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Bryan Caplan: August 2017

An Author Archive by Month (10 entries)

My Homeschooling Textbooks

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
People often ask me about the textbooks I used to homeschool my sons during grades 7 and 8.  I appreciate the question, because - aside from grading essays - textbook selection was probably the most time-consuming part of being Caplan... MORE

Tristan Caplan's Tetlockian Glossary

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
This summer, I assigned Tetlock and Gardner's Superforecasting (see here, here, and here) to my homeschoolers.  They took to this masterpiece of political psychology like fish to water.  I'd already taught them about human beings' wacky mapping from language to... MORE

Four Decades of Middle Eastern Disaster: The Proximate Cause

Cross-country Comparisons
Bryan Caplan
Counter-factual history is really hard.  If World War II hadn't happened, one could easily imagine it being replaced by a global thermonuclear war in the 1960s.  But the history of proximate causes is much easier.  Let A, B, C, and... MORE

Pacifism in A Generation of Materialism

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Highlights from Carlton Hayes' fascinating section on the International Peace Conference of 1899 in his A Generation of Materialism, 1871-1900:On August 24 of the eventful year of 1898 the Tsar's foreign minister, Count Muraviev, communicated to the diplomatic corps of... MORE

The Not-So-Curious Absence of American Emulationists in the Third World?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Lots of interesting responses to yesterday's puzzle.  The least convincing point to factors (such as European ethnicity) that apply equally well to the Soviet Union.  The best fall into three main categories:1. Anti-market bias.  Despite the far greater success of... MORE

After World War II, virtually every Third World country had a major political faction that looked on the Soviet Union as a model society.  What path should their nation take?  The answer was obvious: Emulate the Soviet Union.  With minor... MORE

New Reflections on the Evolution in France

Cross-country Comparisons
Bryan Caplan
I just returned from a month in France.  I stand by everything I said during my last visit in 2008, but have plenty to add:1. The biggest change is the ubiquitous police and military presence.  Teams of militarized police and... MORE

War Crimes and the Long Run

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Economists often sing the praises of credibility, also known as "time consistency."  When Kydland and Prescott won their Nobel Prizes in 2004, their citation gives this work pride of place: Finn Kydland and Edward Prescott have been awarded the 2004... MORE

What's in Your Bag?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
As a consumer, my experiences are exceedingly pleasant.  I don't just receive endless great products for reasonable prices.  I routinely receive gracious, flexible service with a smile.  Small snapshot: When I buy baked goods or produce at Wegmans, the cashiers... MORE

Stop Thinking Like a Tourist: Macaulay Edition

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
My son Tristan recently quoted this passage from Thomas Macaulay's "Southey's Colloquies on Society" - and I instantly realized that telling people to stop thinking like a tourist goes back over a century: Mr. Southey has found out a way,... MORE

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