POLICY STUDIES
Earthquakes and home mortgage risk

The United States faces severe earthquake risk in many areas of the country, yet consumers routinely choose not to purchase insurance products to cover this risk. Low earthquake …

Blurred Lines: Insurance challenges in the ride-sharing market

The world of property/casualty insurance long has been divided into two separate and entirely circumscribed hemispheres: the personal and the commercial. Personal lines policies – primarily home and …

Embracing the peer-production economy

    (The attached paper, co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan, appear in the Fall 2014 edition of National Affairs.) Enthusiasts of the growing "peer-production" or "sharing" economy are …

Alternatives to government broadband

  Universal access to high-speed broadband is a desirable social goal. There is no question that broadband brings incalculable utility and value to individuals, businesses and organizations. Because broadband …

Five principles for regulating the peer production economy

  The attached paper was co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan. Economic history over the last 200 years is largely the story of the industrial move from small-scale …

E-cigarettes: A life-saving technology or a way for tobacco companies to re-normalize smoking in American society?

  The attached study appeared in the June 30, 2014 edition of the Food and Drug Law Institute's Food and Drug Policy Forum. Electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as "e-cigarettes," …

E-cigarette primer for state and local lawmakers

Cigarettes kill an estimated 480,000 Americans each year. An estimated 46 million Americans smoke cigarettes, the most hazardous and most addictive of tobacco products. Despite our best efforts, …

The case in favor of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction

This paper has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. A carefully structured Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) initiative, with e-cigarettes as a …

Is interactive design becoming unpatentable?

If 20th Century design was inspired by American architect Louis Sullivan's 1896 pronouncement that "form ever follows function," the key realization thus far of the 21st Century has …

A rational approach to U.S. civil nuclear power

The U.S. commercial nuclear sector is in trouble. Absent significant policy changes, the near-term closure of a number of reactors appears increasingly inevitable. Much has been written about …

Fugitive emissions from hydraulic fracturing: Current knowledge and policy implications

Recent innovations in drilling technology, especially staged hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and horizontal drilling, have unlocked unconventional resources of oil and natural gas.  These developments represent a revolutionary moment …

WORKING PAPER: Conservation in the 113th Congress

With no major storm events and few environmental catastrophes in the United States in 2013 or thus far in 2014, it's been easy for policymakers to lose a …

Guarding against abuse: Restoring constitutional copyright

Copyrights are intended to encourage creative works through the mechanism of a statutorily created limited property right. Under both economic and legal analysis, they are recognized as a …

Homesick: How housing tax breaks benefit the wealthy and create McMansions

Since its inception a century ago, the individual income tax code has been exceedingly generous to homeowners.  Homeowners may deduct the interest paid on up to $1 million …

Rethinking tax benefits for home owners

The attached piece, which appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of National Affairs, was co-written with Ike Brannon and Zackary Hawley. The individual income-tax code offers a multitude of …

Artfully resolving Detroit’s bankruptcy

The attached policy study was co-authored by R Street Midwest Director Alan Smith. For the first three decades of the 20th Century, Detroit was the second fastest-growing city in …

Bringing local knowledge to federal lands

The United States might indeed be one nation, indivisible, but there are huge differences between its eastern and western halves when it comes to federal lands. In the …

Has the NSA poisoned the cloud?

The U.S. technology industry enters 2014 facing a backlash to its perceived role as accomplice to a series of National Security Agency surveillance programs, each making extensive use …

Moving to work

The following piece was co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer. Between 1776 and 1890, when the U.S. Census Bureau famously declared the frontier closed, Americans who found themselves …

2013 Insurance Regulation Report Card

Welcome to the R Street Institute's 2013 Insurance Regulation Report Card, our annual examination of which states are doing the best job of regulating the business of insurance. …

Why road pricing matters

Road pricing — the use of fees or tolls applied to road usage — is the most promising tool we have to improve the productivity of America's aging …

Government sources of systemic insurable risk

In mid-2013, three years after the Dodd-Frank Act's passage, American International Group Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc. became the first insurance companies to be designated by the Financial …

The promise of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction

Nicotine vaporizers, usually referred to as e-cigarettes, show substantial promise as a vehicle for tobacco harm reduction (THR). Skyrocketing sales of e-cigarettes, consumer advocacy for these products, and …

Restoring the RESTORE Act’s conservative principles

The 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill was the largest offshore oil spill in American history. For 87 days, the Macondo prospect gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico …

The economic benefits of protected lands: A government-lite approach

During the 1966 fight over whether to construct dams within the Grand Canyon, the Sierra Club made their objections known through a full-page advertisement in the New York …

Ten reforms to fix Florida’s property insurance marketplace — without raising rates

Florida's property insurance system remains broken and need of significant changes. Past studies from the James Madison Institute have demonstrated the challenges that Florida's unstable property insurance market …

A state approach to flood insurance reform in Florida

With various provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 taking effect this year, there is growing concern that scheduled rate increases by the National Flood …

The value of conservation compliance to hunters and anglers

In recent years, free-market groups and environmental activists have demonstrated they can work together effectively to root out wasteful federal subsidies that benefit environmentally destructive development. As such …

Opportunities for the expansion of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982

Current government policy incentivizes behavior that both harms the environment and wastes taxpayer dollars. Rooting out these policies and finding ways to dampen their negative effects offers an …

Climate change: It’s time for a conservative alternative

President Barack Obama's climate agenda announced in June 2013 represents the latest of many Democratic Party efforts to address climate change. Although it includes no new legislation, the …

Responsible prison reform

Between 1979 and mid-2013, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports the number of Americans behind bars rose from roughly 314,000 to about 2 million. Today, the United States …

Strange bedfellows: SmarterSafer.org and the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012

  PDF Download Text This paper by R Street President Eli Lehrer, which originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum,  focuses …

Defending America, defending taxpayers

PDF Download Text As conservative organizations, the R Street Institute and National Taxpayers Union believe strongly in a robust national defense. However, our groups also believe strongly in …

Spotlight on NC’s auto insurance system: Seven things to understand

Authored by R Street Senior Fellows R.J. Lehmann and Alan Smith, this paper outlines how the North Carolina Rate Bureau works and how it stifles competition and innovation. …

R Street policy statement on crop insurance reform

As Congress returns for a second attempt at crafting fiscally responsible food and farm policy, it should ensure that basic limitations to taxpayer liability are applied to federally …

Cutting the corporate tax rate means cutting corporate taxes

In 1986, the United States cut its corporate tax rate close to the current rate of 35 percent as part of broad, comprehensive tax reform at both the …

Reducing smoking: A guide for state policy makers

PDF Download Text A review of public health literature related to smoking cessation suggests smoking bans and efforts to stop minors from smoking can be very effective. They …

Analysis of the South Carolina coastal property insurance market

PDF Download Text This paper aims to clarify the debate over property insurance rates and provide a basis for rational discussion of the current situation in South Carolina’s …

Reforming Michigan’s auto insurance market

PDF Download Text Michigan’s unaffordably high auto insurance premiums result in large part from its unique requirement granting all policyholders unlimited lifetime medical benefits. Higher rates of medical …

Coastal preservation through Citizens reform

PDF Download Text The 30-year-old federal Coastal Barrier Resources Act has been successful in promoting conservation of natural resources, fiscal responsibility, and the reduction of inappropriate high-risk coastal …

R Street policy on tobacco harm reduction

Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) is a policy and process by which smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking are enabled and encouraged to switch to a …

Medical cost containment in the Wisconsin workers’ compensation market

Wisconsin’s 20-year-old certified database system, used to resolve disputes about the reasonableness of medical reimbursements paid by workers’ compensation carriers, has failed to control costs and should be …

The ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of the Fiscal Cliff

With the end of the year fast approaching, the conversation about how Congress should address the “fiscal cliff” is heating up. If Washington fails to act, the New …

A tax hit list for the 113th Congress

As Congress ponders whether it can reach agreement to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," this paper argues that, in addition to identifying credits, deductions, and exemptions that could …

Conservation Compliance: The obscure environmental provision key to protecting taxpayers and privatizing crop insurance

The overwhelming majority of American farms receive federal subsidies of some sort. These payments are controversial and, in the opinion of many who favor smaller government, ought not …

Small business credit still a problem

PDF Download Text American small businesses create 65 percent of all net new jobs and employ roughly half of all workers in the private sector. According to the …

Analysis of S. 637, the Earthquake Insurance Affordability Act

PDF Download Text S. 637, introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would displace an existing private market by replacing private reinsurance with a federal government …

R Street Shorts – Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association

Under Michigan’s unique personal injury protection auto insurance system, every insured driver in the state must pay a fee to the state-run Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association and, in …

How should insurers treat tobacco use?: A review of the research

Co-published by R Street and the Heartland Institute, this paper explores a growing body of data, including several studies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, finding that certain …

Green Scissors 2012

PDF Download Text Green Scissors 2012 recommends nearly $700 billion in cuts to wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. It is produced by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for …

2012 Insurance Regulation Report Card

PDF Download Text A state-by-state study of the U.S. insurance regulatory system, examining which states are doing the best job of regulating insurance through limited, effective and efficient …

Texas’ margins tax: principles for reform

This policy brief, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer and Texas Director Julie Drenner, was issued by the Heartland Institute in February 2012. The pair looked at …

Workable solutions for Florida’s challenging insurance problems

PDF Download Text This paper, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer and Public Affairs Director R.J. Lehmann, was published in January 2012 by the James Madison Institute. …

November 2011 comments to Federal Insurance Office

PDF Download Text These comments were submitted in November 2011 by R Street President Eli Lehrer and Public Affairs Director R.J. Lehmann to the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Insurance …

The case for creating a Michigan auto insurance fraud prevention agency

PDF Download Text This report, authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer, was issued by the Heartland Institute in November 2011. It recommends the State of Michigan, which …

Green Scissors 2011

PDF Download Text This report, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer, was issued in August 2011 as a joint project of the Heartland Institute, Friends of the …

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