthodox cost-benefit analysis will not find anything like what the report's authors estimate. Many claims are difficult to directly evaluate given the opacity of the report, despite the report's length. Elsewhere, confusing terminology conceals the lack of any evidence that subsidizing green energy will reduce the cost of power in North Carolina. The primary benefits the report puts forth are an increase in spending in North Carolina. It implies that a $72 million increase directly led to an increase in total spending in North Carolina by $1.4 billion. This is absurd, even when using a Keynesian model of the economy. Since the report assumes that the programs were paid for by reducing other government spending, the best guess is that they had no impact on spending in North Carolina.
  • Research Report

    High Tide for Hype on the OBX: Apocalyptic predictions miss the mark on North Carolina sea levels

    posted September 25, 2012 by Patrick Michaels
    The North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission’s (CRC) forecast of sea level rise from climate change is far greater than the consensus estimate of the United Nations, and Atlantic hurricane activity exhibits no systematic changes in the last hundred years. It is therefore unlikely that catastrophic climate change outcomes await residents of the Outer Banks over the next hundred years.
  • Research Report

    Catch Shares: A Potential Tool to Undo a Tragedy of the Commons in NC Fisheries

    posted May 1, 2012 by Jon Sanders
    Declining fish stocks are affecting N.C. fishermen and fishing communities despite the U.S. government spending $70 million a year to bail out failing federally managed fisheries under traditional management systems. Catch shares are a transformative approach to fisheries management that inject property rights into the fisheries to produce a sea change in incentives. Catch shares eliminate race to fish, encourage a more discriminating harvest, and reduce bycatch. Research finds strong links between catch shares and improved economic and biological performance of fisheries and that switching fisheries to catch share systems not only slows their decline but possibly stops (or even reverses) it.
  • Research Report

    Energy Efficiency, Economic Efficiency and The Pretense of Knowledge

    posted October 12, 2011 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Energy efficiency programs focus on the relationship between one input into the production process, energy, relative to the output generated by that process. This simplistic view makes no consideration for the strong possibility that other inputs -- labor, plastic, steal, copper, glass, etc. -- might actually increase. Economic efficiency, on the other hand, relates total costs to the value of the output that those costs generate.
  • Research Report

    A Blank Check for Buncombe: County commissioners ask voters for a sales-tax increase

    posted September 13, 2011 by Dr. Michael Sanera
    Buncombe County commissioners seek voter approval of a sales-tax hike, promising that the $7 million that would be raised would be given to AB Tech for a new building and renovations,. The funds would go into the county’s general fund, however and could be spent on any legal purpose.

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