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Bryan Caplan: October 2015

An Author Archive by Month (21 entries)

The Danger of Economics

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Timeless insight from Don Boudreaux:This thought is frequently thrown at me and other advocates of laissez-faire, such as when protectionists allege that our endorsement of unilateral free trade ignores "market imperfections" and other "complexities" that aren't discussed in econ-principles courses.... MORE

Bush-Trump Bet

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Bet proposal from the great Tim Kane:@Noahpinion If. Nothing is certain. And I will wager that Trump drops out before Jeb. Any takers? @bryan_caplan @hooverwhalen-- Tim Kane (@TimmerKane) October 29, 2015 Tim and I are now on for $20.... MORE

Well-Said

Cross-country Comparisons
Bryan Caplan
Nicolas Kristof:I've defended Islam from critics like Bill Maher who, as I see it, demonize a diverse faith of 1.6 billion Muslims because a small percentage are violent extremists. But it's incumbent on those of us who object to this... MORE

The World Without Marx

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Suppose Karl Marx had never been born.  How would the modern world be different?  My best guess is highly optimistic.  Without Marx, there would have been no prominent intellectual promoter of violent revolution for socialist dictatorship.  There would still have... MORE

What I Didn't Get to Say to the Workshop Audience

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Sunday's Writers Workshop left little time to question the panelists, but all of the questions asked were directed at me.  After my talk, discussion continued in the hall.  Top things left unsaid, or at least unheard by most of the... MORE

What I Didn't Get to Say to Mike Gonzalez

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
At the Social Contract Writers Workshop, Mike Gonzalez from the Heritage Foundation spoke on the value of immigrant assimilation and the evils of multiculturalism.  While I didn't strongly disagree with anything he said, I still have two unspoken thoughts to... MORE

What I Didn't Get to Say to Mark Krikorian

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
If you haven't heard of John Tanton, you should: He's the intellectual entrepreneur behind most of America's major anti-immigration organizations.  This morning I spoke before one of Tanton's brain children, US Inc., for their annual Social Contract Writers Workshop.  As... MORE

The Epstein-Huemer Debate on Anarcho-Capitalism

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Video of the Junto debate between Richard Epstein and Michael Huemer is now up.  The resolution: "A government that performs its fundamental functions is preferable to a system of anarcho-capitalism in which these functions are privatized."  Enjoy. Normal 0 false... MORE

Human Smuggling and Border Crossings by Gabriella Sanchez

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
To write Human Smuggling and Border Crossings (Routledge 2015), Gabriella Sanchez interviewed a large sample of human smugglers in Arizona.  The result is a fascinating ethnography.  Smugglers often have a Huemerian - not Kingian - take on civil disobedience:When Zulema... MORE

Social Undesirability Bias

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
When the truth sounds bad, people lie.  They lie to others.  They lie to themselves.  That's the essence of Social Desirability Bias, one of the most powerful forces in the social world.  Politics without Social Desirability Bias would be almost... MORE

What My "Case Against Education" Is Not

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Great parody of "Every NYT Higher-Ed Thinkpiece Ever Written":Higher Education is in a Crisis. A deep, dark, existential crisis which can only be blamed on its resistance to innovative disruption and its abandonment of cherished liberal arts principles. You might... MORE

Where Superforecasters Start

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
How can you improve your forecasting?  One of Superforecasting's most useful principles is "outside first."  Suppose you have a lot of details about the Renzetti family, and you're trying to guess whether it owns a pet.  It's tempting to dwell... MORE

Superforecasting on Epistemic Bait and Switch

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
A great discussion of the mistaken Iraq forecasts of the intelligence community (IC) from Superforecasting:[F]ew things are harder than mental time travel.  Even for historians, putting yourself in the position of someone at the time - and not being swayed... MORE

Superforecasting: Supremely Awesome

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
I'm already an unabashed Tetlock fanboy.  But his latest book, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (co-authored with Dan Gardner but still written in the first person) takes my fandom to new levels.  Quick version: Philip Tetlock organized one... MORE

They Scare Me

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
In 3rd-grade, my best friend was Mormon.  As a result, I joined a Mormon cub scout troop.  Since then, I've often interacted with Mormons, and I though I've never become one, I have to say: They are the nicest bunch... MORE

Missing Links

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Pieces I failed to link to while visiting the University of Illinois:1. Me on open borders in TIME.2. Alex Tabarrok on open borders in The Atlantic.3. Scott Alexander on me on mental illness.Oh, and I forgot:4. The Chronicle of Higher... MORE

Open Borders Comes to Illinois

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I'm speaking in Urbana, Illinois on open borders this Thursday.  Details here.... MORE

Home Schooling Questions: Economists vs. the Public

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Questions non-economists ask when I tell them I'm homeschooling my sons:1. What makes you think you're qualified to teach them?2. Who are you to decide what your kids should study?3. What about socialization?4. How come you're not teaching [insert pet... MORE

What I Learned from Gordon Tullock

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
The papers for the Tullock Memorial Conference are now up, including my presentation on "What I Learned from Gordon Tullock."  If I had more time, I would have spent it discussing Tullock's undersung analysis of dictatorship.... MORE

My Simplistic Theory of Left and Right

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
A few weeks ago, Robin Hanson posed a lunchtime challenge: What is the difference between Left and Right?  The point of the question, of course, is not to explain how every self-styled leftist differs from every self-styled rightist.  The point... MORE

Betting, Liberty, and the Status Quo

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
I claim that betting stifles hyperbole, the fuel of Big Government.  In this sense, my Betting Norm has an underlying libertarian agenda.  One could object, however, that killing hyperbole is a double-edged sword.  Sure, it deprives statists of the chance... MORE

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