Recent News

In November, the Tobin Project hosted Lord Robert Skidelsky, preeminent biographer of John Maynard Keynes, for a dialogue on the intersection of markets and morals. Participants included Sir Anthony Atkinson (Oxford University, Economics), David Laibson (Harvard University, Economics), and Michael Sandel (Harvard University, Government). The day before, Lord Skidelsky offered a public lecture, sponsored by the Tobin Project, Harvard University’s Center for History & Economics, and the Project on Justice, Welfare & Economics.

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As the financial crisis has shown, neither traditional market failure models nor public choice theory, by themselves, sufficiently inform or explain our current regulatory challenges, nor point us toward the best solutions. Regulatory studies, long neglected in an atmosphere focused on deregulatory work, are in critical need of new models and theories that can guide effective policymaking.

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Arising out of conversations begun at the April 2009 Government & Markets conferenceTom Baker (University of Pennsylvania Law School) and Annelise Riles (Cornell University, Law and Anthropology), held a Tobin-supported workshop at University of Pennsylva

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The Tobin Project held an event in Washington, D.C. at Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro's (D-CT) home to introduce New Perspectives on Regulation to over two dozen members of Congress. Chapter authors Edward Balleisen (Duke University, History), Michael Barr (Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, Dept.

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The Tobin Project is pleased to share that the Carnegie Corporation of New York has announced a new multi-year grant to support Tobin’s National Security initiative. 

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On July 23, a group of scholars met at the Tobin Project to discuss the intersections of economics and values and to begin forming a research agenda on the relationship between norms, markets, and political economy. Participants include John Geanakoplos (Yale University, Economics), David Grewal (Harvard Society of Fellows, Government), David Laibson (Harvard University, Economics), Sabeel Rahman (Harvard University, Ph.D.

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The Tobin Project held a briefing in Washington, D.C. for Senate staff, introducing New Perspectives on Regulation and the work and mission of the Tobin Project more generally. Participants included staff members from several Senators' offices as well as staffers from the Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

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New regulation shouldn't rely on old ideas. Since the 1960s, influential research on government failure helped to drive the movement for deregulation and privatization. Yet even as this branch of research was flourishing, very different ideas were sprouting in the social sciences with profound implications for our understanding of human behavior and the role of government. Some of these ideas, particularly from the field of behavioral economics, have begun to enter into discussions of regulatory purpose, design, and implementation.

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Members of the Tobin Project’s Institutions of Democracy working group collaborated with The American Prospect in May to produce a series of white papers and blog posts responding to the Supreme Court’s decision to decline to rule on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, designed to protect minorities from facing obstacles to voting.

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In May, the Tobin Project asked five scholar-experts from varying diciplines to respond to Elizabeth Warren's (Harvard Law School) proposal for a Financial Product Safety Commission (FPSC), which has been introduced in Congress.

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