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Bryan Caplan: September 2017

An Author Archive by Month (13 entries)

The Forgotten Man/Woman

Family Economics
Bryan Caplan
Even today, we rarely socialize with co-workers of the opposite sex.  Back in July, the New York Times documented, then analyzed, this gender divide:Men and women still don't seem to have figured out how to work or socialize together. For... MORE

The Bias of Modern Art

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
For as long as I can remember, the "My child could do that" critique of modern painting and sculpture has resonated with me.  Broadly defined, I hasten to add, modernity creates great new visual art all the time; just look... MORE

Milgram's "Obedience to Authority" Replicates

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Stanley's Milgram's "Obedience to Authority" experiments are doubly famous.  First, he supposedly showed that most Americans would shock a total stranger to death because an authority told them to do so.Second, his experiment was widely perceived as emotionally abusive -... MORE

Left and Right: A Socratic Dialogue

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
[Backstory: Greek luminaries Socrates, Pericles, and Leonidas have time-traveled from ancient times to the 21st century.  A few months after immersion in the modern world, Pericles is a convinced member of what modernity calls "the left," while Leonidas is an... MORE

Moving young children from the Third World to Sweden wipes out about half of their national IQ deficit.  What about performance in high school?  Vinnerljung et al.'s "School Performance at Age 16 Among International Adoptees" (International Social Work, 2010)  compiles... MORE

Does Prosperity Make Us Utilitarian?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Scott Sumner has some thought-provoking reactions to my critique of Scott Alexander's Thrive/Survive Theory of left and right.  Here's my reaction, point-by-point.  Scott's in blockquotes; I'm not.Liberalism is what happens when you are optimizing for a safe environment, and illiberalism... MORE

The Wonder of International Adoption: Adult IQ in Sweden

Cross-country Comparisons
Bryan Caplan
In Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, I showed that nurture effects are small within the First World.  But I also freely conceded that the nurture effects of growing up outside the First World are probably large:The most important weakness... MORE

A Taste of Bastiat

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Whenever I praise Tyler, I vaguely fear that I'm speaking a self-defeating prophesy.  But this is so good I can't resist:Sometimes you hear Texas described as a "low-wage" economy, perhaps contrasted with the high wages of California.  But there are... MORE

As a consumer, I'm never scared to shop in legal but unregulated markets.  Never mind the right to sue; reputation and guarantees provide all the peace of mind I need.  Illegal, unregulated markets, however, are a different story.  Sure, they... MORE

What's Wrong with the Thrive/Survive Theory of Left and Right

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
A while back, Scott Alexander defended what he called the "Thrive/Survive Theory" of left and right.  Digest version:My hypothesis is that rightism is what happens when you're optimizing for surviving an unsafe environment, leftism is what happens when you're optimized... MORE

Case Against Education Updates

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
1. As promised, I have now uploaded all of the underlying spreadsheets for my return to education results in The Case Against Education.  The book is still expected to release in January.2. This semester, I am designing and teaching a... MORE

More Reasons to Read About Religion

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Tyler Cowen urges us - especially the secular "us" - to read more about religion:So many religious facts have a very long half-life for their relevance.  Say you learn about how the four Gospels differ -- that's still relevant for... MORE

Caplan Family School Graduation Podcast

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
For the last two years, I homeschooled my elder sons, Aidan and Tristan, rather than send them to traditional middle school.  Now they've been returned to traditional high school.  We decided to mark our last day with a father-son/teacher-student podcast... MORE

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