Quadratic gravity theories in 2+1 dimensions and the topological Chern-Simons term
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The addition of a topological Chern-Simons term to three-dimensional higher-derivative gravity is not a good therapy to cure the nonunitarity of the aforementioned theory. Moreover, R+R-2 gravity in (2+1)D, which is unitary at the tree level, becomes tree-level nonunitary when it is augmented by the abovementioned topological term. Therefore, unlike what is claimed in the literature, topological higher-derivative gravity in (2+1)D is not tree-level unitary and neither is topological three-dimensional R+R-2 gravity.