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Arnold Kling: March 2007

An Author Archive by Month (40 entries)

Technological Determinishm

Institutional Economics
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen writes, Once private corporations had the organizational wherewithal to get large in the late 19th century, governments got big too. There is an important lesson there. Technology, and to a lesser extent slavery, are why earlier American governments... MORE

Offshorable Jobs

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Today's Wall Street Journal reports on Alan Blinder's estimates of jobs that might go offshore. he has been refining those estimates, by painstakingly ranking 817 occupations, as described by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to identify how likely each is... MORE

Defending Freakonomics

Economic Methods
Arnold Kling
Alex Tabarrok defends Steven Levitt from an attack by Noam Schieber. I think Scheiber is off in a few ways. First, he conflates methods and questions. It's true that clean identification is often found with quirky experiments but a quirky... MORE

Lawrence Katz on Inequality

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
Katz provides Greg Mankiw with some context for remarks quoted in a Wall Street Journal article. I substantially agreed with Eddie Lazear's view that a major part of the growth of U.S. earnings inequality is driven by rising returns to... MORE

Austrian Economics in Business

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Arnold Kling
The Science of Success, by Charles G. Koch, takes an "Austrian" approach to business. Nick Schulz liked it. Koch has published a new book that provides people who care deeply about business and politics something important to think about -... MORE

State of Fear

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Megan McArdle participated in a panel discussion on fear with Chris somebody and Frank Furedi. The topic was fear, which I discussed here. Furedi, a sociologist, complained that people are starting to have their identities wrapped up in what they... MORE

Doctors, Pharmaceuticals, and Statisticians

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
The Los Angeles Times reports, The study, called the Courage Trial, enrolled 2,287 patients at 15 VA medical centers and another 35 hospitals in the United States and Canada. It was sponsored primarily by the VA and the Canadian Institutes... MORE

War, Peace, and the Economic Gap

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
This essay by James McCormick is difficult to summarize. Here is a taste: To summarize my argument then, (1) our prosperity and peace is far ahead of most of the world and increasing, (2) we don’t appear to have enough... MORE

An Alternative to Single-Payer Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Senator Tom Coburn offers a market-oriented alternative. Under the Act, Americans would be eligible for a tax rebate to purchase health insurance. The “Medi-Choice” rebate would be made directly to a patient’s health insurer and would be worth $2,000. Families... MORE

Single-Payer Health Care

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Here is single-payer health care in a nutshell: 1. People are forced to buy something that they don't seem to want 2. Provided by a monopoly 3. Paid for by higher taxes If you need a more nuanced discussion, follow... MORE

How to Increase Support for Free Markets

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
In the New York Times, Benedict Carey writes, Those with ventromedial injuries were about twice as likely as the other participants to say they would...poison someone with AIDS who was bent on infecting others, or suffocate a baby whose crying... MORE

A Theory of Government

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
My latest essay is something that, if I were so inclined, I could try to dress up in academic jargon and send to a professional journal. But having to dress thoughts up that way is one of the things that... MORE

Libertarianism's Crisis

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
I am going to disagree with Bryan's criticism of Tyler. What I would say (and Tyler seems to be saying) is that libertarians currently lack a rallying point. From the 1930's through the Nixon Administration price controls, the forces of... MORE

Empiricism and Dogma

Economic Philosophy
Arnold Kling
Virginia Postrel writes, For decades, the deductive tradition has defined libertarian identity and dogma, while the empiricist tradition has achieved libertarian goals. For parallelism, we can call this second intellectual strand the Hayek-Friedman tradition, though that unnecessarily truncates the list... MORE

David Friedman on Taxis and Tipping

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
In the book that everyone is reading but I'm still only 2/3 through, Brian Doherty writes, [David] Friedman points out the intriguing datum that tipping in taxi cabs--almost purely a situation of paying for a public good because of social... MORE

Bryan on Education

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
I like his first post on this new book idea better than his second. I agree that the demand for education is artificially high. However, I disagree that the main reason for this is that education primarily performs a signaling... MORE

Atlas Left a Big Tip

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
The IRS reports, For tax year 2004...Taxpayers with an AGI of at least $328,049, the top 1 percent of taxpayers, accounted for 19 percent of total AGI, representing an increase in income share of 2.2 percentage points from the previous... MORE

Against Statistics

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Marc Siegel writes, By the time a lung cancer is seen on an X-ray it is almost always too widespread to be operated on. Hence, the only chance for a cure is finding it before it has spread via a... MORE

Viacom vs. Google/YouTube

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Arnold Kling
Paul Kedrosky writes, if Viacom wins this suit and busts YouTube--and there is a very good chance it will win; it is, after all, uncontested that this is Viacom's media property we are talking about--that won't change what consumers want... MORE

Taxes and Tipping

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
In an essay called Foundations of the Kling School, I write, Economics should be subsumed under the general study of human behavior, not the other way around. ...The conceptual differences between leaving a tip and paying income taxes are not... MORE

Rent-seeking and CO2 Emissions

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
Which do you think has higher priority? The Financial Times reports, A European summit agreed to toughen regulations against old-fashioned incandescent bulbs by 2009 as part of a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But earlier in the week officials... MORE

Democracy,Education, and Growth

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Two superstars, MIT's Daron Acemoglu and Harvard's Ed Glaeser, discuss the relationship on a Wall Street Journal feature. Ed says, While I yield to no one in my passion for liberty, the view that democracy is a critical ingredient for... MORE

Kidney bleg follow-up

Econlog Administrative Issues
Arnold Kling
My friend who needed a kidney found a donor and had her surgery today. The donor said, "Compared with my C-section, this was easy." Probably fewer long-term complications, as well.... MORE

Tyler on the Problems of Libertarians

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen writes, Overall libertarians should embrace these developments. We should embrace a world with growing wealth, growing positive liberty, and yes, growing government. We don’t have to favor the growth in government per se, but we do need to... MORE

Regulation-exempt

Public Choice Theory
Arnold Kling
John Fund writes, In their favor-seeking, all of the lobbyists visiting Capitol Hill are bound by House and Senate ethics rules that cap most individual gifts at $50 per elected official or staffer, with an annual limit of $100 per... MORE

Subprime Mortgage Loans

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Megan McArdle passes along a question from Dave Schuler. My intuition is that the phenomenon of the subprime loan is related to the rapid rise in housing prices that haven't been matched by comparable rises in money wages. The implication... MORE

Indian Economy Bleg

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
The Indian Economy is a blog about, well, you can guess. If you are an economist/writer/blogger who’s written about India and/or economics, they would like a few more contributors. You don't need to be a resident of India, but you... MORE

And Bring on the Mexicans

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Bryan lauds high-skilled immigrants. Matthew Quirk talks about Mexican immigrants. By 2003, ...the roughly 20 million Mexican-origin workers in America create a larger gross product than Mexico itself. ...Five predominantly rural Mexican states—Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas—send... MORE

The Distribution of Tax Burdens

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
How progressive is the current U.S. tax system? Not very, if you read the new paper in the Journal of Economic Perspectives by Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. As Mark Thoma reported, they say that The progressivity of the U.S.... MORE

Tim Noah writes, Suppose the national defense of the United States were relegated to the private sector. Instead of the publicly funded Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, the country would be defended by private militias funded mainly by insurance... MORE

Energy Fallacy

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
A blogger writes If consuming less bad energy is a goal, then moving more citizens over to good energy is a viable part of that goal. To move more people over to good energy, there has to be more readily... MORE

$125 K of premium medicine

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Wall Street Journal technology reporter Lee Gomes describes his treatment for pneumonia. Abbott's Harold C. Flynn says it takes the Cell-Dyn 34 seconds to do an analysis. During that time, it counts an average of 325,000 cells, and then goes... MORE

Teaching Un-Normal Economics

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
Greg Mankiw writes, Having observed many failed textbook projects over the years (I won't mention names), I notice several predictable pitfalls. They include: ...The author has views of the field that are too idiosyncratic to appeal to the vast majority... MORE

Alternative Energy and Rent-Seeking

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
In this essay, I put together some recent ideas. Subsidizing "good" energy in order to justify using "bad" energy is like eating salad in order to justify eating dessert. It is an exercise in self-deception. ...The most important, inconvenient truth... MORE

Online Content Bundling

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Arnold Kling
Steve Levitt asks In general, it doesn't seem like a good idea to give your product away if you are a company, but given that most newspapers do, why doesn't the WSJ? ...Either the WSJ is making a mistake or... MORE

Marriage, Income, Cause, and Effect

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
The Washington Post reports, As marriage with children becomes an exception rather than the norm, social scientists say it is also becoming the self-selected province of the college-educated and the affluent. The working class and the poor, meanwhile, increasingly steer... MORE

Rent-Seeking and Global Warming

Energy, Environment, Resources
Arnold Kling
The Wall Street Journal writes, The emerging alliance of business and environmental special interests may well prove powerful enough to give us cap-and-trade in CO2. It would make Hollywood elites feel virtuous, and it would make money for some very... MORE

Shimer on Acemoglu

Political Economy
Arnold Kling
Robert Shimer tries to summarize the research of Clark Medalist Daron Acemoglu. One example. Daron and James [Robinson] explore the transition from autocracy to democracy. What makes the political elites allow the poor to vote? Daron and James argue that... MORE

Data Molesters

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Arnold Kling
In my opinion, the authors of The Logic of Political Survival should not be criticized for mishandling data. They should be arrested. Imprisoned. Only released back into the community with warnings to neighbors to protect your children.... MORE

Internet Bubble 2.0

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
My essay on the YouBubble says, If you are a founder or an investor in a new business, then I would advise you to read the Business 2.0 article on 25 hot start-ups. Figure out what these enterprises have in... MORE

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