Colloquium for the Advancement of Free-Enterprise Education (CAFÉ)


CAFÉ

Welcome to the Colloquium for the Advancement of Free-Enterprise Education (CAFÉ)

CAFÉ’s Mission

To advance an accurate and objective understanding of free-enterprise principles through a variety of complementary activities.

Why is CAFÉ important?

All economic activity takes place within a socio-legal environment. A free-enterprise environment is based on the ownership and exchange of private property with property rights enforced and protected by various social rules and laws. To the extent that these conditions exist, economic growth is enhanced, innovation and technological progress occur, and an environment of increasing prosperity and improving standards of living follow. An educated understanding of the benefits of open markets tends to keep societies on free-enterprise paths, to their general benefit.

How does CAFÉ educate?

CAFÉ employs creative ways to communicate the value and importance of freedom of trade, investment and innovation. CAFÉ carefully and objectively investigates the costs and benefits of alternative economic policies through teaching, research, invited speakers, workshops and community and university-wide events and similar activities. A major focus of the colloquium is to clarify the working of unfettered markets to students who will be able to rely on this grounded knowledge and share it with others throughout the rest of their lives.

CAFÉ focuses on the examination of significant ideas and the education of advocates for examining those ideas in the fields of academics and business. Student-development activities will include research, both high-level academic and more applied, as well as introductory connections to organizations like the Foundation for Economic Education, the Institute for Humane Studies, Students for Liberty and others.

CAFÉ’s research includes but is not confined to examining the economic and social implications of the innovations that have produced the sharing economy in all its manifestations. These innovations include, for example, the automation of human tasks.

Welcome to the Colloquium for the Advancement of Free-Enterprise Education (CAFÉ). We are thrilled that you are interested in what this new fellowship program has to offer. CAFÉ teaches business students the history of economic ideas with an emphasis on free markets, free trade and innovation. Students learn about the foundations of economic freedom and the function of ownership rights in production and how this affects business practice. Students will leave the program with a grounded knowledge of the benefits of unfettered markets and their role in a country’s economic growth and prosperity.

Not limited to classroom instruction, the colloquium also plans outside activities for fellowship students, including conference trips and seminars.

We have selected our first group of students for the 2018 calendar year and will open up the application process again in the fall for the 2019 year. If you are interested, please contact Pam Villarreal, associate director.

Stan Liebowitz Co-Director
Pam Villarreal Associate Director
Peter Lewin

Peter Lewin

Director, CAFÉ
plewin@utdallas.edu

Peter Lewin was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He received a BA (honors) degree in economics and history from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 1969. He earned a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and in 1979. “I was fortunate to have had four Nobel Prize winners as teachers.” In January 1979, he moved to Dallas. After seven years as an academic he joined a friend in a startup business called Soft Warehouse later changed to CompUSA where he was a founding shareholder. In 1992, he returned to academics. He is the author of one book, and editor of another, and author of many academic and popular articles. His most recent research is in the area of capital theory and finance relating to the role of time in entrepreneurial decision-making. His popular articles include topics like monetary policy, regulation and policy evaluation.

He is on the faculty network for the Foundation for Economic Education.

Chris Tsai

Stan Liebowtiz

Co-Director, CAFÉ
liebowit@utdallas.edu

Stan Liebowitz is the Ashbel Smith Professor of Managerial Economics in the Naveen Jindal School of Management at The University of Texas at Dallas. He holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University and UCLA.

Dr. Liebowitz’s research interests include the economic impact of new technologies, intellectual property and piracy, the economics of networks, pricing issues, and antitrust. In addition to five books, he has written numerous academic articles as well as policy reports and articles in popular outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Reason Magazine and the National Review.

His research has been the focus of articles in the Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and a program on the BBC. The papers he has written on network effects and lock-in culminated in a book, Winners, Losers & Microsoft: Competition and Antitrust in High Technology (Oakland, California: Independent Institute, 2001), which was positively reviewed in many outlets, including the Economist and the Wall Street Journal. His book Re-Thinking the Network Economy: The True Forces That Drive the Digital Marketplace (New York, AMACOM, 2002) was picked by Soundview Executive Books as one of the top 30 business books of 2002. His work on the impact of file-sharing was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s MGM Studios v. Grokster decision.

Dr. Liebowitz has been on the editorial board of several economics/law journals and is affiliated with the Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, The Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute. He currently is president of the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues. He has consulted and testified internationally on issues related to antitrust, intellectual property and technology.

Pamela Villarreal

Pamela Villarreal

Associate Director, CAFÉ
pav019000@utdallas.edu

Pamela Villarreal recently joined UT Dallas as CAFÉ’s associate director. She spent more than 10 years as a policy analyst/senior fellow for a free-market research organization. Her areas of research and specialty were personal savings and retirement accounts, tax reform, and government-entitlement programs. She authored or co-authored numerous publications on diverse topics such as medical malpractice reform, Medicaid reform, the disincentive effects of Social Security disability insurance and the fiscal future of Social Security and Medicare. She is a graduate of UT Dallas with a BS and an MS in economics. 

The Colloquium for the Advancement of Free-Enterprise Education (CAFÉ) Fellowship is a yearlong commitment involving courses and other activities. Each year, CAFÉ will offer graduate and undergraduate Jindal School of Management students the opportunity to apply for a fellowship. Students who are accepted will receive stipends, paid at the completion of each semester during the calendar year.

The fellowship application for the 2019 cohorts is now available. Apply here.

Deadline is October 12, 2018.

Fellowship application criteria:

  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA required.
  • Previous course credit in principles of microeconomics (or equivalent) required, (Credit does not have to be from UT-Dallas).

Undergraduate Fellows will receive up to $5,000 in exchange in:

  • Coursework and colloquium activities, such as reading groups.
  • Interactive elective UT Dallas activities, such as memberships and leadership roles in student clubs.
  • Interactive off-campus elective activities, such as attendance at national or state conferences of like-minded groups of students.

Graduate Fellows will receive, anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a year, depending on merit, for participation in:

  • Research, coursework and colloquium activities.
  • Interactive elective UT Dallas activities, such as memberships and leadership roles in student clubs.
  • Interactive off-campus activities such as attendance at national or state conferences of like-minded groups of students.

These activities are also open to students who are not recipients of fellowships.

Required courses:

Course 1 Spring 2019 Semester (MECOxxx-TBA or BAxxx – TBA) Comparative Institutions of Production and Distribution – IEconomic history of civilization and history of political-economic-business ideas as they impact production and distribution systems. Related examination of the ideas and canonical texts in the development of classical liberalism and its critics. Critical analysis of the principles and methods of current mainstream economics in understanding the business world.

Course 2 Fall 2019 Semester (MECOxxx –TBA or BAxxx – TBA) Comparative Institutions of Production and Distribution – II Comparative Economic Experiences A continuation of Course 1 involving discussions of disparate impacts of economic systems on business practice, economic growth and national wealth. Students will conduct research on divergent pairs of otherwise similar countries, such as East and West Germany, Taiwan and China, and North and South Korea.

  • October 9, 2018 – In the Wall Street Journal, asst. editor James Freeman refers to Stan Liebowitz’ and Matt Kelly’s Reason study on school rankings in his article on government budget restraints.
  • October 2018 – Taxi regulations may limit competition within the traditional taxi industry and may result in worse outcomes for consumers, according to a study coauthored by Research Fellow Matt Kelly and published at Institute for Justice.
  • September 26, 2018 – At the Foundation for Economic Education website, Professor Peter Lewin explains that the word “capitalism” has fallen out of favor, but it was Karl Marx who associated the term with greed and exploitation, To rehabilitate the word “capitalism,” we need to escape its nefarious Marxist connotations and understand it as that system that allows for and benefits from the use of capital, writes Lewin.
  • September 24, 2018 – CAFÉ Research fellows Stan Liebowitz’ and Matt Kelly’s study on education rankings was the feature cover story in the November 2018 issue of Reason Magazine (subscription required).
  • July 30, 2018 – CAFÉ Associate Director Pam Villarreal was quoted in an article from the Heartland Institute regarding the recent Texas Supreme Court decision on plastic bag bans.
  • July 5, 2018 – In a study on state education rankings, CAFÉ Research fellows Stan Liebowitz and Matt Kelly found that widely publicized education rankings based on aggregated test score data and other factors not related to learning are misleading. When disaggregating the data and excluding less informative factors, state rankings change significantly. Their work was published in the The Hill and also available on SSRN.
  • June 14, 2018 – In the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Dr. Seth Giertz and Research Fellow Matt Kelly write that federally subsidized low-income housing credits have not increased the quantity of affordable housing per dollar spent.
  • May 31, 2018 – On the Dallas Morning News blog, CAFÉ Research Fellow Matt Kelly made the case for why the Dallas City Council should move forward with a proposal to privatize the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.
  • May 17, 2018 – In a recently released book Demographics and Entrepreneurship: Mitigating the Effects of an Aging Population, CAFÉ Senior Research Fellow Seth Giertz examines the relationship between taxation and entrepreneurship.
  • May 4, 2018 – In the Daily Caller, CAFE Associate Director Pamela Villarreal explains why Bernie Sanders’ proposed guaranteed jobs plan would grow the bureaucracy and crowd out private sector jobs.
  • April 17, 2018 – CAFE Research Fellow Matt Kelly interviews with Laura Rice on NPR’s Texas Standard.
  • April 13, 2018 – In the Dallas Morning News, Research Fellow Matthew Kelly argues for the reform of Texas’ convoluted alcohol laws.
  • April 12, 2018 – In Inside Sources, Professor Stan Liebowitz and Research Fellow Matthew Kelly make the case against “net neutrality”. They argue that if the foundations of such a policy were applied to the provision of other services, such as package delivery, customers would surely be dissatisfied.
  • April 12, 2018 – In the Dallas Morning News, Professor Seth Giertz and Research Fellow Matthew Kelly question whether tax-favored Opportunity Zones in Texas will really help poorly developed areas.
  • April 11, 2018 – At the Foundation for Economic Education, Professor Peter Lewin and Research Fellow Matthew Kelly argue that using Big Data to centrally plan the economy cannot replace the efficiency of a free market.
CAFE Fall Seminar 2018 image

Freedom and Prosperity in the U.S. and the World: How Are We Doing?

Friday, November 2, 2018, 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

UT Dallas Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center, 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080

Continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided. Reception will follow the event. This event is $30. ($15 for students)

RegisterEvent Flier
Norberg event

Johann Norberg comes to UTD

September 20, 2018

On September 20, Swedish author and historian Johan Norberg unveiled a screening of his new documentary, “Sweden: Lessons for America?” The event was sponsored by Free to Choose Media and hosted by the UT-Dallas CAFÉ program.

FEE Conference attendees

Foundation for Economic Education Conference

June 7-9, 2018

A few students from the undergraduate and graduate CAFÉ classes recently attended FEECon 2018 in Atlanta, hosted by the Foundation for Economic Education. The two-day conference featured speakers and a variety of panel discussions that addressed topics in urbanism, entrepreneurship, education and many other issues through the lens of free-market economic principles.

student with Lincoln Memorial

Students for Liberty Conference

March 2-4, 2018

Several students from undergraduate and graduate CAFÉ classes recently attended LibertyCon 2018, hosted by Students for Liberty in Washington, D.C. SFL featured a variety of speakers who shared their thoughts and experiences on the importance and value of free markets and individual liberty. Students had the opportunity to learn from business executives such as John Mackey, CEO/founder of Whole Foods; Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes; and Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com.

Seth Giertz

Seth Giertz

Senior Research Fellow
seth.giertz@utdallas.edu

Dr. Seth H. Giertz is a CAFÉ Senior Research Fellow and an associate professor of economics in the UT Dallas School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. From 2008 to 2015, he was an assistant and then associate professor of economics at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. From 2001 to 2008, he was a policy analyst for the Congressional Budget Office’s tax division. In 2005, Giertz served as a staff economist for the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. His research focus is in public finance and regional economics. Much of his work examines the effects of taxation on various parts of the economy. This includes the overall efficiency costs from taxation, as well as the effects of tax policy on charitable giving, education finance and interstate migration. He also conducts research into housing markets and credit risk associated with housing finance.  Giertz often teaches undergraduate courses in public sector economics and urban and regional economics. At the graduate level, he teaches a course in the economics of taxation for PhD students. He earned his PhD in economics from Syracuse University in 2001 and his BA in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994.

Matthew Kelly

Matthew Kelly

Research Fellow
matthew.kelly1@utdallas.edu

Matthew Kelly is a CAFÉ Research Fellow. Previously, he worked as a policy analyst and content manager at the DeVoe L. Moore Center, an economic and public policy research center at Florida State University’s College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. Matthew has a BS in economics from Florida State University, with a minor in history. His writing has appeared in USA Today, the Tallahassee Democrat and other news outlets.