Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Arnold Kling: January 2006

An Author Archive by Month (32 entries)

Data on Political Beliefs

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Two items in the Wall Street Journal. An editorial notes that the Chinese top the world in their support for market capitalism. In a poll conducted for the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes between June and August... MORE

The Disease it Purports to Cure

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
William Easterly writes, historically poverty has never been ended by central planners. It is only ended by "searchers", both economic and political, who explore solutions by trial and error, have a way to get feedback on the ones that work,... MORE

Skewness in Earnings

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
Brad DeLong asks, What skills and assets do the top 1% of America's pretax income distribution have today that lead the market to grant them 14% of total income, when their counterparts back in 1980 were granted only 8% of... MORE

Elite Fools

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Although I like Bryan Caplan's new book, I disagree with treating government as an elected dictator. Another aspect that troubles me is Caplan's brand of elitism.... MORE

An Elected Dictator?

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Although I agree with much of what Bryan Caplan has to say in his new book, there are a couple of points that give me problems. One, which has come up before in this blog, is his dismissal of the... MORE

Majority Fools

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
I don't know whether it comes across to our readers, but co-blogger Bryan Caplan is an important scholar. His latest book, for which he is still mulling a title, is a major work. I like the title Majority Fools, which... MORE

Stuck on 1968

Macroeconomics
Arnold Kling
From my latest essay. In 1968, Milton Friedman was on the fringe of respectability. His Presidential Address to the American Economic Association in 1967 could not have been more defiant of the conventional wisdom. At that time, economists thought that... MORE

No Perfect Health Care System

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Robert J. Samuelson writes, Americans generally want their health care system to do three things: (1) provide needed care to all people, regardless of income; (2) maintain our freedom to pick doctors and their freedom to recommend the best care... MORE

Confirmation Bias confirmed

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
The New York Times reports Using M.R.I. scanners, neuroscientists have now tracked what happens in the politically partisan brain when it tries to digest damning facts about favored candidates or criticisms of them. The process is almost entirely emotional and... MORE

A Diabetes Legend

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
From my latest essay For me, it is a bit difficult to credit the notion that insurance companies induce people to choose foot amputations over preventive visits to podiatrists. Even if the podiatrist visit is not covered by insurance, it... MORE

Giffen's Paradox of Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
If you thought that Bush economics was an oxymoron before, wait until you read this morning's lead story in the Washington Post. President Bush will propose that Americans be allowed to take tax deductions on more of their out-of pocket... MORE

Folk Beliefs, Locke, and Marx

Economic Philosophy
Arnold Kling
In my latest essay, I write Folk Marxism looks at political economy as a struggle pitting the oppressors against the oppressed. Of course, for Marx, the oppressors were the owners of capital and the oppressed were the workers. But folk... MORE

Valuing Life

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Robert H. Frank writes. Mr. Landsburg's argument finesses the important distinction between a "statistical life" and an "identified life." The concepts were introduced by the economist Thomas C. Schelling, who observed the apparent paradox that communities often spend millions of... MORE

Scholarly Beliefs and Folk Beliefs

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
In my latest essay, I meditate on the topic. Regardless of the state of scholarly belief about Keynes, folk Keynesianism is dominant. For example, most people believe that we should worry about whether "the consumer" will spend freely. Everyone fears... MORE

Inequality and Innovation

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
David Wessel writes, the best minds in labor economics differ on whether the 1990s and early 2000s are best seen as a continuation of the 1980s inequality trend (Harvard's Mr. Katz) or an end to it (Berkeley's David Card.) The... MORE

Education Spending

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
Ken of Upper Left Coast came up with an analogy between Maryland's Walmart Law and a proposed reform for public education. I wonder if those who rejoiced in the passage of Maryland's law -- and who, I'm relatively certain, gave... MORE

Pricing the Internet

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen steps into an old issue, of how Internet usage ought to be priced. In purely economic terms, the idea of charging Google or other "bandwidth hogs" does not sound outrageous. The casual assumption here is that bandwidth is... MORE

Liberals and Walmart

Public Choice Theory
Arnold Kling
I have started a new series of essays about the assumptions made by (modern) liberals. The first one says, Liberals see the market as an arena in which evil corporations inflict their greed on innocent victims. I wish you would... MORE

Maryland, Wal-Mart, and Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
As the New York Times puts it, The Maryland legislature passed a law Thursday that would require Wal-Mart Stores to increase spending on employee health insurance, a measure that is expected to be a model for other states. Economics says... MORE

Strategic Petroleum Futures

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Marc Sumerlin writes, The market for long-dated oil futures contracts is not sufficiently large or liquid enough to fully and inexpensively hedge the vast quantity of investment that is needed for the U.S. to substantively reduce its dependency. Hedging is... MORE

Targeting Aid to the Poor

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
James Heckman writes, Although much public policy discussion focuses on the failings of schools, a major finding from the research literature is that schools and school quality contribute little to the emergence of test-score gaps among children. By the second... MORE

Wild Hypotheses

Economic Methods
Arnold Kling
Pete Boettke wants to see Economics with Attitude. I have often asked job candidates what the wildest hypothesis related to their research in economics and political economy that they want to pursue would be. Here are some of my ideas... MORE

Kling on Kuttner on Kuttner vs. Friedman

Monetary Policy
Arnold Kling
My latest essay. Kuttner has apparently missed the point of the concept of a natural rate of unemployment, which is that the unemployment rate should not be a "target for monetary policy." What Friedman means by the term natural unemployment... MORE

School Voucher Ruling

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
The Florida Supreme Court decided that school vouchers violate the state constitution. The narrow question we address is whether [vouchers] violates a part of the Florida Constitution requiring the state to both provide for “the education of all children residing... MORE

Beliefs and Consequences

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
In my latest essay, I write Over the past 50 years, economists have become less materialistic. No, we have not become hippies, rejected consumerism, and discovered spirituality. As social scientists, however, we have noticed that a large share of wealth... MORE

Milton Friedman Sparring

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Robert Kuttner attempts to debate Milton Friedman MF: ...in the case of medicine, I would really like to see, and I wish I were competent myself to do it myself, a comparative study between dentistry and medicine. RK: But dentistry... MORE

The Banality of Corruption

Public Choice Theory
Arnold Kling
The front page of today's Washington Post has two stories on corruption. The main story is a stereotypical "one evil man" story on Jack Abramoff. The other story, on Maryland funeral law, probably explains everyday corruption more clearly. Maryland's leading... MORE

Mankiw's Wish List

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
Speaking of miraculous political conversions, here is Greg Mankiw's wish list. Just repeat after me: • #1: This year I will be straight about the budget mess. I know that the federal budget is on an unsustainable path. I know... MORE

Reviving Political Economy

Public Choice Theory
Arnold Kling
From my latest essay: The mainstream approach treated economic behavior and political behavior completely differently. We viewed economic phenomena, such as a price change, as determined by an entire system. We took political decisions as arising from personal whim. We... MORE

Would a Cancer Vaccine Pay?

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
One of my favorite web sites, Edge.org, recently posed a question to famous thinkers: What is Your Most Dangerous Idea?. There are many interesting ideas on a variety of topics. Paul Ewald said that it may be possible to find... MORE

Solow Paradox Revisited

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Raffaella Sadun and John Van Reenen write, The rebound of US productivity growth has been a major economic development over the last decade. This “miracle” is linked to IT as the productivity acceleration was particularly strong in those sectors that... MORE

Why is Nationalized Health Care Popular?

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Gary M C Shiu asks The real puzzle is: If national health care is indeed that "inefficient" as Arnold claimed. Why is it so prevalent across the world, and why it is so difficult to get rid of? I don't... MORE

Return to top