Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Arnold Kling: December 2007

An Author Archive by Month (60 entries)

Political Long Tail, Revisited

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Out of the blue, Newsweek's Andrew Romano quoted me, citing something I wrote over two years ago. It was an essay about the conflict between mainstream politicians and what I called the "Long Tail" of politics. If we had a... MORE

Who Are the Climate Scientists?

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Before I get to that, here is a BBC rebuttal to climate skeptics. The statement that water vapour is "98% of the greenhouse effect" is simply false. In fact, it does about 50% of the work; clouds add another 25%,... MORE

New Working Papers of Interest

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Cass Sunstein and Ed Glaeser: we suggest that social learning is often best characterized by what we call Credulous Bayesianism. Unlike perfect Bayesians, Credulous Bayesians treat offered opinions as unbiased and independent and fail to adjust for the information sources... MORE

Certainty and Uncertainty

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen writes, David R. Henderson asks me to list three policy areas where my views are uncertain. Since this blog (or at least this author) has been streaming uncertainty for over four years, this strikes me as an odd... MORE

Power and Plenty

Economic History
Arnold Kling
Power and Plenty is the name of a new book by Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O'Rourke. Chapter 6, "Trade and the Industrial Revolution," is worth reading.... MORE

Growth Wisdom from Charles Kenny

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
First, on figuring out the causes of growth A linear framework rules out the possibility that the effect of a change in the variable of interest may differ according to the initial level of that variable and that the effect... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 27

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
A Contrarian Op-ed... MORE

A Non-Pacifist Syllogism

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
A few weeks ago, Bryan wrote, Premise #1: Wealth makes men cowards. Premise #2: When all men are cowards, there will be no war. Conclusion: When all men are wealthy, there will be no war. Here is my non-pacifist syllogism:... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 26

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Just one lame op-ed.... MORE

Ron Paul: My Two Cents

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
Tyler, Megan, and Bryan have been discussing Ron Paul. My opinion is closest to Megan's. I view the Ron Paul phenomenon as a successor to the Ross Perot phenomenon or the Pat Buchanan phenomenon. His supporters are expressing alienation and... MORE

Premium Medicine: Proton Therapy

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
From the New York Times. The machines accelerate protons to nearly the speed of light and shoot them into tumors. Scientists say proton beams are more precise than the X-rays now typically used for radiation therapy, meaning fewer side effects... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 24

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Becker and Posner.... MORE

What do You Expect?

Macroeconomics
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen asks, when inflation comes, why doesn't the expectation of that inflation lead to proportional increases in nominal interest rates, thus keeping the real rate constant? The question seems ill-posed.... MORE

My Global Warming Question

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
I posed it here. what are the most persuasive reasons for believing that the rise in temperature is due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide?... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 21

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
How I think it will all play out...... MORE

High School Graduation Rates

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
James J. Heckman and Paul A. LaFontaine write (here is the abstract, the U.S. high school graduation rate peaked at around 80 percent in the late 1960s and then declined by 4-5 percentage points; (2) the actual high school graduation... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 20

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Larry Summers and Sen. Charles Schumer spoke at Brookings yesterday.... MORE

More Hawkish than Mankiw

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
A new economics blogger is really keen to hike the gas tax. You may criticize the high-tax ways of Europe, but here the latter is dead right: with taxes at $5-6 a gallon, they are about right in pricing the... MORE

Hayekian Linux

Austrian Economics
Arnold Kling
A reader sent me a link to something Linus Torvalds wrote in 2001. You know what the most complex piece of engineering known to man in the whole solar system is? Guess what - it's not Linux, it's not Solaris,... MORE

Biofuels Sense and Nonsense

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
The nonsense comes from Robert Zubrin The only way to break the monopoly on the vehicle fuel supply currently held by OPEC is through legislation. Congress should require that all future vehicles sold in the United States be flexible-fueled, capable... MORE

What Nick is Reading

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Nick Schulz sends me three interesting links. 1. A shining example of what I call a bogus mortgage lender. In 2004, Bohan Group, a due diligence underwriting company, was hired by a bank to double-check the suitability of mortgages written... MORE

The State of the Oil Market

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
James Hamilton see hope. these numbers convince me that we are likely to see a significant increase in production in 2008, and an economic downturn would surely produce a drop in demand. I'm standing by the assessment I offered last... MORE

Ambiguity and Disagreement

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Caleb Crain writes, It can be amusing to read a magazine whose principles you despise, but it is almost unbearable to watch such a television show. And so, in a culture of secondary orality, we may be less likely to... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 19

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Predatory borrowing, Samuelson, Krugman...... MORE

Best Book of 2007

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Arnold Kling
David Leonhardt says that it is Overtreated, by Shannon Brownlee. it’s the natural outgrowth of our fee-for-service health care system. It turns doctors into pieceworkers, as Ms. Brownlee puts it, “paid for how much they do, not how well they... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 18

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Early warnings...or hindsight bias?... MORE

Localized GDP

Cross-country Comparisons
Arnold Kling
William Nordhaus has G-econ The basic metric is the regional equivalent of gross domestic product. Gross cell product (GCP) is measured at a 1-degree longitude by 1-degree latitude resolution at a global scale. Richard Florida offers the pointer. As he... MORE

Against Moneyball Medicine

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Richard Dolinar, M.D., writes, The physician has taken the history, performed the physical, reviewed the labs, and discussed the illness with the patient and family. He knows the patient's wishes, desires, and values. All this critical information must be considered... MORE

The Climate Skeptic

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
I'm not sure why I never came across this site before. It expresses views that are quite close to mine. For example, The modelers begin with certain assumptions about climate that they build into the model. For example, the computers... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 17

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Greenspan, Hamilton, Bordo...... MORE

Mr. Efficient Markets

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Eugene Fama is interviewed by the Minneapolis regional Fed. Region: How do you explain the equity premium puzzle [the idea that stocks should in theory provide only a 1 percent higher annual return than bonds, but have historically returned nearly... MORE

A Corporate State?

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Mencius Moldbug writes, the purpose of property is to prevent violence. The formalist is completely unconcerned with the moral legitimacy of property rights. She is entirely concerned with their stability. To a formalist, a system in which no involuntary property... MORE

California is another country

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Commenter Jim M. points to Housing Tracker as a source for data on house price to income ratios. Here is a list of the top cities in terms of median house price relative to median income. 1. Los Angeles, Ca.... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 14

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Just a couple of remarks on housing market equilibrium.... MORE

Are You Tired

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
of hearing me talk about health care policy? If so, then don't click on the link to this podcast. I elaborate on ideas I wrote about in Government and Health Care: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.... MORE

Those Silly French

Regulation and Subsidies
Arnold Kling
The New York Times reports, Retail prices, particularly of books, are tightly regulated in France. Using "loss-leaders," or selling products below cost to attract customers, is illegal. Other restrictions apply to books retailers must not offer discounts of more than... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 13

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
The Fed tests a new tool.... MORE

Efficient Markets vs. Mortgage Leverage

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Patri and Mike want to argue that taking out a big mortgage to invest in the stock market is really clever. Here is the counter-argument. Think of this transaction as two transactions: 1. First, you take out a 6 percent... MORE

Efficient Markets Theory

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Megan McArdle writes, It doesn't matter which version of the EMH is correct. It doesn't matter if the behavioral finance guys are correct. You--adorable, clever, hardworking little you--are mathematically just as likely to underperform the market as outperform it. You... MORE

Behavioral Philosophy?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Kwame Anthony Appiah writes, Edouard Machery, a philosopher of science at the University of Pittsburgh by way of the Sorbonne, told subjects about a man named Joe who visits the local smoothie shop and asks for the largest drink available.... MORE

Orszag gives my talk

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Peter Orszag writes, A congressional hearing tomorrow will focus on new long-term budget projections from the Congressional Budget Office. CBO projects that under current law, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid measured as a percentage of gross domestic product will... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 12

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Greenspan, Leonhardt, plus... MORE

Global Warming and CO2

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Mathematician David Evans writes, After further research, new high-resolution ice core results (data points only a few hundred years apart) in 2000–2003 allowed us to distinguish which came first, the temperature rises or the CO2 rises. We found that temperature... MORE

Subprime Daily Update, Dec. 11

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Today's focus is bank capital. More added at 1 PM EST, including comments on widespread fraud.... MORE

Faster Human Evolution

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen talks about a new scientific paper. He quotes from the UK Telegraph. Prof Hawks says: "We are more different genetically from people living 5,000 years ago than they were different from Neanderthals." Naturally, our friends at Gene Expressions... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 10

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Let's start with my new essay. Over the past few years, the housing market became riddled with bogus lenders funneling mortgage money to bogus owners of houses with bogus prices. Attempting to prop up this phony baloney is a pointless... MORE

Race and IQ Pushback

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen finds some in Slate and in The New York Times. In the latter, Richard E. Nisbett writes, Most important, we know that interventions at every age from infancy to college can reduce racial gaps in both I.Q. and... MORE

Late to the Party

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Arnold Kling
The New York Times gets around to giving a review to Gregory Clark's book, which I called one of the two high-impact economics books of 2007. Ben Friedman writes, he repeatedly insists that this was the world in which humans,... MORE

Leveraged to the Eyeballs

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Herb Greenberg quotes from Mark Hanson, who works in the mortgage industry. 75% of Option ARM borrowers make the minimum monthly payment. Eighty percent-plus are stated income/asset. Average combined loan-to-value are at or above 90%. The majority done in the... MORE

Subprime Daily Briefing, Dec. 7

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
There is a lot to digest this Pearl Harbor day. I'll save the President's plan for the end.... MORE

The Best Econ Books of 2007

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Arnold Kling
Here are my opinions.... MORE

Here is today's edition. LATER: more added... MORE

Pushback on my Skepticism

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Former frequent commenter General Specific writes, In a subsequent post, I'll consider each of these issues in more detail. In the mean time, Wikipedia has a page up on this topic. And in particular, consider the case of Carl Wunsch,... MORE

Standards of Proof

Economic Methods
Arnold Kling
Bryan writes, isn't Arnold's standard of scientific evidence strangely strict? Few results in economics rest on an "experiment or a naturally-occurring event where the results are extremely unlikely to occur unless X is true." I thought I was simply stating... MORE

The Subprime Mess, Daily Briefing, Dec. 5, 2007

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Actually, I will not post on this daily, but I think it deserves frequent comment.... MORE

Climate Skeptic Movie

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Katy of Sybil's Star posts The Great Global Warming Swindle, a counter-documentary on Global Warming. It comes across as very persuasive, but I take the view that you can make a persuasive propaganda film for just about any position on... MORE

Random Thoughts on the Subprime Mess

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
First, I really enjoyed the Youtube posted on Greg Mankiw's blog. Warning: contains a racial reference that is unnecessary and, in my opinion, offensive. The story is all over today's Washington Post. Citing a source called the Center for Responsible... MORE

Predicting the Error Term

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen writes, The rate of productivity growth is a fundamental determinant of long-run living standards. Yet when it comes to understanding or predicting this variable, economics has been sadly deficient, especially at the turning points. He refers to a... MORE

Basic Political Economy

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Russ Roberts gives a lesson. Bruce Yandle uses bootleggers and Baptists to explain what happens when a good cause collides with special interests. When the city council bans liquor sales on Sundays, the Baptists rejoice—it's wrong to drink on the... MORE

Bioethics and Life Extension

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
Aubrey de Grey writes, The practical fact is that, of the three categories of death enumerated at the beginning of this section (early, “bad” late and “good” late), society seems committed to delaying all three. The only issue is the... MORE

Return to top