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Bryan Caplan: March 2013

An Author Archive by Month (21 entries)

Three Laws of Major Mismatch

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
In Being John Malkovich, anti-hero Craig Schwartz whines, "Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate."  The Great Recession has made a lot of college graduates feel like Craig Schwartz.  If you major in philosophy, history, or puppetry,... MORE

Policy Implications of the Marriage Premium

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
In the comments, Thomas Boyle fears that the marriage premium could become an excuse for bad policies: Years ago we heard that homeownership was positively associated with all sorts of socially desirable outcomes. Now we know that public policy to... MORE

Career Day: The Life of an Econ Prof

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
Last Friday, I spoke at my sons' school's Career Day about what's it's like to be an economics professor.  I think I told the unvarnished truth, but please judge for yourself.P.S. I feared this "How to Become an Econ Prof"... MORE

9 Short Observations about the Marriage Premium

Family Economics
Bryan Caplan
In the past, I've faulted economists for ignoring the marriage premium (here, here, and here for starters).  Last week, when Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry and Megan McArdle joined my fault-finding expedition, Justin Wolfers pushed back on Twitter:There's no credible evidence justifying the... MORE

The Duty to Give Away Everything You Don't Need

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Many moral philosophies seem to imply a duty to give away everything you don't need.  Consider this statement by Nicole Hassoun over at Cato Unbound:I do not have property rights that extend so far that they allow me to withhold... MORE

The Rights of the World's Poor

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Over at Cato Unbound, philosopher Nicole Hassoun prompted me to sketch the main argument I plan to make in Part II of Poverty: Who To Blame.  Namely: We should view people in the Third World as victims of First World... MORE

Premia and Double Standards

Family Economics
Bryan Caplan
Why are economists so quick to encourage college and so slow to encourage marriage?  Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has a good story:[E]conomists' "cosmopolitan perspective" (as Cowen puts it) makes them not feel good at the idea of public policy that would interfere... MORE

Adam Ozimek has an interesting objection to my claim (here and here) that empirical work on the disemployment effect of the minimum wage contradicts empirical work on the wage effect of low-skilled immigration:Bryan's immigration example is missing an important point.... MORE

Mises on Death Panels (Implicitly)

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Unlike most opponents of Medicare, I think that restricted reimbursements and so-called "death panels" are great ideas.  If the government is paying the bills, saying "We'll pay for whatever you want" or "We'll pay whatever it takes to save you"... MORE

Inescapable Intuition

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Mike Huemer replies to his critics on Cato Unbound.  My favorite part is his common-sense defense of common sense.  His begins by methodically laying out the problem: [T]he recommendation to "rely on common sense morality" is just another way of... MORE

The Myopic Empiricism of the Minimum Wage

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Unlike most opponents of the minimum wage, I admit that David Card and Alan Krueger's famous research on the topic is well-done.  How then can I continue to embrace (and teach!) the textbook view that the minimum wage significantly reduces... MORE

How I Raise My Children

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Tonight I screened The Sixth Day, Schwarzenegger's 2000 cloning flick, for my twin sons.  After the movie was over, I had them read this passage aloud:If you think clones are contrary to nature, think twice. Identical twins are naturally occurring... MORE

Student Motivation: A Reply to Gelman

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Gelman responds to my post on student motivation in the comments.  He's in blockquotes, I'm not:First, yes, I do expect things are different at Columbia and Harvard than at GMU, in some ways better (Ivy League students are better prepared)... MORE

TARP Bet Bleg

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
As far as I can tell after a quick read, this OMB report says that I'm on track to win my TARP bet in 2013.  But I'd rather outsource this to outside readers.  Anyone?Update: Does anyone dispute that this is... MORE

Gelman the Education Optimist

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Andrew Gelman's reaction to an excellent post by Alex Tabarrok:[W]e have different goals when doing the following two things: 1. Attending a lecture, reading a textbook, or watching a lecture video. 2. Attending a concert or listening to broadcast or... MORE

Bad Social Science: A Consequence of Consequentialism

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
From my response to Mike Huemer's target essay on this month's Cato Unbound:As a free bonus, Huemer dulls the urge consequentialist libertarians often feel to stretch the truth, to make stronger claims about the benefits of libertarian policies than the... MORE

Bill Dickens vs. Me on Huemer

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I've been having an extended Facebook argument with Bill Dickens about Mike Huemer's The Problem of Political Authority.  To be fair, Bill is only responding to Huemer's piece on Cato Unbound, not the actual book, which he has not read. ... MORE

What's driving the high price of doctors: market inequality or government entry restrictions?  My co-bloggers' debate reminds me of a random encounter with some striking evidence: The Digest of Education Statistics' Table 294.If you peruse this table, you'll discover that... MORE

Signaling Rules: Today Hollywood, Tomorrow the World

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
My dear friend and colleague Tyler Cowen thinks the signaling model of education is, roughly speaking, empirically irrelevant.  He's repeatedly urged me to stop barking up what he sees as a very wrong tree.  I was pleasantly surprised, then, to... MORE

The GiveWell-Clemens Brainstorm

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Call it the nobility summit: The noble charity evaluator GiveWell brainstorms with the noble immigration researcher Michael Clemens.  The highlight for me (Clemens speaking):CITA is a non-profit organization in Yuma, AZ founded by Janine Duron, which aims to match Mexican... MORE

Tim Kane and Means-Testing

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Whenever an economist or libertarian opposes means-testing of Social Security and Medicare, I immediately ask: "So should we extend all currently means-tested programs to the entire population?"  Listeners often admit that it's a persuasive challenge.  At our last lunch, however,... MORE

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