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New Podcast Series: “Free Lunch”

Welcome to the first episode of “Free Lunch!”  This is a podcast where people from different academic and political backgrounds discuss (and, often, disagree about) contemporary policy challenges.  On the inaugural episode, for example, we have a statistician (Carlos), an economist (Scott), a philosopher (Greg), and a political scientist (Steve) discuss the influence of “big tech” and […]

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 […]

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 […]

Kenneth Judd Talks About Advancing Computation in Economics

Ken Judd, the Paul H. Bauer Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, is an expert in the economics of taxation, imperfect competition, and mathematical economics. His current research focuses on developing computational methods for economic modeling and applying them to tax policy, antitrust issues, macroeconomics, and policies related to climate change. During his virtual visit […]

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 […]

Student Election Discussion Group

As our mission statement says, “The Salem Center for Policy is dedicated to helping students and business leaders better understand the costs, benefits and consequences of policy decisions.” The weeks before a presidential election are when many Americans think most about policy, and discussions of the upcoming election often throw off more heat than light, […]

Should You Update Your Computer?

In May of 2017 the WannaCry attacks infected over 300,000 systems in 150 countries and the approximate estimated cost that these attacks is $4 billion. One month later, the NotPetya attacks, another major global attack that primarily targeted Ukrainian systems, began. The approximated costs of the NotPetya attacks were even larger than the WannaCry attacks […]

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 […]

The Trade-Offs of Working From Home

As COVID policies either pushed workers toward telework or unemployment, it is important to understand the trade-offs and incentives that are now at play in this new working environment. According to a recent paper by Darja Reuschke and Alan Felstead, people’s preference to work from home is steadily on the rise in the UK. This […]

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 […]