Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Bryan Caplan: December 2005

An Author Archive by Month (22 entries)

Even Bigger Than Arnold Thinks

Macroeconomics
Bryan Caplan
Arnold's right that high labor productivity growth over the past five years is a big story. But this fact is even more impressive because labor productivity is normally procyclical. That means that during recessions, labor productivity typically falls (or at... MORE

How Bad is Life in North Korea?

Cross-country Comparisons
Bryan Caplan
When a country forbids foreigners to freely wander around and talk to people, smart money says that something monstrous is going on. North Korea is probably now the world's clearest example. It's hard to confirm that the alleged horrors are... MORE

Tackling Tetlock

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Philip Tetlock, one of my favorite social scientists, is making waves with his new book, Expert Political Judgment. Tetlock spent two decades asking hundreds of political experts to make predictions about hundreds of issues. With all this data under his... MORE

Your Zip Code or Yourself

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Bryan Caplan
Auto insurance regulations in California are going to change. At first glance, the changes look completely reasonable: Insurers will have to base rates on the driving records of the people insured. From the Daily News: Moving to end years of... MORE

Sociologists' Self-Criticism

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
I've heard a lot of people complain about extreme left-wing bias in sociology, but I had no idea that sociologists themselves were complaining about it. A forthcoming paper by Dan Klein and Charlotta Stern provides the inside scoop. One highlight:... MORE

Digging Out the Fundamental Difference

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
Arnold writes: I think it's fair to say that one has to believe either one of the following statements: 1. The U.S. political system is fundamentally different from the Soviet system; or 2. The U.S. political system is only superficially... MORE

A Failure of Introspection

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
I've learned a lot more about the economy from introspection than I have from statistics. If someone shows me statistical evidence that people buy more chocolate when its price goes up, my reaction will be "I've bought lots of chocolate,... MORE

Unbundling the Warlord

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
Arnold (see here and here) bundles together several distinct claims about government. 1. Society is better off if somebody - anybody - stops the "war of all against all": Once one warlord becomes successful, then it is easy for a... MORE

Descent into Warlordism

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
Arnold writes: Warlordism means a situation in which there is no rule of law. A warlord rules by rewarding his friends and punishing his enemies. and To break a warlord equilibrium, you need government. That is the Hobbesian solution--a Leviathan... MORE

A common objection to hereditarian theories of intelligence is that "Intelligence is SO important, evolution would have eliminated genetic variation." A simple fruit fly experiment (discussed in newscientist.com) shows how wrong this is: The team first bred a group of... MORE

Free Responsibility

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Bryan Caplan
Jane Galt is giving free lessons in financial responsibility. Will you accept the charges? Personally, I'd rather work a little harder and live more luxuriously. But that's probably because I love my work. If I had a boring job, I... MORE

Anarcho-Capitalism and Statist Lock-In

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
When I teach undergraduate industrial organization and graduate public finance, I finish with the economics of anarchy - or, more specifically, of anarcho-capitalism. To call anarcho-capitalism a controversial proposal is gross understatement. But the most common objection voiced by the... MORE

The Marginal Tooth

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
Keynes famously wished that economists would one day become as useful as dentists. But every time I go to the dentist, it's clear that knowledge of economics would be useful to to dentists. The whole idea of cost-benefit analysis seems... MORE

Models of the Model Minority

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Asians have often been called the "model minority" - non-whites who by most measures are better-off and more successful than whites. But if you imagine that no one would complain about a positive stereotype of a minority, you don't know... MORE

Is a Bad Marriage Better than None at All?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Will Willkinson reports that it is. But this conclusion doesn't check out in the General Social Survey. In this data set, the average married person is indeed happier than the average never married person. But people who are only "pretty... MORE

Hamilton's 20/20 Vision

Regulation and Subsidies
Bryan Caplan
There's more to James Hamilton's blog than high-quality energy economics. His latest is an incisive analysis of an Americans with Disabilities related lawsuit: If Boone was indeed fired because she was blind, is it a relevant fact that her replacement,... MORE

Prove Me Wrong: Vote Econlog!

Econlog Administrative Issues
Bryan Caplan
If you want to infinitesimally reduce my pessimism about voting, the Liberty and Power blog is handing out prizes, and Econlog has been nominated for Best New Libertarian/Classical Liberal Group Academic Blog. Cast your vote here. P.S. Econlog counts as... MORE

Friedman and Sowell Dialogue on Bauer

Growth: Causal Factors
Bryan Caplan
The latest issue of the Cato Journal features a transcript from a chat Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell had about the late great Peter Bauer. Highlights: Sowell: One of the things that [Bauer] mentioned in one of his later books... MORE

Who's More Irresponsible?

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
One of the main rationales behind welfare reform was the view that teenage single moms are irresponsible. Since their predicament is in large part the result of their own high-risk behavior, they're less deserving of help than, say, the congenitally... MORE

The Humanity of the Economist

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
A sad, true story: One of my parents' neighbors (allegedly) murdered a transvestite prostitute on Sunday. NORTHRIDGE - A 50-year-old man who was living in his mother's home in a quiet middle-class neighborhood killed a transvestite prostitute earlier this week... MORE

The F├╝hrer of Anti-Market Bias

International Trade
Bryan Caplan
Economic historians have long known that a key plank of Nazi economic policy was autarky. They took the usual nonsense about the dangers of foreign trade seriously, and tried very hard to eliminate Germany's "dependence" on the rest of the... MORE

Seven Hypotheses About Environmental Bias

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
My impression is that most people suffer from "environmental bias." At least when they are talking about human beings, they overrate the importance of environmental factors, and underrate the importance of genetic factors. Why would they do this? Joseph Buckhalt... MORE

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