Research Reports

Expanding Choice

Educational Choice

Expanding Choice

Scholarship tax credits would expand educational opportunities for Idaho families, building on long-standing state policies encouraging private investments in education, as well as successful school choice programs in other states.

Full Disclosure

First Amendment

Full Disclosure

Publicly disclosing contributions to ballot issue campaigns does little to help voters make better choices—and instead imposes substantial costs on people wishing to participate in politics.

Inequitable Justice

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Inequitable Justice

This report examines a federal law enforcement practice known as “equitable sharing.” It enables—indeed, encourages—state and local police and prosecutors to circumvent the civil forfeiture laws of their states for financial gain. Civil forfeiture is…

Government Unchecked

Other

Government Unchecked

The past five decades have seen a relentless expansion in the size of government and a sharp increase in the num­ber of liberty-stifling laws and regulations at every level. Despite this explosion of political power,…

Streets of Dreams

Economic Liberty | Food Freedom | Vending

Streets of Dreams

Street vending is, and always has been, a part of the American economy and a fixture of urban life. Thanks to low start-up costs, the trade has offered countless entrepreneurs—particularly immigrants and others with little…

Public Opinion and Civil Forfeiture

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Public Opinion and Civil Forfeiture

In November 2010, as part of the Cooperative Congressional Election Study National Survey, the Institute for Justice asked a random sample of 1,000 participants nationwide whether they support various features of modern civil forfeiture laws.

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

Who’s Misleading Whom? Defining Titles in Occupations ‘On the Make’

Can occupational titles mislead the public? Should the use of titles be regulated to protect against such a possibility? Traditionally, occupational regulation is conceptualized as a restriction on the practice of an occupation through licensure,…

Forfeiting Accountability

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Forfeiting Accountability

Georgia has some of the worst civil forfeiture laws in the country. But at least state law requires law enforcement to publicly report annual forfeiture proceeds and expenditures. Public reporting ought to help check abuse…

Washington, DC vs. Entrepreneurs

Economic Liberty

Washington, DC vs. Entrepreneurs

Rather than pursuing their dreams, too many residents in Washington, D.C., move to more hospitable jurisdictions, take their businesses underground or simply give up.

No Brotherly Love for Entrepreneurs

Economic Liberty

No Brotherly Love for Entrepreneurs

At nearly every level, Philadelphia’s city government and related bureaucracies operate with a one-word vocabulary: Whatever the question is, the answer is “No.” From zoning to permitting to occupational licensing, would-be entrepreneurs hear that answer…

No Work in Newark

Economic Liberty

No Work in Newark

This study examines grassroots entrepreneurship in Newark and offers practical recommendations on how the city, which has become synonymous with urban dysfunction, could reform its laws and practices to encourage more small businesses to operate…

Miami’s Vice

Economic Liberty

Miami’s Vice

Many Miami entrepreneurs are subject to occupation- or industry-specific regulations, which can take years of arbitrary education and cost thousands of dollars. Small business owners also must comply with paperwork and red tape that is…

L.A. vs. Small Business

Economic Liberty

L.A. vs. Small Business

Los Angeles entrepreneurs are being strangled by red tape, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, for entrepreneurs to earn an honest living in the City of Angels.

Houston, We Have a Problem

Economic Liberty

Houston, We Have a Problem

This report focuses on the areas Houston needs to improve in order to remain an opportunity city for all.

Regulatory Field

Economic Liberty

Regulatory Field

This report examines government-created barriers in industries that have traditionally provided a better way of life for the economically disenfranchised.

Forfeiting Justice

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Forfeiting Justice

Texas law gives police and prosecutors generous rewards for seizing people’s property—without even having to prove the owner committed any crime. And the law makes it so hard for owners to fight for the return…

Unhappy Days for Milwaukee Entrepreneurs

Economic Liberty

Unhappy Days for Milwaukee Entrepreneurs

This report chronicles the ways in which the city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin make life difficult for small businesses, which threatens both entrepreneurship and the American Dream.

Keep Out

First Amendment

Keep Out

Campaign-finance laws protect political insiders by making it harder for upstart citizen groups to form and bring new voices to public debate.

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Do restrictions on eminent domain harm economic development?

After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in the Kelo decision the use of eminent domain for private-to-private transfer of property for economic development, public outrage was followed by attempts to restrict such use of eminent domain. Opponents…

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

An African hair braider from Tupelo, Miss., Melony Armstrong successfully challenged an anti-competitive licensing law in her state and has grown into an inspiring economic force who brings hope and opportunity to her community.

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Seattle-area bagel businessman Dennis Ballen’s thriving enterprise was almost driven out of business by a local law that barred him from advertising his business. He joined with IJ to fight for his First Amendment rights…

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

New York City commuter van owner Hector Ricketts battled the politically powerful and heavily subsidized public buses for years. Despite overwhelming odds against him, Hector continues to grow his “dollar van” business.

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

High-tech Dallas entrepreneur Thane Hayhurst helps businesses across Texas keep their computers running at peak efficiency, but he was threatened to be put out of business under a law that effectively requires anyone who conducts…

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Funeral home and cemetery owner Kim Powers Bridges battled bureaucrats in her home state of Oklahoma where she wanted to sell caskets online. Unsuccessful in that fight, she grew a brick-and-mortar business in Tennessee and…

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Five Years After Kelo

On June 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision called Kelo v. City of New London,[1] ruled that private economic development is a public use under the Fifth Amendment…