Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Bryan Caplan: June 2006

An Author Archive by Month (32 entries)

A Few Good Laughs About Happiness

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Here's a pretty funny interview (free registration required) with Lord Richard Layard on happiness research. Highlights: Layard's big thing is taxation. He is convinced that paying taxes makes us really happy and that if we paid more we would be... MORE

Is Bush Stupid?

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
The answer, according to an article in the latest issue of Political Psychology is: In absolute terms, no way: ...Bush is definitely intelligent. The IQ estimates range between 111.1 and 138.5, with an average around 125. That places him in... MORE

Critique My First Serious Survey

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
I've never written a serious survey before. Sure, I wrote the Libertarian Purity Test twelve years ago, but that was just for fun. But now I've written a first draft of a survey on which my co-author Ilya Somin and... MORE

Kaplin's Simplifiid Speling

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Greg Mankiw speculates that a world language will emerge, it will be either English or Chinese, and smart money says English will win. The interesting thing to me is that is it hard to become literate in either of the... MORE

An Economist's Guide to Happier Parenting

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Happiness research hits a lot of nerves, but the finding that kids don't make people happier may be the unkindest cut of all. As a proponent of having more kids, I could make methodological objections, but the truth is, I... MORE

Don Boudreaux has come up with the first new way to explain the folly of the minimum wage I've read in years: Allow me here to spin the core argument -- that minimum-wage legislation prices many low-skilled workers out of... MORE

Expect to Live Longer than Your Life Expectancy

Economics of Health Care
Bryan Caplan
I've long thought that life expectancy statistics were odd. Encyclopedias treat nation's life expectancies as numbers on par with square mileage. But in reality, doesn't this require a bunch of assumptions about future health developments? At least according to Wikipedia,... MORE

Some of My Best Friends Aren't Liberal

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
Ken Arrow scoffs at charges of academic discrimination against non-liberals: It’s hard for me to judge, of course, but I must say that my department contains a number of Republicans. And they were appointed by a democratic group, whose members... MORE

Ten Ideas Worth Thinking About

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
A couple years ago, someone asked me to write a list of ten interesting ideas. I just stumbled across it again today, and I still like what I wrote. If you like it too, you'll probably enjoy my book. 1.... MORE

Intellectual Gladiators

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
I'm no sports fan, but it's pretty clear that countries with more people win more Olympic medals. The obvious explanation is that people typically play for the country they were born into, and the ten best basketball players in China... MORE

What Responds to Interest Rates?

Macroeconomics
Bryan Caplan
In our continuing dialogue, Arnold observes that: The Fed supplies bank reserves. Mechanically, it goes into the "repo" market, which is the market for loans collateralized by Treasury securities. When the Fed wants to expand the money supply, it goes... MORE

Back to the Macro Text

Macroeconomics
Bryan Caplan
Arnold writes: The textbook answer, which Bryan gave but rejected, is that interest rates go up, the demand for money falls, and the fall in the demand for money acts like an increase in the supply of money--nominal GDP goes... MORE

Russ Roberts Gets Szaszian

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Russ Roberts gets Szaszian on the latest EconTalk. The topic: Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Russ speaks better than I could after a lifetime of Toastmasters (no ahs, no umms), but if you'd rather read than listen, go here.... MORE

Two weeks ago I emailed Mankiw a question about fiscal policy, referencing one of my previous posts. Mankiw replied (June 7). Then Brad DeLong responded to Mankiw (on June 15, updated June 17). DeLong's post in turn apparently provoked a... MORE

Fixed Costs: The Moderate Case for Extremism

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Does cost-benefit analysis always council against extremism? In a reply to Arnold, Mankiw seems to argue that it does: I am not a scientist and am therefore agnostic about a lot of issues surrounding global warming. Suppose I assign a... MORE

Competitive Manipulation

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
Arnold's carved out an intermediate position about who's responsible for bad policies. Yes, the public currently opposes e.g. raising the retirement age. But: It depends on how the issue is framed. When Al Gore framed it during his acceptance speech... MORE

The Comedy of Monopoly

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
I just came across a chuckle-worthy piece by Russ Roberts on Monopoly - the game, not the market structure: Monopoly is the ultimate zero-sum game. You profit only by taking from others. The assets of its world are fixed in... MORE

IQ, Achievement Motivation, and Culture

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
Arnold writes: My guess is that someone with a high IQ in an adverse cultural setting will not necessarily be healthy and wealthy. Someone with an average IQ in an achievement-oriented cultural setting will tend to achieve a lot. Both... MORE

Woof!

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Mankiw's dogs Tobin and Keynes just got a playmate... a bulldog named Caplan.... MORE

Is Civilization the Product of Global Warming?

Energy, Environment, Resources
Bryan Caplan
Patri Friedman has written the most interesting thing I've read on global warming in years: I think humans naturally tend to a more anthrocentric viewpoint, where civilization arose because we had evolved enough to create it. It is fascinating and... MORE

Question for Arnold

Political Economy
Bryan Caplan
Arnold's sounding like a bit of a populist: Miron writes as if the main issue is between Democrats and Republicans. Instead, the issue is Inside vs. Outside the Beltway. It is inside the beltway that these spending cuts are "unthinkable"... MORE

Are Immigrants "Ordinary People"?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
A while back I polemically asked, "Are low-skilled Americans the master race?" The targets of my ridicule called me an elitist. But my elitism is nothing compared to this gem from Dennis Mangan: All of his [Mankiw's] academic theorizing about... MORE

Mankiw's Got Class

Income Distribution
Bryan Caplan
Greg Mankiw's posted a short class autobio. Highlight: My parents made what must have been a significant financial sacrifice for them to send me to a good private school, where most of the other kids were from families higher up... MORE

As a corollary to the proposition that all institutions must be subordinated to the law of equal freedom, we cannot choose but admit the right of the citizen to adopt a condition of voluntary outlawry. If every man has freedom... MORE

I believe that IQ matters quite a lot for earnings, and that a lot of education is mere signaling. But I've recently reached an epiphany about the relationship between these two heresies. Note that the two heresies are distinct. You... MORE

Mankiw on Fiscal vs. Monetary Policy

Macroeconomics
Bryan Caplan
The noble Mankiw has a thoughtful reply to a question from me about the effect of fiscal and monetary policy on nominal GDP. (The question is based on one of my old posts): How far off is the vertical LM... MORE

Are You Big Enough to Tolerate Polygamy?

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
I just saw the season finale of Big Love, HBO's path-breaking dramatic series about a family of polygamists. I can't remember the last time I saw such a fresh artistic depiction of capitalist acts between consenting adults. I won't give... MORE

Boudreaux Class Autobio

Income Distribution
Bryan Caplan
My boss, Don Boudreaux, has posted his class autobio. As you would expect, the man who rules me and my fellow professors with an iron hand grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth: I’m the only of my... MORE

My Future Calhounian Class Autobio

Income Distribution
Bryan Caplan
The most interesting comment I've gotten about class autobiography comes from James at Degrees of Freedom: I'm not a big fan of this theory of class, largely because it doesn't do what class theories are supposed to do according to... MORE

Bloggers' Class Autobios

Income Distribution
Bryan Caplan
Quite a few bloggers took the bait and wrote their class autobiographies. Here are all the ones I'm aware of: Me Arnold Mark Thoma Alcibiades Chris Dillow Steve Miller Dennis Mangan James Don Boudreaux All of which confirms the conclusion... MORE

Doesn't Academia Already Have De Facto Free Immigration?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
A number of economists have pledged their support for free immigration for professors in response to a challenge my Matt Yglesias. I'm happy to sign on. But I'm rather puzzled by this whole discussion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but... MORE

Skepticism About Junk

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
No snarl intended, Arnold. I'm a big fan of Cox and Alm, too. But just pointing to basic numbers only gets you so far. Cox and Alm can show that living standards are rising, but if you want to figure... MORE

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