UCI’s Program on Corporate Welfare - directed by Amihai Glazer, a political economist - has received two new gifts to support its research. The Troesh Family Foundation, led by Dennis and Carol Troesh,has donated $150,000 to support faculty and student research on the causes and consequences of policies that give firms advantages or privileges over competitors. And the Charles Koch Foundation - which helped launched the program last year with a $251,000 gift - has given an additional $445,000.

“These new funds will generate additional research opportunities, including the hiring of postdoctoral fellows,” says Glazer. “Most exciting, the gifts will allow us to expand opportunities for students - ranging from high school to Ph.D. students - to engage in research, learn how to analyze data, and work in teams.”

The program enrolled its first group of interns last summer, involving 14 high school students, undergraduates and graduates, and a post doctoral scholar and two faculty members who worked on corporate welfare research and statistical skills.

“With new funding, we should be able to almost double our summer program in size, and engage additional faculty in mentoring students,” says Glazer, adding that it was most gratifying to see over a dozen students who had done summer research continue to work in the area over the academic year, including participation in two workshops which meet weekly.

One program-supported research project found that Federal Reserve policies often benefit larger banks at the expense of small ones. Another study found that restrictions on the hours airline pilots can fly have increased airline fares. A third study, focused on causes and consequences of corruption, found that corruption is most prevalent in the construction industry. Current work is also considering democratic governance of firms, the use of child labor by multinational firms, and a strategy that could induce firms to invest in innovation even if they get no governmental patents or subsidies.

The results are being disseminated to the public with working papers, conference presentations, seminars at other universities, and academic publications.

 

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