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Arnold Kling: April 2006

An Author Archive by Month (41 entries)

More on Energy Idiots

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
I try to explain energy policy so that even a TV talking head might understand. Let's go s-l-o-w-l-y. Start by asking yourselves these questions: * Should the goal of U.S. energy policy be to raise long-term domestic energy production, or... MORE

Private Security

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
The Boston Globe reports, UN's plans to take control of the troubled peacekeeping operations currently being led by the African Union, and NATO recently stated publicly that a force of its own in Darfur is ''out of the question." Meanwhile,... MORE

Universal Health Coverage

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Is universal health care coverage possible? Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review says nay. If you can't get an operation because your country's national health insurance system has you on a long waiting list, in what sense have you enjoyed "universal... MORE

Senate Republicans: Give More Money to Iran

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
The Reuters story says Senate Republicans unveiled a proposal on Thursday to soften the blow of rapidly rising gasoline prices by suspending a retail fuel tax and paying for the lost revenue by also suspending some oil industry tax breaks.... MORE

Which Monopoly?

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Arnold Kling
Austan Goolsbee, one of the new members of the "Economic Scene" rotation at the New York Times (Tyler Cowen is another), writes In their fervor to free listeners from the shackles of their iPods, French politicians have abandoned one of... MORE

Macroeconomics Standing on One Foot

Macroeconomics
Arnold Kling
Greg Mankiw summarizes textbook macroeconomics in seven equations. I am not sure what I believe about macroeconomics these days. But let me Fisk the model from the perspective of what I believed when I was a Keynesian.... MORE

Solving the Entitlement Problem

Social Security
Arnold Kling
I claim that it is not hard. The solution, as I have argued for several years, is to raise the age of government dependency for workers now in their 30's and 40's. This is a painless solution, because (a) it... MORE

Global Warming

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
The Competitive Enterprise Institute used a recent Time Magazine cover story as a stimulus to give the non-alarmist view on global warming. Obviously, CEI has a particular viewpoint, but there are a lot of facts presented, so it seems to... MORE

Oil Hoarding

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
James Hamilton summarizes and comments on a blog discussion of the fact that oil futures prices are high relative to spot prices. He writes, There is currently very little spare capacity in global oil production, meaning that a supply disruption... MORE

The College Choice

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Concerning the choice of where to attend collegeTyler Cowen asks, If parents (and their children) are loaded with biases, is behavioral economics useful? I suspect the core bias is parents wanting to feel they have done everything possible to help... MORE

Happy Totalitarians

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
New Economist points to a lot of articles on the political economy of happiness, including Mark Easton's article in The New Statesman. Easton writes, North of the border, the Scottish Executive supports an organisation called the Centre for Confidence and... MORE

Progress and Displacement

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
Tim Worstall points to this interesting paper by BLS economists Ian D. Wyatt and Daniel E. Hecker. Teachers below the college level increased 1.4 times as a proportion of total employment between 1910 and 2000, from 1.6 percent to 3.8... MORE

Best Line I've Read in a While

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Arnold Kling
comes from a book review of Richard Parker's biography of John Kenneth Galbraith. LBJ threw away one of his drafts for a speech with the remark: ‘Did y’ever think, Ken, that making a speech on economics is a lot like... MORE

The Foreign Aid Debate

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
Cato Unbound looks at foreign aid. First, William Easterly writes, The two key elements necessary to make aid work, and the absence of which has been fatal to aid’s effectiveness in the past, are FEEDBACK and ACCOUNTABILITY. The needs of... MORE

Good for Whom?

International Trade
Arnold Kling
I blame Tyler Cowen for pointing me to this post by Matthew Iglesias. one is constantly reading articles in the press condemning one European electorate or another for refusing to agree to "painful" reforms that are nonetheless "necessary." This example... MORE

More Unhappiness

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
I continue to have philosophical disagreements with "happiness research." My latest essay takes on a recent paper by Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman. I write, With research into subjective well-being, economists are making statements about what constitutes the good life.... MORE

Climate Science

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Amidst the usual riff-raff of comments on my previous post, I received at least one good suggestion, which was to look at the web site realclimate.org, and in particular their FAQ page.... MORE

Free Trade Equals Redistribution?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
George Borjas writes, Immigration policy is just another redistribution program. In the short run, it transfers wealth from one group (workers) to another (employers). Whether or not such transfers are desirable is one of the central questions in the immigration... MORE

Scientific Consensus or Religious War?

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Mark Thoma writes, Paul Krugman tackles the trashing of science by oil companies, Exxon in particular, to cloud research pointing to global warming. He quotes from the Krugman piece, which appears to be a typical type M argument. At the... MORE

Our Fiscal Future

Fiscal Policy
Arnold Kling
Greg Mankiw writes, Economist Glenn Hubbard...reminds us that unless we see significant entitlement reform, taxes are heading higher... There is nothing very new here, but it is good to have Glenn saying it anyway. The history here is that Democrats... MORE

Population, Aging, and the Savings Glut

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
Nicholas Eberstadt writes, China’s national pension system as of 2025 promises today to be more or less the same system that has always provided for the country’s elderly and infirm: namely, the family unit. But herein lies a problem: The... MORE

How to Achieve Backwardness

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Craig J. Richardson writes, But while many problems cited by the IMF and others are important, they do not provide a full explanation for how a country can lose fifty years of economic progress in only five years. In fact,... MORE

The Philosophy Major

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
In an ongoing discussion, Bryan writes, why are there so few libertarian academic philosophers? And why do economists across the political spectrum have so much more appreciation for the benefits of markets than the general public, the typical college grad,... MORE

Romney and Kling on Massachusetts Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
In response to an op-ed by the Massachusetts governor in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, I write, These are the "near-poor," who are portrayed by the Governor as an oppressed class who badly needs support from the state. "We needed far... MORE

Perry Mehrling, Fischer Black, and Finance

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
I crossed the river yesterday to listen to Perry Merhling give a talk based on his book on Fischer Black and on this paper. Warning: what follows is pretty geeky.... MORE

The French are Different

Labor Market
Arnold Kling
Maybe the best take on the French labor strike comes from Charles Krauthammer. Yes, the old should be protected from precariousness because they are exhausted; the sick, because they are too weak. But privileged students under the age of 26?... MORE

Teaching Economics

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
Greg Mankiw writes, In my utopia, everyone would study the principles of economics in high school, just as everyone now studies American history. Understanding basic economics is essential for being an intelligent voter. I would be out of a job... MORE

Intangible Capital

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Carol Corrado, Charles Hulten, and Daniel Sichel write, the fraction of output growth per hour attributable to the old “bricks and mortar” forms of capital investment (labeled “other tangible” capital in the lower panel of table 5) is very small,... MORE

Mass Health Care, Left and Right

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Here is a Leftist critique of the new Massachusetts health care plan. the linchpin of the plan is the false assumption that uninsured people will be able to find affordable health plans. A typical group policy in Massachusetts costs about... MORE

Ed Glaeser on Paternalism

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Ed Glaeser writes I present three simple models that show how endogenous cognitive errors increase the advantage of private decisionmaking over public decisionmaking, which suggests that recognizing the limits of human cognition pushes us away, not towards, paternalism. In these... MORE

Mass Delusion on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
In today's Wall Street Journal, the author of a new book on health care policy writes (subscription required--free version here), The elected leaders of Massachusetts have come up with a novel solution for the vexing problem of paying for health... MORE

Single-Payer vs. Socialism

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Ezra Klein writes, Once and slowly: Medicare operates within America's private health system context, bargaining with private providers at near-market rates. It's new drug plan is entirely operated through private insurers, and Medicare as a centralized market isn't allowed to... MORE

Patent Law

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Arnold Kling
Two Three views. First, Michael Rosen writes, Well, first, as almost everyone involved in the patent reform debate acknowledges, we must fully fund the PTO. ...There are not nearly enough examiners to review, revise, and recognize incoming patent applications. There... MORE

Medicare is Part of the Problem

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
One of my essays on health care. suppose that the goal of health care reform is to reduce our health care budget to the level that would prevail if our per capita health care spending were the same as in... MORE

Arlo on Happiness Research

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Inspired by Marginal Revolution's Axel and Tyrone, my evil twin Arlo has a post on happiness research: It's obvious why we need happiness research. Think of the problem of getting from resources to happiness as taking two steps. First, you... MORE

Massachusetts Health "Plan"

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
I don't know exactly what the legislators of Massachusetts voted for, and I suspect that neither do they. Here is the story. The measure does not call for new taxes, but would require businesses that do not offer insurance to... MORE

Housing Bubble Revisited

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
The New York Times reports, Gary and Margaret Hwang Smith spend a lot of time musing about real estate... In a paper the two presented at the Brookings Institution this week, "Bubble, Bubble, Where's the Housing Bubble?" they said that... MORE

Revealed Preference vs. Happiness

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Will Wilkinson writes, The neuroscience shows that satisfaction of the highest ranked preference does not imply the greatest hedonic satisfaction. It does not imply any hedonic satisfaction. Take a look at this paper, “Parsing Reward,” [pdf] by Kent Berridge and... MORE

Still More on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
My latest essay uses the N-word. What should you call someone who wants government to provide for our education, competitiveness, and health care but whose concern about "us" stops at the border? The obvious label would be national socialist. But... MORE

Greg Mankiw has a Blog

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
He writes, This blog is an experiment, primarily aimed at interacting with students in Ec 10, the large introductory economics class that I teach at Harvard. Other students and teachers using my textbooks may find it of interest as well.... MORE

Accreditation of Colleges

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
Inside Higher Ed reports, Dickeson’s paper suggests, because accreditation is the primary system responsible for gauging the performance and ensuring the success of higher education in the United States. If the quality of American higher education is slipping, as the... MORE

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