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Bryan Caplan: December 2017

An Author Archive by Month (13 entries)

Only the Rich

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
The government gives an excludable good away for free: roads, parks, education, medicine, whatever.  Then some economist advocates privatization of one of these freebies.  Technocrats may offer some technical objections to privatization.  Normal people, however, will respond with a disgusted... MORE

Me on Education on Tucker Carlson

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
I just appeared on Tucker Carlson's show to talk about The Case Against Education and my piece in The Atlantic.  I have no idea if Tucker knows how far apart we are on immigration.  But he treated me graciously and... MORE

What's Wrong With Students: A Guest Post by Dennis Fried

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Former philosophy professor and successful humorist Dennis Fried sent me some poignant comments on my piece in The Atlantic.  Reprinted with Fried's permission. Dear Dr. Caplan, I just read your article in Atlantic magazine and was blown away by the... MORE

The Political Economy of Social Desirability Bias

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Last week, I visited the University of Freiburg for a conference on behavioral political economy.  My presentation: "The Political Economy of Social Desirability Bias: The Case of Education."  The first half, which summarizes The Case Against Education, will already be... MORE

Reply to Noah on Sheepskin Effects and Collegiate Consumption

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Continuing our debate, Noah Smith defends on odd view on sheepskin effects.  Here's my reply.  He's in blockquotes; I'm not.Bryan, and many proponents of the signaling model, believe that sheepskin effects are solid evidence that college is mostly about signaling.... MORE

Family, Pop Culture, and the Nurture Assumption

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
The central message of behavioral genetics is that modern human beings systematically overestimate the effects of upbringing and systematically underestimate the effects of heredity.  Judith Harris famously called this bias "the nurture assumption."  But why are people so predisposed to... MORE

Reply to Noah on The Case Against Education

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
While I was away, Noah Smith replied to my recent Atlantic excerpt from The Case Against Education.  Here's my reply, point-by-point.  He's in blockquotes, I'm not.But Caplan misapplies the theory of signaling. First of all, he says that it represents... MORE

The Truth Hurts: Public Choice and Liberty

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Reagan was worried that Americans were losing their love of liberty.  Here's my depressing talk arguing that Americans love liberty as a vague platitude, but are deeply statist on almost all particulars.I am only a messenger.... MORE

My Excerpt in The Atlantic

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
I'm on vacation, but I'm delighted to announce that an excerpt from The Case Against Education has just appeared in the latest issue of The Atlantic.  Enjoy!... MORE

The Shining City on a Hill: Commentary on Reagan

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
While wrapping up my graphic novel, I wound up reading Ronald Reagan's famous Farewell Address - his "Shining City on a Hill" speech.  Given my broader views, I obviously have some objections.  But I was amazed to read an actual... MORE

The Unbearable Arbitrariness of Deploring

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
As a self-identified non-Neurotic man, I'm not surprised by the social ubiquity of anger, sadness, and fear.  When something bad happens, my instinctive reaction is to say, "Calm down, it's OK" - especially if it doesn't personally affect me.  But... MORE

Measured intelligence (IQ) rose markedly over the 20th century, a robust result widely dubbed the "the Flynn effect."  But what do these rising IQs mean?  The straightforward conclusion is unbridled optimism: just as human beings are taller than they used... MORE

Me in Switzerland and Germany

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
I'm speaking in Zurich, Switzerland this Friday at 6 PM on The Case Against Education.  Hope you can make it!P.S. I'll also be in Freiburg, Germany on December 14-16.  I'll be busy all day and evening, but might be available... MORE

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