Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Arnold Kling: March 2005

An Author Archive by Month (33 entries)

The Anti-Malthusian

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
Ray Kurzweil is always fascinating. We’ll ultimately disconnect the sensual and social pleasures of eating from the biochemical task of keeping an optimum set of nutrients in our bloodstream. That sounds like a very concise statement of the goal for... MORE

More Gas for Washington

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
The Washington Post reports, A who's who of right-leaning military hawks -- including former CIA director R. James Woolsey and Iraq war advocate Frank J. Gaffney Jr. -- has joined with environmental advocates such as the Natural Resources Defense Council... MORE

Pre-historic free trade?

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Jason Shogren, Richard Horan, and Erwin Bulte argue that free trade contributed to humans' outcompeting Neanderthals. Archaeological evidence exists to suggest traveling bands of early humans interacted with each other and that inter-group trading emerged, says Shogren. Early humans, the... MORE

Boskin on Social Security

Social Security
Arnold Kling
Michael Boskin writes, First, we should switch from wage indexing to price indexing, but raise benefits more rapidly for those with low earnings. This would eliminate most of the long-term insolvency, but do so in a manner that leads to... MORE

Feelings vs. Consequences

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
Pre-kindergarten education is one of those policies that feels right to do-gooders. What are the actual consequences? According to an NBER report, early education does increase reading and mathematics skills at school entry, but it also boosts children's classroom behavioral... MORE

Et tu, Barro?

Social Security
Arnold Kling
Robert Barro writes, A serious analysis with asking why we have Social Security. If we were not so used to it, we would find it odd for the government to collect money from young workers and give it to the... MORE

Beyond Reform?

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
The book Beyond the Classroom, by Laurence Steinberg, suggests that school performance depends on factors that are outside the control of the school. He focuses on the issue of student engagement. When highly engaged students are in class, they are... MORE

Measuring Shortfalls in Entitlement Programs

Social Security
Arnold Kling
How big? So-o-o-o-o big. Ask the Concord Coalition. If added to the rates needed for Social Security, the implied payroll tax rate necessary to cover the future costs of both Social Security and Medicare would be 32 percent in 2040... MORE

Does the Academy need a Reformation?

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
In this essay, I write The Catholic Church in 1500 was a debased, corrupt monopoly. It collected onerous taxes, which people paid because they believed that there was no alternative if they wanted a decent afterlife. However, inwardly people seethed... MORE

Health Care Waste, Continued

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Interesting comments from Roy Poses at Health Care Renewal. He, er, poses an interesting question. Outside of medicine, the price of technologies drop as they age. Admittedly, there have been many incremental improvements in CT scans, but there have been... MORE

Speaking of Bubbles

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
The bubble in economics blogs continues to inflate. One of the newer entrants is Freakonomics, from Steve Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. I am becoming more and more dependent on William Parke's Economics Roundtable. At some point, the number of... MORE

Bubble Talk

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Steven Pearlstein writes, nearly every asset market you can think of is showing signs of bubblelike behavior. The reason is pretty clear: The global economy is awash in free cash. The article makes a number of interesting allegations, not all... MORE

Health Care Waste

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
How much of our health care spending is wasted? In this essay, I argue that the waste is less than many people believe. I do not believe that health-care reformers should be taken seriously when they suggest that spending on... MORE

Tariffs, Quotas, Games, and Drugs

International Trade
Arnold Kling
Gary Becker makes the case against the drug war. After totaling all spending, a study by Kevin Murphy, Steve Cicala, and myself estimates that the war on drugs is costing the US one way or another well over $100 billion... MORE

What is a Modern Recession?

Macroeconomics
Arnold Kling
Robert Hall writes Unemployment rises not because of a bulge of layoffs but because workers entering job search—from previous jobs, from school, and from home activities—experience unusual difficulty in finding jobs. Among other things, this means that stories on layoffs,... MORE

The Three Percent Solution

Social Security
Arnold Kling
The Washington Post had a story about a new paper by Robert Shiller, which can be found here. He says that the recommended "life cycle account," which mixes stocks and bonds in proportions that change as one gets closer to... MORE

Inevitable Tax Increases

Fiscal Policy
Arnold Kling
In the latest WSJ blogger celebrity death match, Max Sawicki says Social Security and Medicare spending will increase faster than GDP, requiring increases in taxes, and there is not a damn thing anyone can do about it Tyler Cowen responds,... MORE

Social Security and Intransitivity

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
Bryan's post on the doubtful empirical usefulness of social intransitivity is probably right. Nonetheless, suppose that on Social Security there are three political viewpoints--Democratic, Republican, and nonpartisan--and three policy options--status quo, private accounts, and fiscal medicine. By fiscal medicine, I... MORE

Bleg: Terminal Health Care Spending

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
There are studies that reportedly show that a large share of health care spending comes in the last year of life. For example, this abstract gives a figure of 22 percent of total health care spending. (UPDATE: looking at the... MORE

Health Care Technocrat

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Doctors' prescriptions for health care tend to conflict with economists'. In this essay, I take on the proposals made in The New Republic by Dr. Arnold S. Relman. In a free market, consumer sovereignty and competition tend to create instability... MORE

De Soto Interviewed

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
Hernando De Soto offers his views in this interview it takes you 549 days to get a license to operate a bakery in Egypt and that is with a lawyer. Without a lawyer, it takes about 650 days. In Honduras,... MORE

David Cutler and Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
A nice profile in the New York Times. To make coverage universal, Cutler advocates a $6,000 credit for poor families (and less, on a sliding scale, for others, tapering off to a small credit for people earning $50,000 and up).... MORE

The Hopeful Science

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
Richard Cooper writes, Development as a global policy objective dates from the 1940s. Relative to expectations then, the world economy performed outstandingly well during the second half of the 20th century. Worldwide growth in average per capita income exceeded two... MORE

Motives and Consequences

Regulation and Subsidies
Arnold Kling
Hedge Fund Guy writes, Costs of lending are always passed on to the consumer. No one is forced to lend (well, there is the Community Reinvestment Act, but that's a quid pro quo, and an exception), so lenders will either... MORE

Caplan Now a Co-

Econlog Administrative Issues
Arnold Kling
Bryan Caplan's stint as guest blogger is over. His new gig is as co-blogger. Please welcome Bryan to what Steven Kirchner calls--in a hilarious post by the way, you must read it--The Bubble in Economics Blogs.... MORE

Movie Economics

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen posts on one of my favorite topics, movie economics. a multiplex will charge the same ($9.50 in my case) for the number one movie and for a flop. Nor is the price more expensive for Saturday night, or... MORE

Finance, Risk and Growth

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
A reader of my piece on math and economics connected me to this 1998 Forbes cover story on Reuven Brenner. Forbes Global: Finance is central to your view of creating wealth. Why is it so important? Brenner: Because finance is... MORE

Economic Debate

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
Brad DeLong writes, I am cranky, and annoyed. And I am not asking for very much. All I want is: * No more claims that we know that carving-out Social Security revenues to fund private accounts will have no damaging... MORE

Internet Governance

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
Alex Simonelis writes, Certain protocols, and the parameters required for their usage, are essential in order to operate on the Internet. A number of bodies have become responsible for those protocol standards and parameters. It can be fairly said that... MORE

Bleg: looking for SAS help

Economic Methods
Arnold Kling
I recently came across the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which seems like a fascinating data set. I would like to do some basic cross-tabs of some of the data. However, I am not a SAS jockey. Moreover, some of the... MORE

Income Volatility, Saving, and Risk Pooling

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
On my earlier post on income volatility, D-aquared asked why smaller risk pools would be efficient? His point is that if the problem is volatility, risk can be diversified away. If 10 families pool their savings, volatility will be lower... MORE

Math and Economics

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
In a wide-ranging essay, I question the dominance of math in advanced economics. The raising of the mathematical bar in graduate schools over the past several decades has driven many intelligent men and women (perhaps women especially) to pursue other... MORE

Income Volatility

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
The Los Angeles Times reports In the early 1970s, the inflation-adjusted incomes of most families in the middle of the economic spectrum bobbed up and down no more than about $6,500 a year, according to statistics generated by the Los... MORE

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