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Arnold Kling: May 2005

An Author Archive by Month (28 entries)

Arthur Andersen Posthumously Exonerated

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
I found this story interesting. The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm for destroying Enron Corp.-related documents before the energy giant's collapse. In a unanimous opinion, justices said the former Big Five accounting... MORE

Globalized Education?

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
James Miller writes, My employer, Smith College, should hire a few score smart Indians to grade for their faculty and in return Smith should expect its professors to spend more time in the classroom. High schools should similarly outsource their... MORE

Foundations of Libertarianism

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
James Piereson offers an interesting history of the role of foundations in stimulating political ideas and debates. In the period running from the end of World War II down to the present, conservative philanthropy has gone through at least two... MORE

Retirement Age in Play?

Social Security
Arnold Kling
Bruce Bartlett says it is. He refers to Congressional testimony by Eugene Steuerle, who said, Increase the early and normal retirement ages. We should do this even if there were no long-term imbalance and even if all the saving were... MORE

Government as a Schelling Point

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
Daniel Klein writes, When people think of society at large as the group to which they belong--when they think of having “citizenship,” whether it be in a town, a county, or a country--the logic of coordination leads directly to government... MORE

Daniel J. Benjamin and Jesse M. Shapiro write, Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), we show that individuals with greater cognitive skills make consumption and personal financial decisions that more closely resemble the predictions of... MORE

The Wealthiest Churches

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
Here is a list of universities with the highest endowments. Forty-seven have assets of more than $1 billion. The total assets of these top forty-seven is over $150 billion. It appears that California and Texas have their entire state university... MORE

Colonoscopies Cost-Effective?

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
In this essay, I write If you obtain a colonoscopy every five years, starting at age 50, then between age 50 and age 75 you will have 6 colonoscopies. Dr. Arai, quoted above, gives a range of $500 to $1000... MORE

Start a Business, Young Person

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
Paul Graham says, Most organizations who hire people right out of college are only aware of the average value of 22 year olds, which is not that high... The most productive young people will always be undervalued by large organizations,... MORE

Eminent Domain and Property Rights

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
Don Boudreaux and David Barron in a WSJ Celebrity Death Match. Boudreaux says, eminent domain is unnecessary. The fact that housing developers routinely acquire large contiguous plots of land without eminent domain -- that is, by buying individual plots from... MORE

Computerized Medical Records

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Can politicians improve the efficiency of health care by pushing computerized medical records? I raise questions. The bank owns the data in my checking account because my bank is involved in every transaction that changes my balance. There is no... MORE

Influencing Longevity--"flat of the curve?"

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
In a review of Robert Fogel's Escape from Hunger, Angus Deaton writes, Today, movements in life expectancy in rich countries are driven by trends in chronic disease among those over 50—infant and maternal mortality rates are no longer important—so that,... MORE

Underground Economy

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Doug Campbell writes, Schneider in 2003 published "shadow economy" estimates (defined broadly as all market-based, legal production of goods and services deliberately concealed from the authorities) for countries including: Zimbabwe, estimated at a whopping 63.2 percent of GDP, Thailand's at... MORE

Neuroeconomics

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
One of the most interesting survey articles I've seen in a long time came out in the recent Journal of Economic Literature, although apparently it's been kicking around for a couple of years. It is by Colin Camerer, George Loewenstein,... MORE

Proportionate Belief

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
In this essay, I argue that what I call the Law of Proportionate Belief...states that one should believe in a certain proposition or policy prescription in proportion to the arguments for that position. ...What I most despair of is finding... MORE

Class Consciousness

Arnold Kling
Nathan Newman writes, when the New York Times sets out on a multi-week series on "class" in America, it is shocking to see the authors writing so stupidly about the issue... What Marx argued was that the nature of capitalism... MORE

More on Activist Medicine

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
About the case I discussed earlier where a young woman received extensive services for eye inflammation, Ben England writes, Activist care in an academic setting is a little different than activist care in general. To be trained as a physician... MORE

crisis of abundance

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
After looking at health care data for a long time, my point of view on our system is expressed in this essay. I define activist medicine as procedures, treatments, and consultations that have a low probability of affecting the outcome.... MORE

Questioning Medical Privacy

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Richard Posner writes, The second motive for privacy, however—the desire to conceal discreditable facts—is more questionable from a social standpoint. In order to make advantageous transactions, both personal (such as dating or marriage or being named in a relative’s will)... MORE

Siegel for the Long Run

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
An interesting interview with Jeremy Siegel. In 50 years the United States will be more aged than all of Florida is today, but we will be, existing in a younger world. So, what I see is exactly the same pattern.... MORE

Health Care and the Poor

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
In this essay, I look at some data. The United States spends more on the average poor person than [other advanced] countries spend on the average person. In fact, the MEPS data understate spending in the United States, in part,... MORE

The President and Economic Advice

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
What is it like trying to advise the President on economics? Russ Roberts interviews Greg Mankiw, who recently left the Council of Economic Advisers to return to Harvard. Roberts: What is your perception of the President as a consumer of... MORE

What's the Real Interest Rate?

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
A Treasury Department paper says This paper has developed alternative approaches for projecting the long-term Social Security real interest rate, including an examination of historical data and estimation of yield curves for the Treasury inflation-indexed market. The examination of historical... MORE

Hours Worked in Europe vs. the U.S.

Labor Market
Arnold Kling
Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser, and Bruce Sacerdote write, we show, in an accounting sense, that legally mandated holidays can explain 80 percent of the difference in weeks worked between the U.S. and Europe and 30 percent of the difference in... MORE

Economics, Standing on One Foot?

Economic Philosophy
Arnold Kling
Andrew Samwick writes, Economics consists of exactly two ideas: optimization and equilibrium. Optimization is the process by which all economic agents--households, workers, firms, governments--achieve their objectives subject to constraints on their resources. It leads to the familiar condition that an... MORE

Probability and Medicine

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Richard Friedman writes, The truth is that random events can make or break us. It is more comforting to believe in the power of hard work and merit than to think that probability reigns not only in the casino but... MORE

Consumer Reports and the FDA

Regulation and Subsidies
Arnold Kling
Alex Tabarrok writes, The FDA currently works on a paternalistic model: One choice to rule them all. But another approach, what I call the Consumer Reports model, would meet the needs of diverse health-care consumers much better. Consumer Reports doesn’t... MORE

Learning vs. Persistent Mistakes

Tax Reform
Arnold Kling
Andrew Chamberlain writes thanks to arbitrage, rational people stand to profit when irrational people let prices and wages stray from efficient levels. That’s what justifies the economist’s assumption of rationality—a small number of rational profit-seekers keep markets rational as a... MORE

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