The Private Enterprise Research Center (PERC) at Texas A&M University continues its work to emphasize free markets and the private sector as we explore solutions to pressing public policy matters. We are grateful for the support of our many donors, donors who established the initial endowments that provide funding for many of our activities, and to a variety of foundations who have provided generous support over the years.
PERC remains active during the pandemic, during what is a health crisis of the rarest magnitude, accompanied by an unprecedented economic crisis. When in our history has our economy been stopped so suddenly, and with effects occurring of such magnitude in a matter of weeks? When have we last experienced such uncertainty as we make plans for the future?
We continue our work to advance private enterprise and free market ideas. We support a number of scholars doing cutting-edge research on issues ranging from racial profiling to criminal justice reform to macroeconomic policy to charitable giving. Our scholars are engaged in the ‘academic conversation’ in leading journals, in highly regarded conferences, and as members of organizations such as the prestigious National Bureau of Economic Research. The generosity and support of donors, the professorships they fund and the annual resources they provide, are what allows us to continue to support our outstanding scholars.
PERC also provides funding to graduate students studying the role of markets in the economy. Again, donor support is crucial in continuing this endeavor. We currently have annual funding to support three Ph.D. students in the Department of Economics, most often students working with our affiliated faculty members. This is a very successful program and has resulted in excellent academic job placements over many years. In addition, we provide summer support or research support to deserving graduate students. This support of students is one of the best ways to ensure a continuation of academic interest in studying the role of free markets in a free society.
Finally, PERC staff provide policy studies and academic work on issues of public policy. PERC produces work of local interest, including a monthly Economic Indicators of the College Station-Bryan MSA, and singular studies such as our recent Business Impact of Covid-19: Bryan-College Station Survey Results. At the state level, PERC has ongoing work investigating the status of public sector pensions in Texas along with suggestions for improvements to make these pensions more sustainable over time. PERC funds outside speakers, most recently Deirdre McCloskey in February 2020 (just prior to the Covid-19 shutdown), again due to a generous endowment gift. PERC engages with local business groups including the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation, the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce, and PERC is a frequent contributor to the local print and television media, especially The Eagle and KBTX, on issues of local and national importance.
PERC’s many activities are highlighted on our website, and I encourage you to explore them at your leisure. We believe these activities are valuable and help continue student and academic interest in free markets and in private sector solutions to public policy problems. These activities do require resources, both time and money. In order for these initiatives to continue and succeed we ask that you consider investing in PERC and in the marketplace of ideas. You can help us advance better policy, better economic ideas, to help America maintain its status as a free society and a free market economy.
Click here to go to the Texas A&M Foundation website to support PERC.
- Dr. Dennis Jansen