Welcome to the Academic Research Seminar on the Impact and Challenges of Entrepreneurship in America, sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University and the Pacific Research Institute. 

It is a pleasure to have you here with us! IHS recognizes the scholarly impact and practical application your work has on our understanding of a free society, and we are eager for you to join the conversation regarding entrepreneurship.  We anticipate many active and collaborative discussions taking place during our time together, and we hope you will share insights and knowledge based on your own research and experiences with us over the next two days.

IHS Academic Research Seminars seek to facilitate scholarly collaboration among faculty, graduate students, policy experts, and our own staff in attendance. We encourage you to connect with the other scholars attending our program, as your similar research interests are one of the many reasons we invited you here today. Our experience suggests some of the most impactful connections are made during meals and receptions, so please plan to attend all scheduled events.

Thank you so much for sharing your time with us. We look forward to meeting each of you over the course of the seminar, and we hope your attendance here leads to future partnership with IHS and other scholars as we work toward a freer and more prosperous world together. 


Emily Birchmier
Senior Director of Academic Programs
Institute for Humane Studies

Impact and Challenges of Entrepreneurship in America

The focus of this seminar is on the role entrepreneurship plays in economic growth, job creation, and innovation; it’s decline; and possibilities to reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit. These topics will be explored during three panels and a keynote address. The program will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss these ideas, examine directions for new research, and build a network of scholars interested in this research area.

About IHS

Founded in 1961 by Dr. F.A. “Baldy” Harper, the Institute for Humane Studies is a leading institute in higher education dedicated to exploring classical liberal ideas and supporting the students and scholars who advance our understanding of a free society. We work with academics from a variety of fields in the humanities and social sciences to convene campus events and collaborate on discussion colloquia, manuscript workshops, research seminars and a variety of other programs. We seek to connect scholars to opportunities and resources to further their careers and promote their research relevant to individual liberty and human flourishing. Our intention is to enhance awareness and appreciation of the classical liberal tradition both within and beyond the academy.

About Academic Research Seminars

IHS Academic Research Seminars seek to bridge the gap between academia and policy by encouraging the use of academic research to influence policy change. Seminars give an audience of advanced graduate students, policy experts, and faculty the chance to connect with like-minded individuals and help to facilitate connections with our partner organizations with the goal of producing future research, speaking, and publishing opportunities.

About the Pacific Research Institute

The mission of the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) is to champion freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility for all individuals by advancing free-market policy solutions. Since its founding in 1979, PRI has remained steadfast to the vision of a free and civil society where individuals can achieve their full potential. Put simply, public policy is too important to be left just to the experts. Individuals are the real decision makers when it comes to their schools, health care, and environment. PRI reinforces this ideal by providing you with the information, inspiration, and opportunity to make decisions about the daily issues that matter most to you. The Institute’s activities include publications, events, media commentary, legislative testimony, and community outreach.

About the Center for Free Enterprise at the University of Louisville

Founded in August 2015, the mission of the Center for Free Enterprise is to engage in research and teaching that explores the role of enterprise and entrepreneurship in advancing the well-being of society.

Program Schedule

June 16th
4:00 – 4:15 PM EDTWelcome and Seminar Introduction (including tech overview)
Jeanne Hoffman, Institute for Humane Studies
Steve Gohmann, University of Louisville
Sally Pipes, Pacific Research Institute
4:15 – 5:30 PMPanel I: Improving Entrepreneurial Behavior
Brian Meehan, Berry College
Liya Palagashvili, State University of New York – Purchase
Moderator: Wayne Winegarden,
Pacific Research Institute
5:30 – 5:45 PMBreak
5:45 – 6:30 PMBreakout Discussion Groups – Research Focus
6:30 – 6:45 PMBreak
6:45 – 8:00 PMPanel II: Are Regulations Encouraging A Decline in Entrepreneurship in the US
Darwyyn Deyo, San Jose State University
Adam Thierer, Mercatus Center
Moderator: Wayne Winegarden,
Pacific Research Institute
June 17th
4:00 – 5:15 PM EDTPanel III: Regulation and Entrepreneurship
Christopher Boudreaux, Florida Atlantic University
Alicia Plemmons, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Daniel Bennett, Baylor University
Moderator: Steve Gohmann,
University of Louisville
5:15 – 5:30 PMBreak
5:30 – 6:15 PMKeynote Address
Lee Ohanian, University of California, Los Angeles
6:15 – 6:30 PMClosing Remarks and Social
6:30 – 8:00 PMBreak

Speaker Bios


Daniel Bennett
Research Professor

Daniel L. Bennett is currently a Research Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University and will join the University of Louisville as an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the fall. His research has been published in leading academic journals such as Journal of Business Venturing, Small Business Economics, Empirical Economics, European Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Institutional Economics, Social Philosophy & Policy, and World Development. Additionally, he was guest editor for a special issue of European Journal of Political Economy on Institutions & Well-Being and has published chapters in edited volumes for Cambridge University Press and Edward Elgar. Daniel has also written essays and policy analyses for numerous think tanks, including: Center for College Affordability and Productivity; Fraser Institute; Institute for Economic Affairs; Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics; Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; and the Foundation for Economic Education. He has also published OpEds in popular media outlets such as Forbes, the Hill, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and the New York Times. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Florida State University and undergraduate and master’s degrees from Ohio University. Daniel also has professional experience outside academia in the management consulting and public policy sectors.

Christopher Boudreaux

Christopher Boudreaux
Assistant Professor

Christopher Boudreaux is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Florida Atlantic University and a research fellow for the Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise. He is the author of more than 25 peer-reviewed articles appearing in such journals as the Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Small Business Economics, the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, and Public Choice, among others. His research interests include the economics of entrepreneurship and innovation, institutional economics, and applied microeconomics. He received his PhD from Florida State University under the tutelage of Professor Randall Holcombe.

Darwyyn Deyo

Darwyyn Deyo
Assistant Professor

Darwyyn Deyo is an Assistant Professor of Economics at San Jose State University who teaches law and economics and labor economics. She is also an Affiliate Research Fellow with the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute and an Affiliate Scholar with the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation. She has researched the impact of occupational licensing on service quality, the labor supply of criminals, and topics in health economics such as the impact of tort reform and the Affordable Care Act on health care utilization. She has published in such journals as the Journal of Private Enterprise, the Journal of Economics and Finance Education, the American Journal of Managed Care, and the Journal of the American College of Radiology

She earned a Doctorate in Economics and a Masters in Economics from George Mason University. She is also an alumni of Saint Mary’s College of California where she earned a dual Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in International Area Studies. Before beginning her doctorate, she worked as a journalist covering political news out of Pennsylvania..

Stephan Gohmann

Steve Gohmann has been a faculty member in the Department of Economics in the College of Business at the University of Louisville since 1988. He became the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in 2009 and Director of the Center for Free Enterprise in 2015.

His research focuses on entrepreneurship, health economics, and the economics of prohibition, bourbon, and beer. He typically examines the influence of regulations on individual decisions. He has published over 60 academic articles. The results of his work have been quoted in various news outlets and blogs including the Economist, Wall Street Journal, and the Atlanta Constitution Journal.

Brian Meehan

Brian Meehan

Brian Meehan is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Berry College, and Affiliate Scholar at the Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at St. Francis University. Brian earned his PhD in economics from Florida State University. He earned his MA in economics from Central Michigan University and his BS in economics from Northern Michigan University. His research focuses his research on private law enforcement, the economics of crime, and occupational licensing. He has published in academic journals including: Public Choice, The International Review of Law and Economics, and Applied Economics.

Lee Ohanian

Lee Ohanian
Professor of Economics

Lee E. Ohanian is Professor of Economics, and Director of the Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research at UCLA, where he has taught since 1999. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the Associate Director of the Center for the Advanced Study in Economic Efficiency at Arizona State University. He is an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and previously has advised other Federal Reserve Banks, Foreign Central Banks, and the National Science Foundation. He has been an economic adviser to state and national political campaigns and has testified to the U.S. Senate and the California State Legislative Assembly. His research, which has recently been discussed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other media sources, focuses on economic crises, and has been published widely in a number of peer-reviewed journals. He is a frequent columnist for the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester.

Professor Liya Palagashvili

Liya Palagashvili
Assistant Professor of Economics

Liya Palagashvili is an Assistant Professor of Economics at State University of New York–Purchase and a Fellow with the Classical Liberal Institute at NYU Law. Prof. Palagashvili was the co-principal investigator of the John Templeton Foundation Grant, “Startup Innovation: The Role of Regulation in Entrepreneurship.” Her research focuses on the gig economy, regulation of technology startups, and economic institutions and entrepreneurship. In addition to academic writing, Dr. Palagashvili has published over two dozen articles in media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and U.S. News and World Report. She was named by Forbes Magazine as a “30 under 30” in Law and Policy.

Sally Pipes

Sally Pipes
President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy

Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute. Prior to becoming president of PRI in 1991, she was assistant director of the Fraser Institute, based in Vancouver, Canada. In January 2020, Encounter Books published Ms. Pipes’ latest book, False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All, which reached #1 on Amazon’s Health Law bestseller list. The book exposes the problems with “Medicare for All” plans or stepping-stone approaches to M4A, details the horrors of single-payer systems in Canada and the U.K. with real-life stories, and offers a workable vision for delivering the affordable, accessible, quality care Americans are seeking.

Ms. Pipes is a frequently called upon guest for media interviews, speeches/debates, and meetings with policymakers, sharing her ideas for solutions that would provide better quality and access to health care while lowering costs. She published over 400 op-eds (including reprints) in publications nationwide in 2019, including her regular columns for FoxNews.com, Forbes.com, and the Washington Examiner’s “Beltway Confidential” blog. In September 2019, she and her debate partner won a prestigious Intelligence Squared debate, arguing against the motion, “Replace Private Insurance with Medicare for All.” In April 2018, she received an honorary Ph.D from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy for her work on health care reform. A former Canadian, Ms. Pipes became an American citizen in 2006. She is married to Professor Charles R. Kesler.

Alicia Plemmons

Alicia Plemmons
Assistant Professor

Alicia Plemmons is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics & Finance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her research uses applied spatial and econometric methods to understand how policy changes affect labor markets. She aims to help create environments that facilitate healthy economic growth and business development through research that seeks to understand the motivations that determine entry, operating, and exit decisions of firms, laborers, and consumers. Her primary research objectives are heavily concentrated on understanding the effects of occupational regulation on firm development, taxation, expenditure, as well as geographic and social mobility.

Adam Thierer
Senior Research Fellow

Adam Thierer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He specializes in innovation, entrepreneurialism, Internet, and free-speech issues, with a particular focus on the public policy concerns surrounding emerging technologies.

Thierer has authored and edited several books, including his foundational book on the freedom to innovate, Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom. In his latest book, Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance: How Innovation Improves Economies and Governments, Thierer makes the case that we should accept—and often even embrace—a certain amount of disruptive entrepreneurship that fosters innovation, drives economic growth, and makes government accountable to the governed. He examines how “evasive entrepreneurs”—innovators who don’t always conform to social or legal norms—are changing the world and challenging the status quo of governance, culture, and the way we earn a living.

Previously, Thierer was president of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, director of Telecommunications Studies at the Cato Institute, and a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He received his MA in international business management and trade theory at the University of Maryland and his BA in Journalism and Political Philosophy from Indiana University.

Wayne Winegarden

Wayne Winegarden
Senior Fellow in Business and Economics

Winegarden is a Sr. Fellow in Business and Economics with the Pacific Research Institute, Director of the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation at PRI, and the Principal of Capitol Economic Advisors.

Staff Bios

Jeanne Hoffman

Jeanne Hoffman
Program Director

Jeanne Hoffman is the Senior Faculty Liaison at the Institute for Humane Studies. She has a law degree from Ave Maria School of Law and received her BA in political science from Villanova University. She is a New York native, but has lived in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Russia, and now, Virginia.

She has worked in intellectual property and technology, and has argued asylum cases before the Detroit Immigration Court. In addition to the “law bar,” Jeanne has worked at a jazz-martini bar and considers it the most musically rewarding time of her life. She loves baking cookies, reading, liberty, and Thomas Jefferson.

Marisa Salazar
Logistics Director

Marisa is an Event Manager on the Program Operations team at IHS. In this role, she supports academic research seminars for faculty and graduate students by handling logistical planning and execution for each event. Prior to joining IHS, Marisa worked as the Communications Director for Goal Advocacy, a small free-market non-profit in New Mexico, and interned at the Cato Institute.

Marisa graduated from New Mexico State University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and minors in Economics and Business Administration. While in school, she was active with Students for Liberty as the West Coast Events Director for their North American Executive Board.Marisa lives in West Texas where she enjoys hiking with her dogs, Xena and Maya, being adventurous with cooking, and cheering on the Texas Tech Red Raiders!

If you are interested in becoming a partner organization, or would like to  make a general inquiry about the Institute for Humane Studies’ Academic Research Seminars, please contact us at IHS.Conferences@TheIHS.org.

Upcoming Events and Available Resources

Corporate Welfare: Who Comes Out on Top?
Academic Research Seminar
August 5-6, 2020

Liberalism and Its Critics
Academic Research Seminar
September 19-20, 2020

Resources for Faculty

Resources for Grad Students

Please visit theihs.org/academics/faculty-programs/ for more information on future IHS programs.

Co-hosted By:

Center for Free Enterprise at the University of Louisville