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Bryan Caplan: June 2013

An Author Archive by Month (22 entries)

Greed Is Tolerant

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Kelly Miller was the first black admitted to Johns Hopkins.  He became a professor of mathematics at Howard in 1890.  In 1895, he introduced sociology to the curriculum and became a sociology professor.  One of his essays, "The Negro and... MORE

Caplan-Ting Immigration Debate

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
My Students for Liberty immigration debate with Jan Ting of the Center for Immigration Studies is now up.  Here's the teaser, here's the whole thing.  Credit where credit is due: Ting was brave enough to debate before a hostile libertarian... MORE

I am always proud to claim vindication by bet.  But I am extremely reluctant to claim vindication by events.  Few things are easier than (a) making vague claims, (b) waiting for something or other to happen, then (c) crowing about... MORE

Debate: Does Democracy Work?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Last week I did an online debate for Learn Liberty with philosopher Helene Landemore.  The topic: Does democracy work?  Here's my opening statement.Democracy clearly works if you set the bar low enough.  Is democracy better than dictatorship?  Of course.  Does... MORE

Tabarrok on the Ethics of Immigration

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I just discovered this great old (2000) piece by Alex Tabarrok on immigration.  Highlights:As far as wages are concerned the only difference between immigration and birth is that birth takes longer. When your neighbor has a child it as equivalent... MORE

Naik on Bastards and Stigma

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Very interesting FB post on bastards and stigma by Vipul Naik, reprinted with his permission."When you see a redneck, you call him a redneck. Perhaps, when you see a bastard, you should call him a bastard. Shame is a powerful... MORE

Defensive Education

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Arnold Kling pointed me to Lester Therow's 1972 Public Interest piece on "Education and Economic Equality."  In Therow's lingo, the "wage competition view" roughly equals the human capital model and the "job competition view" roughly equals the signaling model.  It's... MORE

A Hawk-Dove Ideological Turing Test

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
In Stereotype Accuracy, Clark McCauley describes a fascinating Ideological Turing Test from 1972:Dawes, Singer, and Lemons (1972)... recruited students who were "hawks" and "doves" with regard to the Vietnam War and asked them to write opinion statements that the typical... MORE

Quotable

Political Economy
Bryan Caplan
From Shikha Dalmia:[T]he GOP has managed to alienate not just Hispanics allegedly collecting welfare and living below the poverty level. With a few exceptions like Cuban and Vietnamese Americans, it has alienated every ethnic minority: high- or low-skilled; Asian or... MORE

Bastards and Stereotype Accuracy

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
I'm a firm believer in stereotype accuracy.  I just finished re-reading my favorite chapters from Lee, Jussim, and McCauley's excellent Stereotype Accuracy: Toward Appreciating Group Differences.  The book was published in 1995; Jussim's recent summary brings us up to date. ... MORE

Bastards, Immigrants, and Misanthropes

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
In the Game of Thrones series, people use the term "bastard" literally.  If your parents weren't married when you were born, you're a bastard.  While bastards are common in Westeros, everyone looks down on them for the crime of existing. ... MORE

U.S. Foreign Policy: The Swiss Perspective?

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Switzerland hasn't fought a war since 1815.  The standard explanation is Swiss neutrality.  When other countries fight, the Swiss do not take sides.  As this official Swiss website explains:The advice of Switzerland's popular saint, Nicholas of Flüe (1417-87), "Don't get... MORE

The Effects of Education: Fishing Proverb Edition

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Human Capital"Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."Ability Bias"Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day.  Teach a man to philosophize and... MORE

BAAAA! Tremble Before the Mighty Sheepskin Effect

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
If you get another year of education, how big of a raise should you expect?  The answer, it turns out, heavily depends on the year.  Years that typically lead to a credential - especially years 12 and 16 - pay... MORE

What Does Education Signal? The Case of Edward Snowden

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
A striking biographical fact about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden:By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing,... MORE

Semi-Rivalry and Fiscal Externalities

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
Suppose a country has a progressive tax system.  If everyone equally consumes government benefits, isn't everyone with below-median income automatically a net fiscal burden - i.e., a person who withdraws taxes more from the Treasury than he contributes?Naive analysts usually... MORE

Your Sort Is Prohibited: A Licensing Dialog

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
When you shop online, vendors usually give you a bunch of different ways to sort your options.  Take Amazon:One popular sorting option - especially for customers with low income - is "Price: Low to High."  You've probably used it yourself... MORE

Caplan-Ting Foreign Policy Debate

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
I debated Jan Ting twice at this year's Students for Liberty Conference: once on foreign policy, and once on immigration.  Our foreign policy debate is now up, including an awesome animated intro.  Enjoy!... MORE

Are you a libertarian?  Are you tired of being called "hard-hearted"?  Then I've got a solution for you!  You'll still be insulted.  But instead of being condemned as "hard-hearted," you'll be mocked as "soft-headed."  All you have to do: 1.... MORE

The Myth of the Rational Voter: Experimental Edition

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
I've long argued (here, here, and here for starters) that weak incentives are a major cause of political irrationality, but I've failed to convince Gerry Mackie, Jeff Friedman, Tyler Cowen, and many other critics.  So I was delighted to discover... MORE

Misanthropy by Numbers

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Suppose you're a self-doubting misanthrope.  You want to malign a group of people, but don't feel up to the job.  I'm here to help.  If you stick to the following four easy steps, you can and will craft a rhetorically... MORE

Rothbard: How a Circle Becomes a Movement

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
If you've ever been baffled by Murray Rothbard's appeal, check out "The Six Stages of the Libertarian Movement."  It beautifully captures not only his intellect, but his charm.  Highlight: His rich description of how a study circle becomes an intellectual... MORE

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