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Welcome to our blog

Welcome to “Free Lunch”, our forum for thoughts, opinions, ideas, and whatever else the Salem Center’s scholars and friends come up with. Free Lunch’s goal is to create  “snackable” content, featuring writings on economic, political, and general societal issues. It will also summarize and link to our events, conferences, research, and other activities.  At the […]

Impacts of Lockdowns on COVID Death Rates and Employment

As the American presidential draws near, it is time to discuss one of the key talking points in this campaigning season: COVID-19 lockdown policies. Taking data from the CDC, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and WalletHub’s COVID Restriction Score, the Policy Research Lab has created the following plots to analyze the Lockdown and COVID […]

Unemployment Claims in the State of Texas: COVID-19 Data Work and Research

Co-Author: Thatcher Thornberry Unemployment Claims are requests for cash benefits after getting laid off from a job. When a person makes an unemployment claim, they are seeking temporary benefits from their state government to support them during their time out of work. This metric can be very useful in times of economic crisis because it […]

New Method Reveals How Businesses Can Run Better Experiments

Thoughts from Salem Center’s David Puelz: Understanding cause-and-effect is crucial to policy analysis.  A new article published in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society aims to make causal methods more useful by incorporating “interference.”  Interference is everywhere in our modern world and describes natural clusterings of experimental units: family members interact with others in […]

Why the Texas Employment Recovery is even BETTER than the Official Numbers Say

In mid-May, the Chicago Booth Review published an article, Why US unemployment is even worse than the official numbers say, in which they discuss what happened to the labor force at the beginning of the recession in terms of unemployment rates, labor force participation rates, and so on. As COVID policies have been relaxed, we […]

China’s Cyber Attacks

The Communist government of China is not known as a beacon of free speech or religious freedom or many other human rights, in fact, it has a well known tract record of brutally cracking down on these human rights (e.g. Tiananmen Square, Shanxi church demolition in 2018, etc.). As we have seen with the crackdown […]

Student Spotlight: Rodrigo Rivera

We are thrilled that one of our student research fellows, Rodrigo Rivera, was featured in a McCombs BHP Student Spotlights. Rodrigo Rivera is a senior, double majoring in Canfield Business Honors Program and Finance with a minor in Management Information Systems at the McCombs School of Business. His interest in policy was ignited after moving […]