Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Arnold Kling: May 2004

An Author Archive by Month (24 entries)

IQ and Living Standards

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Randall Parker sent a link to a cross-country comparison of GDP per capita and the percent of the population with verbal IQ's above 106. The equation fit very well, which led me to wonder how such a model could explain... MORE

Innovation, Business Behavior, and Education

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
William Baumol compares the innovation strategies and results of large firms with those of small entrepreneurial firms. most private sector expenditure on research and development is attributable to very large corporations. These corporations are prime employers of scientists and engineers,... MORE

Bond Market Vigilantes

Monetary Policy
Arnold Kling
If interest rates are the measure of monetary policy, then we have already seen a strong tightening. For example, since late March, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note -- a critical interest rate since it's the basis for mortgage... MORE

Jobs, Progress, and Displacement

Labor Market
Arnold Kling
Bruce Bartlett pointed to a Dallas Fed analysis of the causes and consequences of higher productivity. One of the sections, on the evolution of work, says The United States will continue to move up the hierarchy of human talents as... MORE

Oil Reserves and Backwardation

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
I summarize my thinking about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an essay. I am not persuaded that the "convenience yield" of the SPR justifies its costs. However, even if it does, I believe it makes sense to have a rule... MORE

Wiretapping Costs and Benefits

Cost-benefit Analysis
Arnold Kling
In my latest essay, I argue that the costs of wiretapping are going up, while the costs of alternative surveillance technologies are going down. With ordinary phone service, wiretapping is nearly impossible to prevent. Regardless of what equipment the phone... MORE

Demographics

Social Security
Arnold Kling
The International Economy Magazine collects twenty opinions on the issue of demographic change in one issue. For example, Michael Boskin writes, The United States is in far better shape to deal with these issues than the bulk of the developed... MORE

Bush on Trial

Fiscal Policy
Arnold Kling
Jeff Frankel speaks for the prosecution. they will do anything for a few votes, even if their behavior is against the national economic and security interests and blatantly inconsistent with things they claim to stand for: small government, free trade,... MORE

Who is Rich?

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
David R. Henderson and Charley Hooper argue that most of us are rich. Except for the few hundred thousand who are homeless, the Americans whom the U.S. government defines as poor live exceptionally rich lives. In most ways, their lives... MORE

Backwardation

Efficient Markets Hypothesis
Arnold Kling
As of May 20th, the June 2004 futures contract for light crude oil was at $41.66, while the June 2005 futures contract was at $35.58. When futures prices are below spot prices, this is known as "backwardation." I believe that... MORE

Gasoline Hysteria

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
It's not just Democrats. National Review Online's James S. Robbins writes, A strategic plan for secure and sustained energy would have many elements — shifting imports to more stable, friendlier countries, exploiting more domestic resources, pursuing alternative energy sources, and... MORE

A Glimmer of Hope on Oil

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
In forecasting oil prices, I tend to defer to the efficient markets hypothesis. In some sense, oil in the ground has to compete with bonds and other interest-bearing assets. So, a reasonable approximation is that oil prices should be expected... MORE

Compulsory Cultural Exchange?

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
In this essay, I propose a compulsory cultural exchange to try to improve national cohesiveness. With a cultural exchange program of this sort, the children of the liberal elites could experience first-hand the urban public schools which their parents believe... MORE

Hard America, Soft America

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
I just breezed through Michael Barone's Hard America, Soft America. Reviewers tend to quote the following passage (p. 12). UPDATE: see also this article by Barone which leads with the sentence I quote. For many years I have thought it... MORE

Education Reform

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
I have a skeptical essay on the No Child Left Behind Act. The No Child Left Behind Act reflects outmoded, paternalistic, industrial-age thinking on education. Its real name should be No Educrat Left Behind. What we need instead is bottom-up,... MORE

The Future of Oil

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Lynne Kiesling and Don Boudreaux have already pointed to an article by Morris Adelman, who was at MIT back when Krugman and I were in grad school there. There is not, and never has been, an oil crisis or gap.... MORE

Why is Health Care Inefficient?

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen raises a good question. Have you ever heard the claim that U.S. medical care is in trouble because we subsidize third-party insurance through the tax system? ...If the argument is that tax deductibility leads to too much health... MORE

Progress and Displacement

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen points to a paper by Foster, Haltiwanger, and Krizan (unlike Cowen's link, my link goes to the full paper) that stresses the importance for productivity growth of resources leaving inefficient firms and going to efficient firms. I was... MORE

Caldwell, Hayek, and Math

Austrian Economics
Arnold Kling
Francis Fukuyama reviews Bruce Caldwell's Hayek's Challenge, an intellectual biography of Friedrich Hayek. As Caldwell notes, Hayek initially thought the dividing line between possible and impossible positivism lay in the distinction between natural sciences and social sciences, but by the... MORE

"It's Their Fault"

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Nick Schultz cites work by Amir Attaran showing that drug company patents are not an obstacle to health care in poor countries--in fact, drug companies do not even bother to obtain patents in the poorest countries. Attaran's research concludes that... MORE

Copyright Law and Utilitarianism

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Arnold Kling
Richard A. Epstein has written an interesting essay on copyright law. He concludes, But for years now, my own private campaign has been to insist that the strength of the natural law theories rested on their implicit utilitarian (broadly conceived)... MORE

The Science Race

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
An alarmist New York Times article about America's relative standing in science has Cafe Hayek on edge. First, Russ Roberts wrote, The real question is not whether America is "ahead" or "behind" but whether students interested in science have good... MORE

Athletes and Entertainers

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
Allen R. Sanderson writes, no one complains when Ray Romano ("Raymond") gets $50 million a year—$1.8 million per episode—which takes about the same time to film as a baseball game...But let Alex Rodriguez sign for $25 million a year or... MORE

Hostility Toward Economics

Economic Philosophy
Arnold Kling
Zimran Ahmed, commenting on a piece by David Warsh, writes, I've been thinking of why people find economics so fundamentally repugnant, and I think the fact that it goes against millennium of natural selection that re-enforced building, monitoring, and maintaining... MORE

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