Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Arnold Kling: October 2005

An Author Archive by Month (20 entries)

Pension Bagholders

Public Choice Theory
Arnold Kling
Roger Lowenstein writes The drawback to 401(k)'s, remember, is that people are imperfect savers. They don't save enough, they don't invest wisely what they do save and they don't know what to do with their money once they are free... MORE

Education as a Positional Good

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
Chris Dillow cuts right to the heart of an issue I've danced around on this blog a number of times. Say I were to claim the following: lots of middle class parents care only about the relative quality of their... MORE

The Hockey Game of Life?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Robert H. Frank writes, [Nobel Laureate Thomas] Schelling observed that by skating without a helmet, a player increases his team's odds of winning, perhaps because he can see and hear a little better, or more effectively intimidate opponents. The down... MORE

The Incidence of Health Insurance

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
I recapitulate some basic economics in my latest essay. American firms will not become more competitive by shedding health care costs, unless in the process they can reduce the net compensation paid to workers. Cutting health insurance benefits and raising... MORE

Bryan is a Pessimist

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
He writes How about my house?! Is that going to be "obsolete" in 18 years? Even if housing prices go down a bit and my kids are extremely successful, my house will be worth years of their expected wages. Your... MORE

Admitting We Were Wrong

Fiscal Policy
Arnold Kling
From my latest essay: The two viewpoints might be summarized as follows: --Conservatives: Cutting taxes will help reduce the size of government. --Liberals: Big government is not really so bad. In the face of overwhelming evidence over the past five... MORE

Why Inherited Wealth is Less Important

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
Bryan asks, we're a lot less focused on inheritance than we used to be. Why would that be? The Kurzweilian answer is that rapid technological change has made inheritance--apart from "inherited" human capital--less valuable. Which would be more valuable to... MORE

Bernanke's Nomination Ditto

Monetary Policy
Arnold Kling
I agree with Bryan that Bernanke is an excellent choice. He is knowledgable and articulate--just the other day I referred econlog readers to Bernanke's overview of recent productivity developments. Ben was a year ahead of me in grad school at... MORE

Kurzweil and War

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
From my latest essay: Ray Kurzweil argues that the information component of goods and services is rising relative to the value of the physical resources employed in production. All of our products are becoming information-intensive. Computer software and pharmaceuticals are... MORE

Bernie Saffran Memorial Conference

Fiscal Policy
Arnold Kling
I attended an economics conference held in honor of Bernard Saffran, the Swarthmore economics professor who died last November. I took away observations in three categories: 1. current research: although Steve Levitt was not there, his style of economics permeated... MORE

Housing and the Corruption Tax

Public Choice Theory
Arnold Kling
The New York Times reports In recent years, the difficulty of getting things built has made business harder for small, local builders and easier for big companies, with their greater resources, to gain control of the housing market. "The large... MORE

Ray Kurzweil's economics

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
I discuss the economics of accelerating growth in my latest essay. If output per person in 2025 is more than 5 times what it is today, then the economy will have won the race. That means that all of the... MORE

Health Care Documentary

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
This documentary attempts to make vivid the weakness of the Canadian health care system. It begins by showing how attached Canadians are to the principle of government-provided health care, but then exposes the consequences in terms of waiting times, suffering,... MORE

Licensing Rents

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Morris M. Kleiner writes, Even in the 1950s, licensing covered less than 5% of the American workforce. Now more than 20% of the U.S. workforce is covered by state licensing laws...prices in regulated occupations have increased more--and the earnings of... MORE

Carter's Policies Not Just in Iraq

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Bryan thinks that Iraq is the victim of Carter-era energy policy. But we in the United States have no reason to feel secure from such economic idiocy. James Hamilton notes that energy legislation now under consideration wants to punish price-gouging,... MORE

Tyler's Tough Macro Test

Macroeconomics
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen has some tough macroeconomics questions, including Which aspect of the macroeconomy does real business cycle theory find most difficult to explain? I would say that the apparent success of Keynesian stabilization policy in the United States since 1945... MORE

Oil Econ

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Anthony de Jasay writes, Some miracle of an unexpected kind will very likely occur one day to make some renewable energy source economical, but until it does, responsible oil companies will make haste slowly toward biomass, solar or wind power... MORE

The Status of Amateur Sociology

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Or, rather, some amateur sociology about status seeking, in my latest essay. I suspect that the most likely alternative to economic motivation is a worse motive: status-seeking. I believe that is more important to curb our lust for status than... MORE

The Last Mile will be Wireless

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Arnold Kling
The Wall Street Journal reports, Google Inc. unveiled the latest such effort Friday with a proposal to provide free, wireless high-speed Internet access in the city of San Francisco. The service would allow users to bypass fee-based connections of cable... MORE

Faith-based Investing?

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that people who reject blind faith in religion are nonetheless guilty of blind faith with respect to the stock market. He believes in the stock market because he is told to do so. — automatically allocating... MORE

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