Dick M. Carpenter, II, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Strategic Research

Education

University of Colorado, PhD, 2001

Memberships

American Economic Association
American Political Science Association

Dr. Dick Carpenter is a senior director of strategic research at the Institute for Justice. He works with IJ staff and attorneys to define, im plement and manage social science research related to the Institute’s mission. His work has appeared in academic journals such as Economic Development Quarterly, Criminal Justice Policy Review, Economic Affairs, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, The Forum, Fordham Urban Law Journal, International Journal of Ethics, Education and Urban Society, Urban Studies, and Regulation and Governance.

His research results have also been quoted in such newspapers as the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Carpenter’s research for IJ has resulted in reports including License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing, 2nd ed.; The Price of Taxation By Citation: Case Studies of Three Georgia Cities That Rely Heavily On Fines and Fees; Upwardly Mobile: Street Vending and the American Dream; Seize First, Question Later: The IRS and Civil Forfeiture; and Victimizing the Vulnerable: The Demographics of Eminent Domain Abuse. He is also co-author of the book Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit.

Dick's Research & Reports

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Frustrating, Corrupt, Unfair

Victims of civil forfeiture call it frustrating, corrupt and unfair. This first-of-its-kind survey describes the experiences of victims of one civil forfeiture program, Philadelphia’s.

Other Property Rights Abuses | Private Property

A Case Study of Municipal Taxation by Citation

This study examines taxation by citation—local governments using code enforcement and the justice system to raise revenue rather than solely to advance public health and safety. It does so through a detailed case study of…

Fines and Fees | Private Property

Municipal Fines and Fees

Cities and towns nationwide use their power to enforce traffic, property code and other ordinances to raise revenue rather than solely to protect the public. And, as this report finds, a wide range of state…

cover of fines and fee report

Other Property Rights Abuses | Private Property

The Price of Taxation by Citation

Taxation by citation is when local governments use their power to enforce traffic and other ordinances to raise revenue rather than solely to protect the public. This report explores the phenomenon via case studies of…

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

The Continuing Burden of Occupational Licensing in the United States

This study follows up an earlier study in which we examined the scope and burden of 102 occupational licensing laws in the United States for low‐ and moderate‐income occupations. Using data collected in 2017, findings…

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

You’ll Need a License for That Job

In 2013, Heather Kokesch Del Castillo found herself in an unfulfilling career and began to question whether she was following her true passion. At the same time, she was growing increasingly dissatisfied with her physical…

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

The Questionable Ethics of Civil Forfeiture

On a cool, sunny November day, Mark Brewer – a disabled decorated U.S. Air Force veteran – was driving through the state of Nebraska on his way to Los Angles to visit his uncle. While…

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

License to Work

Today, more Americans than ever must get a government permission slip before they can earn an honest living, thanks to the spread of occupational licensing laws. Licensing laws now guard entry into hundreds of occupations,…

Occupations: A Hierarchy of Regulatory Options

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

Occupations: A Hierarchy of Regulatory Options

Momentum is growing in favor of reining in excessive occupational licensing. However, policymaking in this arena is too often plagued by assumptions that the only regulatory options are no licensing or full licensing. Such binary…

Educational Choice | Tax Credit Scholarships

On Common Constitutional Ground

Launched in 2008, Georgia’s scholarship tax credit program will help over 13,000 children get the best education for their needs at secular and religious private schools this year. But in 2014 school choice opponents sued…

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Policing for Profit: Second Edition

Civil forfeiture laws pose some of the greatest threats to property rights in the nation today, too often making it easy and lucrative for law enforcement to take and keep property—regardless of the owner’s guilt…

Upwardly Mobile

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing | Vending

Upwardly Mobile

As old as the country itself, American street vending has never been more prominent. It’s the subject of television shows, think pieces and—less happily—burdensome regulations in cities nationwide. Yet hard data about vendors and their…

Regulating work

This study examines the scope and burden of occupational licensing laws in the United States for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations. Findings indicate that the licences studied require of aspiring workers, on average, $US209 in…

Seize First, Question Later

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Seize First, Question Later

Thanks to federal civil forfeiture laws, the Internal Revenue Service has seized millions of dollars from thousands of Americans’ bank accounts without proof of criminal wrongdoing.

When legal is not ethical

Civil forfeiture laws in the United States facilitate, indeed encourage, unethical behavior on the part of law enforcement officials. Civil forfeiture is a mechanism by which law enforcement agencies can seize property merely with a…

Educational Choice

Opening the Schoolhouse Doors

Alabama’s scholarship tax credit programs follow in the footsteps of at least six similar tax credits dating to the 1970s that give students a choice of public, private or religious schools, demonstrating that scholarship tax…

The Balance Between Public Protection and the Right to Earn a Living

Economic Liberty

The Balance Between Public Protection and the Right to Earn a Living

One of the significant challenges facing licensing professionals is striking the most effective, efficient and just balance between regulation of occupations and preserving occupational practice free from unnecessary government restrictions. As discussed in greater detail…

First Amendment | Political Speech

The Public’s Right to Know versus Compelled Speech

In this Article, we question neither the desirability of creating transparency in the ties between candidates and their contributors, nor the efficacy of disclosure regulations in affecting this end. This is despite the fact that…

A Stacked Deck

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

A Stacked Deck

State data show that from 2003 to 2010, forfeiture revenue in Minnesota jumped 75 percent, even as crime rates declined, and the average value of forfeited property was only $1,000.

Rotten Reporting in the Peach State

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Rotten Reporting in the Peach State

Georgia has some of the worst civil forfeiture laws in the nation, a problem compounded by law enforcement agencies’ routine failure to report forfeiture revenue and expenditures as required by law. But a 2011 Institute…

Arizona’s Profit Incentive in Civil Forfeiture

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Arizona’s Profit Incentive in Civil Forfeiture

Arizona’s civil forfeiture laws need to be reformed. In the upside-down world of civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize and keep cash and property that was allegedly involved in criminal activity—without ever proving a…

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

License to Work: First Edition

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing is the first national study to measure how burdensome occupational licensing laws are for lower-income workers and aspiring entrepreneurs. The report documents the license…

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