Over the past 40 years, children born to parents without college degrees have become less and less likely to grow up with the advantages of a two-parent home. This trend is perpetuating inequality between college-educated and non-college-educated families. To talk about this issue, I’ve invited on Melissa Kearney.

Melissa is the Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Her new book is The Two-Parent Privilege: How the Decline in Marriage Has Increased Inequality and Lowered Social Mobility, and What We Can Do about It.

From the dawn of agriculture in Jericho to the artistic achievements of the Italian Renaissance in Florence, what lessons can we learn from great cities throughout history? What factors give rise to periods of innovation and creativity? In this episode of Political Economy, Chelsea Follett previews her new book, Centers of Progress: 40 Cities That Changed the World.

Chelsea is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute and managing editor of HumanProgress.org.

In the early 20th century, the idea that “big is bad” drove a muscular federal antitrust policy that viewed large corporations with suspicion. Then, in the 1980s, the Federal Trade Commission began to incorporate the lessons of economics, considering the welfare of consumers. Today, the Biden FTC wants to undo the last 40 years of antitrust policy, which it sees as a “failed experiment.” Is the Biden administration right? To answer that question, I’ve brought on Timothy J. Muris.

Tim is a visiting senior fellow here at the American Enterprise Institute and foundation professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. He served as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President George W. Bush. Tim’s latest report for AEI is “Neo-Brandeisian Antitrust: Repeating History’s Mistakes.”

Does the typical American family today enjoy better living standards compared to 1985? We may have bigger TVs in our living rooms and smartphones in our pockets, but a recent report from Washington, DC, think tank the American Compass suggests the cost of a thriving, middle-class lifestyle has risen over the past generation. To discuss what that report gets right and where it falls short, I’m joined today by Jeremy Horpedahl.

Jeremy is an associate professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas. He’s also the co-author, along with AEI’s Scott Winship, of the recent report, “The Cost of Thriving Has Fallen: Correcting and Rejecting the American Compass Cost-of-Thriving Index.” That report argues a better methodology shows modest gains for the typical American family.

Recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called “the nation’s report card,” reveal the dire state of American education. The pandemic hit students hard, but it also presents educators and policymakers with an opportunity to rethink our schools. To discuss that, I’ve brought my colleague Rick Hess back on Political Economy.

Rick is a Senior Fellow and Director of Education Policy Studies here at the American Enterprise Institute. He’s also the author of several fantastic books, the latest of which is the recently released The Great School Rethink.

In this episode of Political Economy, I sit down with economist Leah Boustan to explore the truth behind the prevailing narratives that surround America’s immigration policy debates. Are immigrants truly responsible for job loss among native-born Americans? Does immigration burden the US economy? And do today’s immigrants assimilate less rapidly than their predecessors? We’ll delve into those questions and more.

Leah is a Professor of Economics at Princeton University, where she also serves as the Director of the Industrial Relations Section. Last year, she and Ran Abramitzky wrote the fantastic book Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success.

We hear a lot about student debt in the news these days, but why has college gotten so expensive to begin with? My colleague Beth Akers joins Political Economy to discuss that question and to weigh in on the Biden administration’s moratorium on student loan repayment.

Beth is a senior fellow here at the American Enterprise Institute, where her work focuses on the economics of higher education.

The Democratic and Republican parties have experienced substantial shifts in recent years, from each party’s demographic makeup to its policy priorities. To explore that realignment and to consider the future of American political coalitions, I’m joined by my AEI colleague Ruy Teixeira.

Ruy is a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on the transformation of party coalitions and the future of American electoral politics.

As artificial intelligence continues to develop, many workers fear the disruptive potential of a fast-changing job market. How will AI impact the economy and how can workers prepare for the future? Today, my AEI colleague Brent Orrell joins Political Economy to answer those questions and more.

Brent is a senior fellow here at AEI, where he works on job training and workforce development. He’s also host of the Hardly Working podcast.

There is a growing sense of pessimism that the American Dream is dying. Marriage rates are declining and fewer children are being born. Are economics behind this nationwide shift, or something else? I’m joined for today’s episode of Political Economy by my AEI colleague Angela Rachidi to talk about her research into whether raising a family has become unaffordable.

Angela is a senior fellow and the Rowe Scholar in poverty studies here at AEI, where she studies the effects of federal safety-net programs on low-income people in America. Angela is also author of the forthcoming report, “The Evidence on Family Affordability” for AEI.

Here at the American Enterprise Institute we’ve launched a new Center on Opportunity and Social Mobility as part of our American Dream Initiative. Former AEI scholar Kevin Corinth has returned to the Institute to serve as deputy director. In this special episode of Political Economy, I’m sitting down with Kevin to hear more about this new center, as well as Kevin’s recent work.

Kevin is a Senior Fellow and the Deputy Director of the Center on Opportunity and Social Mobility here at AEI. He previously served as the Chief Economist in the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers.

US-China relations have been strained in recent years over issues like trade, intellectual property theft, and supply chain reliance. How should we think about the economic ties between the US and China? And what are the keys to a prudent China policy going forward? To answer those questions, I’m joined by Derek Scissors.

Derek is a senior fellow here at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on the Chinese and Indian economies and on US economic relations with Asia. He is concurrently the chief economist of the China Beige Book. Derek is also author of AEI’s China Global Investment Tracker.

With the US reaching its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, the Republican-controlled House and Democratic administration are set to spar over raising the debt limit. To sort through what’s going on and whether the Twitter idea of minting a trillion-dollar coin could be the government’s “get out of jail free” card, I’m joined again by my AEI colleague Michael Strain.

Mike is the director of Economic Policy Studies and the Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute. He is also a member of the Committee on Automation and the Workforce of the National Academy of Sciences.

Austrian economist Friedrich A. Hayek fought in the First World War, lived through the Great Depression and the rise of fascism, and enjoyed a postwar career as a Nobel Prize-winning economist. He is known to us today as a champion of classical liberal thought and author of The Road to Serfdom. In this episode of Political Economy, I’m joined by Bruce Caldwell to learn more about Hayek’s life and ideas.

Bruce is a Research Professor of Economics at Duke University and the general editor of The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek. He is the author of 2004’s Hayek’s Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F. A. Hayek. Bruce’s latest book is Hayek: A Life, 1899–1950, with Hansjoerg Klausinger.

When we talk about poverty in the United States, what do we mean? And how do we measure it? My AEI colleague Scott Winship returns to Political Economy to give us a primer on how the “war on poverty” is going.

Scott is a senior fellow and Director of Poverty Studies here at AEI. He’s also author of the new report, “Bringing Home the Bacon: Have Trends in Men’s Pay Weakened the Traditional Family?” We’ll be diving into that question later in the show.

Professional sports teams love to ask local governments for public funds to build their stadiums. The teams claim these subsidies will “pay for themselves” through increased tourism and entertainment spending. But economists aren’t so sure. For decades, researchers have cast doubts on these claims, yet local governments continue to help wealthy owners with their construction costs.

In this episode of Political Economy, I’m sitting down with economist and sports fanatic J.C. Bradbury to learn more about why these stadium subsidies don’t seem to work out in the end. J.C. is a professor of economics at Kennesaw State. Along with Dennis Coates and Brad Humphreys, he’s the author of the new study, “The impact of professional sports franchises and venues on local economies: A comprehensive survey.”

We often hear that health care in the United States is expensive, but what does that mean exactly? How can policymakers reform our healthcare system with a market-based approach? My colleague James C. Capretta, author of US Health Policy and Market Reforms: An Introduction, joins this episode of Political Economy to discuss those questions and more.

James is a senior fellow and holds the Milton Friedman Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.

At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, my AEI colleague Stan Veuger told me we needed to support firms until the US economy could rebound. Two and a half years later, how have we fared? Dr. Veuger is back to discuss our fiscal response to the pandemic, the Fed’s tricky task of cooling inflation without causing a recession, and more.

Stan is a senior fellow in economic policy studies here at the American Enterprise Institute.

When voters and politicians discuss tax policy, the rates we have to pay and the revenue government will raise are front of mind. But what about the other economic effects of the tax code? Taxes can affect savings and investment, economic growth, and more. In this episode of Political Economy, I’m joined by Kyle Pomerleau, who is a senior fellow here at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies federal tax policy.

Why has the American political scene seemed to be so irrational in the past several years? Economist and author Bryan Caplan says it all comes down to social desirability bias, the observation that people prefer what sounds good to what’s true. In this episode, Bryan returns to Political Economy to explain why free markets are so unpopular, what people really mean when they complain about Big Tech and privacy, and much more.

Bryan is a best-selling author and Professor of Economics at George Mason University. His latest books are Labor Econ Versus the World and How Evil Are Politicians?, the first two volumes of an eight-volume collection of his best essays.