Studies

NCPA studies generally break new ground on policy issues. A study seeks to cast new light on an issue and to stimulate policy-makers and others to think of new, innovative solutions to the problems associated with the issue. Studies may combine several elements of analysis, including original research, reviews of academic literature, creative approaches for solving public policy problems, and economic modeling.

Measuring the Unfunded Obligations of European Countries

Europe is undergoing two major transitions. On the demographic front, many European countries are undergoing rapid population aging as their Baby Boom generations enter retirement, senior citizens liv…

Health Care Entrepreneurs: The Changing Nature of Providers

The market for medical care does not work like other markets. Providers typically do not disclose prices prior to treatment because they do not compete for patients based on price. Payments are usuall…

Thinking About Tomorrow

How large is the federal government's debt? The figure most likely to be reported in newspapers is the debt held by the public. This measure currently stands at $6.3 trillion and is rising. However, t…

Optimal Taxation, Economic Growth and Income Inequality in the United States

Up to a point, government spending on public goods - such as national defense and protection of property - can raise the economic growth rate. However, as government spending rises, the tendency is to…

A Framework for Medicare Reform

The most important domestic policy problem this country faces is health care. The most important component of that problem is Medicare. Forecasts by every federal agency that produces such simulations…

To Roth or Not?

In 2006, the Roth 401(k) plan was introduced as an alternative to regular 401(k)s. Whereas contributions to regular 401(k)s are made with pretax dollars, Roth 401(k) contributions are made with after-…

Medicare Spending Across the Map

Though talk of fundamentally reforming Medicare has been limited lately, the baby boomers' imminent retirement and the continued rise in health care costs will force Medicare back to the forefront of…

Economic Inequality: Facts, Theory and Significance

The well-documented rise in economic inequality in the United States over the last two decades is somewhat misleading. Almost all Americans, whether considered "rich" or "poor," are better off economi…