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Bryan Caplan: May 2014

An Author Archive by Month (25 entries)

A Eugenic Experiment

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Imagine a Eugenic America where citizens who earn less than median income are forbidden to have children.  Enforcement isn't perfect, so 5% of all kids born are "illegals."  Over time, this leads to a substantial stock of people who weren't... MORE

Dear Nationalism

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Dear Nationalism,We've grown up together.  In a sense, you and I have been together our whole lives.  In a deeper sense, though, we've never been together.  I've tried to let you down easy a hundred times.  But subtlety doesn't work... MORE

I offered to give Yoram the last word in our exchange.  Here it is.P.S. Yoram's non-fiction graphic novel officially releases on June 5.  That week, with his kind permission, I'll be posting a few pages from his book. Normal 0... MORE

Frank on Phony Credentials

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Thomas Frank's essay on phony credentials is engaging throughout.  Lead-in: Americans have figured out that universities exist in order to man the gates of social class, and we pay our princely tuition rates in order to obtain just one thing:... MORE

Lind's Challenge for Progressives

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Several of my friends were annoyed that Michael Lind's profile of me failed to mention my open borders advocacy.  They should be happy, then, that this piece makes the libertarian/open borders connection crystal clear.  Lind even says this:If progressives really... MORE

Frankly Signaling

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Within economics, the idea that education has a larger effect on income than productivity is vaguely right-wing.  Why?  Because economists realize that this premise undermines the textbook efficiency case for governments' massive education subsidies.Outside economics, however, the idea that education... MORE

Economism and Immigration

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
In our immigration debate, Mark Krikorian heavily downplayed the relevance of economic arguments.  Instead of focusing on immigration's economic benefits, we should dwell on the damage immigration does to our national solidarity, culture, and politics.  His reply to my post-debate... MORE

Myth of the Rational Voter: The Animated Series, Part 4

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
My Learn Liberty video on anti-foreign bias is now up.  It's the last of the series, probably the best, and certainly the most important.... MORE

Talking More to Mark Krikorian

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Last week the Center for Immigration Studies' Mark Krikorian answered my post-debate questions.  Here is my delayed response.  Mark's in blockquotes, I'm not.  My original questions for Mark are in italics.[Caplan's] argument was that treating foreigners in any way differently... MORE

Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change: Rejoinder to Yoram Bauman

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Here is my (delayed) rejoinder to Yoram's response to my review of his Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change.  He's in blockquotes, I'm not.As with most academics, Bryan keeps his words of praise to a minimum and instead focuses on criticisms.... MORE

Myth of the Rational Voter: The Animated Series, Part 3

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
I'm back from vacation, and my Learn Liberty video on anti-market bias is up.  Enjoy.... MORE

How People Get Good at Their Jobs

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
From The Case Against Education: Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 How People Get Good At Their Jobs If schools teach few job skills, transfer of learning is mostly wishful thinking, and the effect of education on intelligence is largely hollow, how on... MORE

Yoram Bauman, co-author of The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, asked to respond to my review.  I'm about to go to my parents' golden anniversary party, so I probably won't respond until late next week.Here's Yoram: Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Response... MORE

The Improvident Rich

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
From Larry Summers' review of Piketty:When Forbes compared its list of the wealthiest Americans in 1982 and 2012, it found that less than one tenth of the 1982 list was still on the list in 2012, despite the fact that... MORE

Myth of the Rational Voter: The Animated Series, Part 2

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
The second video in my Learn Liberty series is now up.  Rejoice in the folly of pessimistic bias!  Yes, Louis C.K. said it better, but humans learn by varied repetition.... MORE

The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Stand-Up Economist Yoram Bauman is back with another non-fiction graphic novel, The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change.  As with his previous Cartoon Introductions to Economics (micro and macro), there is much to like.  Bauman thoughtfully interweaves physical science and economics. ... MORE

Exploring Elitist Democracy: The Latest from Gilens and Page

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
In light of the attention my Gilens posts are getting, now's a perfect time to examine his latest research on who actually runs America.  Co-authored with Benjamin Page, "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens," (Perspectives... MORE

Me, Gilens, and Salon

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Last year I wrote a series of posts (here, here, and here) arguing that Martin Gilens' evidence on the disproportionate influence of the rich on U.S. public policy is very good news indeed.  Long story short:I find Gilens' results not... MORE

"Hollowing Out": A Global Perspective

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
Stagnationists often complain about the "hollowing out" of the economy: Well-paid middle-income jobs are disappearing.  Normally, they only look at the United States and other developed countries.  As a cosmopolitan, however, I'd rather discover what's been happening to incomes at... MORE

Myth of the Rational Voter: The Animated Series

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Learn Liberty is doing a four-video series on The Myth of the Rational Voter's four big economic biases.  Production values are very high, and the animators used so many of my visual ideas that I can now justifiably re-classify my... MORE

Last night I debated Stephen Balch of Texas Tech's Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.  Here's my opening statement. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Meant for Each Other: Open Borders and Western Civilization The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization... MORE

My Moment with Gary Becker

Family Economics
Bryan Caplan
From Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids:In 1992, Gary Becker won the Nobel prize in economics for one big idea: "Economics is everywhere." He saw economics in discrimination; employers hire people they hate if the wage is right. He saw... MORE

Three Graphs About Trying and Failing

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
The true return to college heavily depends on the probability of successful completion.  That probability in turn heavily depends on pre-college academic performance.  How heavily?  Check out these three graphs from Bound, Lovenheim, and Turner's "Why Have College Completion Rates... MORE

Demagoguery Explained

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
In the dictionary, "demagogues" are bad by definition.In Merriam-Webster, a demagogue is "a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason."In the Oxford Dictionary, he's "a... MORE

Suppose firms could publicly opt out of sexual harassment law.  Would they choose to do so?  The simplistic answer is, "Since sexual harassment laws were forced on firms, they'll all opt out as soon as they get the chance."  But... MORE

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