Roger G. Noll is professor of economics at Stanford University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Linda Cohen, Roger Noll, and three other economists address these questions while focusing on the importance of R&D to the national economy. They examine the codependency between technological progress and economic growth and explain such matters as why the private sector often fails to fund commercially applicable research adequately and why the government should focus support on some industries and not others. They also analyze political incentives facing officials who enact and implement programs and the subsequent forces affecting decisions to continue, terminate, or redirect them. The central part of this book presents detailed case histories of six programs: the supersonic transport, communications satellites, the space shuttle, the breeder reactor, photovoltaics, and synthetic fuels. The authors conclude with recommendations for program restructuring to minimize the conflict between economic objectives and political constraints.
Clifford Winston, Robert Crandall, and Vikram Maheshri argue that these increased costs cannot be economically justified. They create significant social costs, hamper innovation, misallocate the nation's labor resources, and create socially perverse incentives. In the end, attorneys support inefficient policies that preserve and enhance their own wealth, to the detriment of the general population.
To fix this situation, the authors propose a novel solution: deregulation of the legal profession. Lowering the barriers to entry will force lawyers to compete more intensely with each other and to face competition from nonlawyers and firms that are not owned and managed by lawyers. The book provides a much-needed analysis of why legal costs are so high and how they can be reduced without sacrificing the quality of legal services.
But are these claims true? To assess the case for subsidies, this book examines the economic impact of new stadiums and the presence of a sports franchise on the local economy. It first explores such general issues as the appropriate method for measuring economic benefits and costs, the source of the bargaining power of teams in obtaining subsidies from local government, the local politics of attracting and retaining teams, the relationship between sports and local employment, and the importance of stadium design in influencing the economic impact of a facility.
The second part of the book contains case studies of major league sports facilities in Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities, and of minor league stadiums and spring training facilities in baseball. The primary conclusions are: first, sports teams and facilities are not a source of local economic growth and employment; second, the magnitude of the net subsidy exceeds the financial benefit of a new stadium to a team; and, third, the most plausible reasons that cities are willing to subsidize sports teams are the intense popularity of sports among a substantial proportion of voters and businesses and the leverage that teams enjoy from the monopoly position of professional sports leagues.
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