Tune in each week as James Pethokoukis interviews economists, business leaders, academics and others on the most important and interesting issues of the day. You can find all episodes at AEI, Ricochet, and wherever podcasts are downloaded, and look for follow-up transcripts and blog posts at aei.org.
Melissa Kearney: The Importance of the Two-Parent Home
Over the past 40 years, children born to parents without college degrees have become less and less likely to grow up with the advantages of a two-parent home. This trend is perpetuating inequality between college-educated and non-college-educated families. To talk about this issue, I’ve invited on Melissa Kearney.
Melissa is the Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Her new book is The Two-Parent Privilege: How the Decline in Marriage Has Increased Inequality and Lowered Social Mobility, and What We Can Do about It.
Chelsea Follett: Cities as Centers of Progress
From the dawn of agriculture in Jericho to the artistic achievements of the Italian Renaissance in Florence, what lessons can we learn from great cities throughout history? What factors give rise to periods of innovation and creativity? In this episode of Political Economy, Chelsea Follett previews her new book, Centers of Progress: 40 Cities That Changed the World.
Chelsea is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute and managing editor of HumanProgress.org.
Timothy Muris: The 'Big Is Bad' Approach to Antitrust
In the early 20th century, the idea that "big is bad" drove a muscular federal antitrust policy that viewed large corporations with suspicion. Then, in the 1980s, the Federal Trade Commission began to incorporate the lessons of economics, considering the welfare of consumers. Today, the Biden FTC wants to undo the last 40 years of antitrust policy, which it sees as a "failed experiment." Is the Biden administration right? To answer that question, I've brought on Timothy J. Muris.
Tim is a visiting senior fellow here at the American Enterprise Institute and foundation professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. He served as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President George W. Bush. Tim's latest report for AEI is "Neo-Brandeisian Antitrust: Repeating History’s Mistakes."
Jeremy Horpedahl: Are American Families Thriving?
Does the typical American family today enjoy better living standards compared to 1985? We may have bigger TVs in our living rooms and smartphones in our pockets, but a recent report from Washington, DC, think tank the American Compass suggests the cost of a thriving, middle-class lifestyle has risen over the past generation. To discuss what that report gets right and where it falls short, I'm joined today by Jeremy Horpedahl.
Jeremy is an associate professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas. He's also the co-author, along with AEI's Scott Winship, of the recent report, "The Cost of Thriving Has Fallen: Correcting and Rejecting the American Compass Cost-of-Thriving Index." That report argues a better methodology shows modest gains for the typical American family.
Rick Hess: Rethinking America's Schools
Recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called “the nation’s report card,” reveal the dire state of American education. The pandemic hit students hard, but it also presents educators and policymakers with an opportunity to rethink our schools. To discuss that, I’ve brought my colleague Rick Hess back on Political Economy.
Rick is a Senior Fellow and Director of Education Policy Studies here at the American Enterprise Institute. He’s also the author of several fantastic books, the latest of which is the recently released The Great School Rethink.
Leah Boustan: Busting Immigration Myths
In this episode of Political Economy, I sit down with economist Leah Boustan to explore the truth behind the prevailing narratives that surround America's immigration policy debates. Are immigrants truly responsible for job loss among native-born Americans? Does immigration burden the US economy? And do today's immigrants assimilate less rapidly than their predecessors? We'll delve into those questions and more.
Leah is a Professor of Economics at Princeton University, where she also serves as the Director of the Industrial Relations Section. Last year, she and Ran Abramitzky wrote the fantastic book Streets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success.