Research on the causes and consequences of policies that give firms advantages or privileges over competitors is the focus of a new $251,000 research program at UCI. Housed in the School of Social Sciences, the Program on Corporate Welfare is led by Amihai Glazer, a political economist who studies the behavior of voters, special interest groups, and governmental officials.

“Governments – federal, state, local – often provide some firms with advantages or privileges over competitors. These advantages can take the form of subsidies, tax preferences, favorable regulations via zoning and limits on imports,” says Glazer. “Understanding the causes and consequences of such policies is important from economic and public service standpoints.”

Glazer’s work on corruption, innovation, and regulation will be part of the program’s funded work. A project led by UCI economist Gary Richardson will estimate the profits large banks earn from being deemed too big to fail, and how these policies affect financial stability or instability. UCI economist Linda Cohen plans to study government policies that promote or thwart innovation.  

The program will soon accept undergraduate applications for its summer institute which will allow qualified undergraduates an opportunity to pursue research on corporate welfare topics. Funds will also be made available to support faculty and graduate students pursuing related research. The program will make the findings available to the public through published reports, op-eds, and working papers. It also plans to host seminars, workshops and a conference on corporate welfare.

The Charles Koch Foundation provided funding to establish the program.

About the Charles Koch Foundation: The Charles Koch Foundation supports research and educational programs focused on advancing an understanding of how free societies improve well-being. This includes support at over 300 universities and colleges around the country, in addition to other organizations working to advance our understanding of the institutions that foster societal well-being. For more, visit www.charleskochfoundation.org.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

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