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Bryan Caplan: September 2016

An Author Archive by Month (13 entries)

Apolitical Reasons to Hate Politics

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
I hate politics.  Part of the reason, to be honest, is that I'm a libertarian, and libertarian views have almost no influence in the world of politics.  Libertarians don't just lose every election; policy-makers normally summarily reject our position.  Libertarians... MORE

Contracts often require signatories to submit to binding arbitration.  If a dispute arises, the parties don't go to court; they go to a private arbitrator.  This arbitrator, in turn, makes a definitive ruling neither party can refuse.  The whole point... MORE

Value-Added and Social Desirability Bias

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff's research on teacher value-added is widely interpreted as an argument for giving good teachers a fat raise.  Obama's 2012 State of the Union speech pulls a dollar figure right out of their abstract: At a time... MORE

Cato's Conservative-Libertarian Debate exit survey is fascinating throughout.  The most striking result is on the following question:Q23. Do you favor or oppose a law in your state that would allow businesses to refuse service to customers for religious reasons?Survey says:The... MORE

GMU's Visionary

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Last week, my colleague Dan Klein kicked off the Public Choice Seminar series.  During the introduction, I recalled some of his early work.  But only after did I realize how visionary he's been.  In 1999, when internet commerce was still... MORE

Truman Bewley Comes to GMU

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Today Truman Bewley comes to GMU.  I've been singing his praises for years; while Bill Dickens is the man who taught me to see to the grave evil of unemployment, Bewley's the man who taught me in great detail how... MORE

Why I Don't Vote: The Honest Truth

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I do not vote.  Since I'm an economist, the parsimonious explanation is that (a) I know the probability of voter decisiveness is astronomically low, and (b) I selfishly value my time.  But that's hardly adequate.  I spend my time on... MORE

From the Cutting Room Floor: The Case Against Education

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
When my books are nearly done, I strive to cut 10% of the remaining words.  Sometimes I end up cutting beloved passages that distract from the flow.  Here's one of my favorites from The Case Against Education, building on my... MORE

The Ultra-Selective Rationality of Politicians

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Me back in 2003: Politicians, just like other people, may prefer some beliefs over others. But unlike average voters, politicians often do have a significant probability of affecting outcomes, and their efforts have direct repercussions. A politician who does not... MORE

Solve for This Equilibrium

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Tyler Cowen's fond of admonishing us to "solve for the equilibrium."  His maxim came to mind while reading his Bloomberg column last month:How's this for a simple rule: Open borders for the residents of any democratic country with more generous... MORE

Betting Justice

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
My favorite Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, by far:Chauncey Wright, a nearly forgotten philosopher of real merit, taught me when young that I must not say necessary about the universe, that we don't know whether anything is necessary or not. I... MORE

Helicopter Parenting and Moral Causation

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Condemnation is fun, but numbers are boring.  What are we supposed to do, then, when condemnation requires numbers?  Suppose you want to condemn a parent for putting his child in grave danger, but your knowledge of actual risks is hazy... MORE

The Math Myth

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Math professor David Edwards sent me this short essay on mathematical education.  Printed with his permission. The Math Myth The math myth is the myth that the future of the American economy is dependent upon the masses having higher mathematics... MORE

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