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Bryan Caplan: May 2017

An Author Archive by Month (15 entries)

Cruise Ships and Private Plots

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I'm now cruising to Bermuda.  Which has me thinking: In an open borders world, cruising would probably drastically decline.  Why?  Because cruise ships show the logic of open borders in stunted form.  Think about it: On a cruise ship, people... MORE

Nationalism Is Not News

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
In the last two years, there's been an avalanche of news on the "rise of nationalism."  I find this narrative deeply aggravating.  My critics - even a colleague or two - say it's because I'm in denial over the painful... MORE

Trust Assimilation in the United States

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
I recently spent a month reading through the vast empirical literature on trust.  A simple survey question - usually along the lines of "Can most people be trusted?" - seems to predict many good social outcomes.  What most interests me,... MORE

The Behavioral Econ of Paperwork

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Next month, I'll collect my final payment from my Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account - and I couldn't be happier.  I hate filling out paperwork.  Though it only takes a couple hours to save thousands of dollars, I resent the... MORE

Statutory Rape and Availability Bias in Virginia

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
My home state of Virginia does not have a Romeo and Juliet Law.  If an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old have consensual sex, the 18-year old is guilty of statutory rape.  As a result, I can easily see parents of teenage... MORE

Me on Anarcho-Capitalism on the Rubin Report

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Whatever you think about anarcho-capitalism, the production values of my Rubin Report interview on the subject are top notch!  Enjoy.In other news, Mike Huemer and I have a fan from the NFL (and GW Law).... MORE

The "Real X" Defense

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Consider these two couplets:Couplet #1: "Socialism has failed."  "No, real socialism has never existed."Couplet #2: "Libertarianism has failed." "No, real libertarianism has never existed."In both cases, the point of the first clause is to discredit an economic system.  In both... MORE

Geography Is Policy

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
For the last twenty years or so, Jeffrey Sachs and co-authors have been arguing that institutions and policy matter less than most economists think.  The harsh reality is that geography has a huge effect on countries' economic success.  From what... MORE

What Is Emotional Truth?

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
As a rule, I don't care for "hard sci-fi."  In fact, artistically speaking, I normally dislike true stories of any kind.  And I barely care about continuity errors.  When I read novels or watch movies, I crave what I call... MORE

What's Wrong With the Macro AP

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
Today my 8th-grade homeschoolers take the Advanced Placement test in Macroeconomics.  Back in 1989, when I took this exam, it covered little more than 1960s Keynesianism.  The current test is marginally better.  Now we've got long-run Aggregate Supply curves and... MORE

Warren Bet

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
My long-time friend Ben Haller posted this prediction on Facebook:Elizabeth Warren on Bill Maher - man, she is really good. I hereby predict that she will be President in 2020... That's assuming she runs - but I think she will.I... MORE

Pollitt on Putnam

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Lately, I've been intently reading the social science of trust.  Katha Pollitt's critique of Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone may not be the most insightful, but it's definitely the most entertaining:Putnam argues that declining membership in such venerable civic institutions as... MORE

The Widerquist-Caplan UBI Debate

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
I recently did another debate on the Universal Basic Income, this time on Public Square with Georgetown philosopher - and founder of the journal Basic Income Studies - Karl Widerquist.To be honest, I was surprised by the path the... MORE

Remember Marxism?

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Lately I've been hearing abundant apocalyptic rhetoric about the collapse of traditional Western norms of critical thinking, free inquiry, and tolerance.  The story, roughly, is that after a century of unprecedented intellectual freedom, a new generation of barbarians - mostly... MORE

The Consumer Gratitude Heuristic

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
In the real world, prices often seem far above marginal cost.  Yesterday, for example, I bought a pair of tweezers for $14.99.  But it's hard to see how the marginal cost - metal, electricity, transportation, miscellaneous - could even reach... MORE

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