Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Bryan Caplan: October 2006

An Author Archive by Month (26 entries)

Found: A False Stereotype About Fundamentalists

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Larry Iannaccone notwithstanding, the main stereotypes about fundamentalist Christians check out. But yesterday at lunch I heard a startling alleged counter-example from Alex Tabarrok, and I've confirmed it with the GSS: Contrary to stereotypes, fundamentalists are as likely to get... MORE

See Saw III... If You've Got Nothing Better to Do

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
I'm a huge fan of the original Saw, and the first sequel was also quite good. The latest installment is watchable, but it's too heavy on gore and not strong enough on story and characterization. The only novelty of Saw... MORE

The Draft: Who Pays the Price?

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
Arnold writes: The draft is a cruel tax, but the volunteer army does create a disconnect between the people who are fighting and the people for whom they are fighting. What are the effects of this "disconnect" supposed to be?... MORE

Dochia On Analytical Egalitarianism

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
Econlog reader (and former Avian Flu blogger) Silviu Dochia writes: I'm with Scott Clark on this one. Levy’s point has nothing to do with nature vs. nurture. Then why the Smith and Mill quotations, which are specifically about nature vs.... MORE

Scott Clark, an Econlog reader, responds to my critique of analytical egalitarianism: The way I viewed analytical egalitarianism when i was in Levy's class was not that everyone is the same as everyone else. But when analyzing and making policy... MORE

Baffled by "Analytical Egalitarianism"

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
There's a peculiar doctrine coming out of George Mason in recent years. It's called "analytical egalitarianism," and has been energetically promoted by my brilliant colleague David Levy, his co-author Sandra Peart, and quite a few others. (See here and here... MORE

Tyler: A Plague on Both Your Houses

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Tyler on refereeing: A properly critical and useful "accept" report is harder to write. Don't look for excuses to quickly reject a potentially good paper. Tyler on being refereed: If you get careless, sloppy, or downright outrageous referee reports, it... MORE

An Outside Perspective on GMU

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
"[N]obody could ever figure out our own political leanings by reading our papers." That's how Andrew Gelman sees his research. In contrast, when Gelman visited GMU, "One thing that struck me about the people I met there was that their... MORE

When Ayn Rand Villains Ruled the Earth

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
A leading criticism of Ayn Rand's novels is that her villains are unbelievable. No one runs around proclaiming their devotion to the opposite of what John Galt believes. People who say this should read more about the '30's and '40's.... MORE

Survey Pre-Test: Who in Government Has Power Over What?

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
A few months ago, readers of this blog gave helpful comments on the first draft of the Caplan-Somin survey about who in government has power over what. Now we're ready to pre-test. If you've got the time, please take this... MORE

Rothbard on Szasz

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Here's some well-aged Rothbard: I'm sure I would find neither Hitler, Wilson, Nixon, nor the Ayatollah charming dinner or cocktail party companions. But surely I am not to be permitted to transform these aesthetic judgments into a "value-free science" that... MORE

Memetic Suicide

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Ten years ago, ultra-mathematical theorists were the kings of the economics profession. Now they seem to be nigh irrelevant. Clever and relatively open-minded empiricists rule the roost. Cementing the trend, few of the students coming out of top programs are... MORE

California Dreaming

Energy, Environment, Resources
Bryan Caplan
California's latest crazy initiative helps James Hamilton get in touch with his inner Bastiat: The only reason I can imagine for a specific tax on California oil producers is the apparent belief by the proponents of the tax that these... MORE

New Phelps Phan

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
The prize for Phelps left me cold - until I learned that he said this: One can hardly imagine, I think, how poor we would be today were it not for the rapid population growth of the past to which... MORE

The day after I met Ezra Klein and gave him my 10-minute spiel on systematically biased beliefs about economics, he provides a neat example. (My influence? I can dream, can't I?) Discussing findings from a new Kaiser survey on health... MORE

Reduction to Banality

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Last week, Tyler Cowen blogged on a story about a special ed program that uses electric shocks to make students to behave. His post included the somewhat cryptic remark that "I view this as a reductio ad absurdum on Bryan... MORE

Judge This Book By Its Cover

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
I'm in love with the jacket for my book - coming in April, 2007. Kudos for the Princeton University Press art department. Leave it to Robin Hanson, of course, to point out that the jacket is more optimistic than the... MORE

Surveying on the Cheap: Role-Playing an Average American

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
Near the end of "Is There a Free-Market Economist in the House?," Dan Klein and Charlotta Stern say: "Economists, then, are free-market compared to other social scientists. What about compared to ordinary Americans? Unfortunately, no one has a good handle... MORE

Online Gambling Getting Riskier

Regulation and Subsidies
Bryan Caplan
I'm mildly surprised to learn that parts of the U.S. government are actually trying to crack down on online gambling. Robin Hanson pointed me here and here. If ever there were a time to sarcastically ask, "Don't you have anything... MORE

What Do You Want to Be Free to Choose?

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
Here's a question for libertarians (though of course others should feel free to answer): What currently illegal thing do you personally really want to be free to do? Set aside "not pay taxes"; that's too easy. For me, anyway, the... MORE

I'm not sure that I've ever been really sad to see a store go out of business. Until today, when I saw the signs up at Tower Records. What is there to do except listen to Morrissey (or maybe Götterdämmerung)?... MORE

Columbus: The Far Left is Dead Right

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
By the time Christopher Columbus appeared in Lisbon in 1477 an Old World slave trade was thriving in the eastern Atlantic between West Africa, the Atlantic islands, and Europe. In his famous letter on his first voyage he informed Ferdinand... MORE

Has Bentall Explained Madness?

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
I finally got around to reading Richard Bentall's Madness Explained. It's a fun book, but as expected, it falls short of its ambitious title. Bentall's been criticized as a Szaszian, and it's easy to see why. Like Szasz, Bentall is... MORE

What's Wrong With Fraternalism?

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
You share as many genes with your siblings as you do with your parents and your children. Yet not only is there no legal responsibility to help your brothers and sisters; even the perceived moral responsibility is pretty weak. Socialists... MORE

BMI: Lessons from D&D

Economics of Health Care
Bryan Caplan
A lot of social scientists are now interested in the effects of the BMI, or Body Mass Index. In the metric system, your BMI is equal to your weight in kg divided by your height in meters squared. If you... MORE

The Lipinsky Memoir

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
My online Museum of Communism has a new exhibit: The memoirs of Romuald Lipinsky. Lipinsky was deported from Poland to Siberia by the Soviets when he was 15 years old. Last year, he told me his tale of woe and... MORE

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