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  2014 Hayek Lecture

June 25, 2014



Speaker: Casey Mulligan, Professor in Economics, University of Chicago

The casualties of America's Great Recession are many: from late 2007 to late 2009, the fraction of Americans with jobs plunged 7 percent; hours worked per capita, by 10 percent. Major government subsidies and regulations— designed to help the poor and unemployed—were changed in more than a dozen ways after 2007. In the process, argues University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan in The Redistribution Recession, they also profoundly altered the U.S. labor market and economy, inadvertently turning the recession into the country's longest, most severe downturn since the 1930s.

The Redistribution Recession is an empirical tour de force, quantifying how the dramatic expansion of government safety nets reduced incentives for individuals to work and businesses to hire. Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as "the economist who exposed Obamacare," Mulligan measures the startling changes in implicit tax rates resulting from the labyrinth of new, and expanded, public assistance programs.

The Manhattan Institute's Hayek Prize honors the book published within the past two years that best reflects Friedrich Hayek's vision of economic and individual liberty. Hayek, author of groundbreaking works such as The Road to Serfdom and The Constitution of Liberty, was the key figure in the twentieth-century revival of classical liberalism and a formative influence on the Manhattan Institute. The winner of the Hayek Prize is chosen by a selection committee of renowned economists and journalists.



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