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Bryan Caplan: October 2017

An Author Archive by Month (13 entries)

Hard Questions About the Protestant Reformation

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Today is the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Protestant Reformation.  Martin Luther published his 95 Theses precisely half a millennium ago.  It's tempting for libertarians to celebrate this day as a great victory for freedom of speech and... MORE

Soonish Success!

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
I'm delighted to report that my co-author - Zach Weinersmith - and his co-author - Kelly Weinersmith - have hit the New York Times Bestseller list with their Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything.  It's a fascinating... MORE

Econ as Anatomy

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Biology teachers often start their courses by reviewing the scientific method.  Stripped down to essentials, this means:1. Formulate a hypothesis.2. Run an experiment to test the hypothesis.3. Tentatively accept your hypothesis if the experiment works; otherwise, go back to Step... MORE

Students for Liberty Open Borders Debate: My Opening Statement

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Saturday I once again debated the Center for Immigration Studies' Mark Krikorian on open borders, this time for the Students for Liberty regional conference at the University of Maryland.  Here's my opening statement. Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 RESOLVED:... MORE

Resentment Not Hate

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
People often claim that their political opponents are motivated by sheer hatred.  Thus, we have "hate-mongers," "hate speech," "hate groups," and even "hate maps."  But almost no one openly claims "hate" as their political motive.  When accused of hatred, the... MORE

Anti-Market Bias in One Sentence

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
A telling quote from this NYT piece on NAFTA:The potential demise of the trade deal prompted supportive messages from labor unions, including the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the United Steelworkers, as well as some Democrats."Any trade proposal that makes multinational corporations nervous... MORE

Thoughts on the UMich Immigration Debate

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Thoughts on my latest debate:1. Hans von Spakovsky was the most lawyerly opponent I've ever debated.  His first (and second) approach to almost any issue was simply to describe the law.  In most cases, he didn't even defend its wisdom... MORE

Does Trump's Immigration Agenda Harm Democracy? My Opening Statement

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
800x600 Last Friday, I debated Heritage's Hans von Spakovsky on "Does Trump's Immigration Agenda Harm Democracy?"  The resolution was unusual for me in three ways:1. I usually try to stick to timeless issues.  For this debate, I had to... MORE

Me in Michigan

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
I'm speaking twice on immigration in Michigan this week.1. I'm lecturing on "Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk" at Michigan State on Thursday, October 12, at 7 PM.2. I'm debating Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation on "America First: Does... MORE

Hume on Pessimistic Bias

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
A nice quote on pessimistic bias during the reign of King James I from Hume's History of England:Every session of parliament, during this reign, we meet with grievous lamentations concerning the decay of trade and the growth of popery: Such... MORE

What's Killing Us? A Huemer Guest Post

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Great short piece by Michael Huemer, my favorite philosopher.  Reprinted with his permission.What's killing us? I made the following graph. I include the top ten causes of death in the U.S., plus homicide and illegal drug overdoses, because the latter... MORE

The Pathos of Doing the Best I Can

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Edin and Nelson's Doing the Best I Can is packed with poignant stories, but here's the one that almost made me cry....Ritchie Weber knows what it is like to hit rock bottom.  Just two years ago he was spending nights... MORE

Doing the Best I Can: Social Science at Its Best

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
I'm a long-time fan of Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas' Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage (University of California Press, 2005).  Only recently, however, did I discover that Edin had partnered with Timothy Nelson to... MORE

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