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Center for Study of Free Enterprise kicking off 'Issue Briefs' series

Western Carolina University’s Center for the Study of Free Enterprise will begin a new research series called “Issue Briefs” to address current events in economics and politics in Western North Carolina and beyond, by subject matter experts from on campus and around the country.

The first of the 2,000-word essays will be released Monday, Feb. 25. All briefs will be posted on the center’s webpage,, and accessible by the public and media outlets. Subsequent briefs will be issued on two- to three-week intervals through the remainder of the semester.

Edward Lopez

“The new ‘Issue Brief’ series forms a bridge between the university and the broader community,” said Edward Lopez, WCU professor of economics and center director. “We’re excited to give faculty and staff a new platform to amplify their research while enhancing the public’s understanding of key issues and debates.”

The inaugural brief is titled “Why Is Economic Mobility So (Surprisingly) Low in North Carolina?” and written by Craig Richardson of the Center for the Study of Economic Mobility at Winston-Salem State University. He examines how some North Carolina employment and opportunity hubs are leaving their poorest residents behind as the economy grows, and explores some initiatives to tackle the problem.

WCU’s Center for the Study of Free Enterprise conducts scholarly research, policy analysis, educational endeavors and community outreach. It holds a regular guest speaker series, sponsors presentations by WCU students and faculty at professional conferences, and provides scholarship support for affiliated students. For more information, contact Lopez at

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