Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Arnold Kling: July 2007

An Author Archive by Month (44 entries)

Aging Rockers vs. the Long Tail

Economics and Culture
Arnold Kling
Marie Connolly and Alan B. Krueger write, Concert revenues became markedly more skewed in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1982, the top 1 percent of artists took in 26 percent of concert revenue; by 2003 that figure reached 56 percent.... MORE

Cheers for a Two-Tier Society

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Giovanni Peri writes, U.S.-born workers are climbing the educational ladder, acquiring interactive/analytic skills and progressively leaving the manual jobs that would put them in competition with immigrants. If the trend continues as expected, the day is not far off when... MORE

High School Curriculum

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
This is easy for Greg Mankiw to say. I have long thought that a year of economics should be standard in high school, much as American history is now. I even have a good textbook to recommend. I think that... MORE

Reliability of Survey Data

Economic Methods
Arnold Kling
Tom Slee writes, what I get from the Netflix prize is that there are probably significant limits to recommender systems. Even the smartest don't do a whole lot better than the simple approaches, and a lot of work is required... MORE

A Book is Just a Very Long Text Message

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
What do you think of this? Launched in England less than a year ago, ICUE software lets users read novels on their cell phone without the irritation of constantly scrolling through blocks of text displayed on the small screen. Instead,... MORE

Which Economists to Trust?

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
In a new econtalk podcast, David Henderson and Russ Roberts discuss the issue of how a layman should deal with economic expertise. They mention the problem that the press will seek out "balance" when in fact one side is represented... MORE

Taxes and Economics

Tax Reform
Arnold Kling
Alan Blinder gives a pretty good lesson. just remember one simple principle: If we tax Activity A at 15 percent and Activity B at 38 percent, a free-market economy will give us more A and less B. Some of this... MORE

Singularity Watch

Game Theory
Arnold Kling
MSNBC reports The results are in from the great "Man vs. Machine" computer poker showdown in Vancouver, with the humans coming out on top by a narrow margin. ...The Polaris team as well as Laak and Eslami are all looking... MORE

Free Market or Artificial Market?

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Evidently, there is a company offering a solution to CO2. It is called Planktos. Our primary focus is to restore damaged habitats in the ocean and on land. Through iron-stimulated plankton blooms in the oceans and afforestation projects in Europe,... MORE

Do Sports Franchises Make Money?

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
Austan Goolsbee writes, Take the Sonics. The team may have lost $60 million while Mr. Schultz owned it. But he bought it for $200 million in 2001 and sold it for $350 million five years later. So he ended up... MORE

Toward Better Debate

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
I suggest political debate would be more enlightening if we asked proponents to focus on their assumptions. When you say that your policy proposal would be an improvement, what are the key assumptions behind that statement? For example, suppose that... MORE

Primary Care Doctors vs. Specialists

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
The Wall Street Journal reports primary-care doctors, including internists, family physicians, and pediatricians, are in short supply across the country. Their numbers dropped 6% relative to the general population from 2001 to 2005, according to the Center for Studying Health... MORE

Medical Paradigm

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
From an article by Ron Bailey. Olshansky argues that the old paradigm of directly targeting diseases is about to run out of steam. Even if all cancer, all heart disease and all diabetes were eliminated, it would add only 3... MORE

Andy Stern on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
A reader points me to this interview with Andy Stern, head of the Service Employees union. He says that employer-provided health insurance is an anachronism. Coming from a union guy, that's refreshing. It would be even more refreshing coming from... MORE

The Reading Class

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
In The New York Times, Harriett Rubin writes, It took Dee Hock, father of the credit card and founder of Visa, a thousand books to find The One. Mr. Hock walked away from business life in 1984 and looked back... MORE

Doctors and Waiting Times

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen asks, in market equilibrium, should we expect two- or three month-long waits to see a doctor? The alternative is for the doctor to charge more for a visit, thereby shortening the queue. My guess is that this has... MORE

Who Are the High Earners?

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
Steve Kaplan and Joshua Rauh write, Overall, we estimate that the groups we study represent 15% to 26.5% of the individuals who comprise the AGI categories at and above the top 0.1%. Among the groups we study, non-financial public company... MORE

Hal Varian on Googlenomics

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
the Wall Street Journal does an interview. WSJ: Is Google an example of a “winner take all” market, where “network effects” make it more valuable as it gets more users? Varian: I don’t think [search] is a winner take all... MORE

Movie Review

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Arnold Kling
I review "Call of the Entrepreneur." I can imagine "The Call of the Entrepreneur" being shown to people in other countries. It has already been viewed by a large preview audience in Africa. I would like to see it translated... MORE

Tolstoy, Hayek, and David Brooks

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
Tolstoy had a very different theory of history. Tolstoy believed great leaders are puffed-up popinjays. They think their public decisions shape history, but really it is the everyday experiences of millions of people which organically and chaotically shape the... MORE

Amateur Bank Lending

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
The Wall Street Journal reports, About $100 million in new person-to-person loans will be issued this year, and that will increase to as much as $1 billion in new loans in 2010, according to a recent study by Online Banking... MORE

I'll Defend IQ

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Against Tyler Cowen's attack. I've spent much time in one rural Mexican village, San Agustin Oapan, and spent much time chatting with the people there... I'm also sure they if you gave them an IQ test, they would do miserably.... MORE

Mugabenomics

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
The Guardian reports President Robert Mugabe's order that all shop prices be cut by at least half, and sometimes several times more, has forced stores to open to hordes of customers waving thick blocks of near worthless money given new... MORE

Solar Dreams

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
The U.S. Department of Energy reports, Acciona Energy announced on June 7th that Nevada Solar One, a 64-megawatt solar thermal power plant near Boulder City, Nevada, is now online. The new facility is the largest of its type to be... MORE

The Context and the Leader

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
I assess the Bush Presidency Claims that ordinary workers fared poorly under President Bush are suspect. Data on the "distribution of income" are often abused by people making the claim that only the rich are getting ahead. Even the abusers,... MORE

Positive Freedom, Negative Freedom, and Wealth

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Julian Sanchez writes Is the freedom and individualism Lindsey sees the freedom from interference we find in Kansas or the plenitude and diversity of options we find in Manhattan? Or more generally, which of Isaiah Berlin’s “two concepts of liberty”... MORE

David A. Hyman and Charles Silver advocate Results-Based Compensation Agreements between patients and doctors. Another common complaint about RCBAs is that they would encourage providers to "cherry pick" by treating patients with good success odds and excluding patients who, being... MORE

Painful Budget Cuts in Maryland

Fiscal Policy
Arnold Kling
An Editorial in the Washington Post tells the story. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has begun chipping away at the problem, starting with the outlays. Predictably, he is under attack -- from liberals and unions who say the cuts are pitiless... MORE

Economic Advisers Stoop to the Net

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Greg Mankiw writes, 1. Alan's views are a challenge to the economic mainstream. 2. Alan did not present his new views in a refereed academic publication but instead in Foreign Affairs, a publication aimed at the broad policy community, and... MORE

The Default Path for Taxes

Tax Reform
Arnold Kling
Greg Mankiw points to a letter from the Congressional Budget Office which says that with no change in tax law we will be able to finance higher health care spending by the government. Greg writes, For the median married taxpayer... MORE

Is Jeffrey Friedman Ignorant?

Economic Philosophy
Arnold Kling
He would say so. Back in November, He wrote, The economist’s approach reduces human error to the merely so-called “errors” of people who actually know that they are wrong, but prefer to be wrong—either because (1) they have some sinister... MORE

Exit and Voice

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
James Surowiecki contrasts the governance of pirate ships with that of corporations. Leeson’s analysis of pirate governance focusses mainly on the way in which this system deterred self-dealing. But the pirate system was also based on an important insight: leaders... MORE

The Inequality Issue

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
From my latest essay: The distribution of rewards in America today is still relatively merit-based. However, the extent of economic and social mobility is difficult to assess. One optimistic indicator of mobility is that wealth differences across siblings remain fairly... MORE

Opposition to Single-Payer Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
According to the Washington Post, it comes from Jonathan Gruber. Instead, Gruber argued for a more incremental approach, like the one in Massachusetts he helped write. Its central elements would be providing subsidies to people who are unable to pay... MORE

Climate Betting

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Michael Duffy writes, Professor Scott Armstrong is at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Kesten Green is with the Business and Economic Forecasting Unit at Monash University. They're experts in forecasting techniques... Armstrong and Green looked at... MORE

On the Health Care Front

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Reihan Salam writes, Mind you, we want poor people to be less cost-conscious when it comes to consuming healthcare, so in one obvious sense this is a strength of the French alternative. But then there's everyone else. The post is... MORE

A Business Idea for Education

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
On this post, a commenter writes, I was thinking of providing my children with exceptional tutors from various disciplines in addition to their regular curriculum. Aristocrats would frequently engage proven scholars to teach their children. Good private schools today attempt... MORE

A Video for Ec 10

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
This fall in Harvard's introductory class, I think Greg Mankiw should have his students watch The Call of the Entrepreneur. One of the segments is a clear explanation given by a Wall Street lawyer of the value added by financial... MORE

Teachers and Stardom

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
A reader sends in this question: CBS Sunday Morning knocked multi-million dollar baseball salaries this morning and lamented that teachers are much more poorly paid. Then I wondered, why do teachers not market themselves? How come there are no teaching... MORE

The Demographic Transition

Economics and Culture
Arnold Kling
Bryan writes, The puzzle of declining family size in the face of rising wealth remains. Since I'm currently steeped in Gregory Clark, let me throw in my two cents. From Clark, we learn that in England: 1. Prior to the... MORE

The IQ Revolution?

Economic History
Arnold Kling
Gregory Clark writes, Millenia of living in stable societies, under tight Malthusian pressures that rewarded effort, accumulation, and fertility limitation, encouraged the development of cultural forms--in terms of work inputs, time preference, and family formation--which facilitated modern economic growth. This... MORE

What is a High-Trust Society?

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
I give my answer. If you can trust the processes of government, then that is a good thing. Good trust in government is based on processes that provide for accountability, checks and balances, equal protection, and punishment of official corruption.... MORE

Ballots Are Better than Bullets

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Louis Menand writes, If all policy decisions were straightforward economic calculations, it might be simpler and better for everyone if only people who had a grasp of economics participated in the political process. But many policy decisions don’t have an... MORE

Austan Goolsbee on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
He writes If you set up a market-based health system, allowing insurance companies to pick and choose who and what they will cover, you give them overwhelming incentives to dump, deny, avoid and neglect the sick people. But the data... MORE

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