Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Bryan Caplan: January 2006

An Author Archive by Month (27 entries)

Less Liberty Than Meets the Eye

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
The Gallup poll that Arnold talks about seems to have a shocking result: even though American political discourse obsesses over liberal versus conservative, for every three people who fit these labels, there are two who do not. If you ask... MORE

A License to Sing?

Regulation and Subsidies
Bryan Caplan
I was confused last night while watching the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues. For a reason I couldn't grasp, Billie needed to win over public opinion in order to get a "cabaret card." But surely, I told my... MORE

You're All Winners

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Thanks so much to everyone who suggested titles for my book. I'll be mulling this over for a while, but my readers will be the first to know once I've made up my mind. P.S. Despite the title, I am... MORE

At First Glance: Bias in the Media

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Economists have done some sophisticated work on media bias. For example, Tim Groseclose and Jeff Milyo have a neat paper, "A Measure of Media Bias," that compares the think tanks that politicians and the media cite. They find that the... MORE

Elite Folly and Selection Bias

Politics and Economics
Bryan Caplan
I've been arguing for several years that more educated people have more sensible views about economics than less educated people. (No need to wait for my book; see here and here). Arnold is not the first to demur. Many economists,... MORE

Name This Book!

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
Since Arnold is already pumping up my book, and it's been accepted by a major university press, it's time to announce my official Title Contest. If we've learned anything from the success of Freakonomics, it's that titles matter. And while... MORE

The Joy of Econ

Austrian Economics
Bryan Caplan
Are you puzzled by the appeal of the late Murray Rothbard? Try his newly available lectures on The History of Thought: From Marx to Hayek. All libertarian prejudice aside, I don't think any thoughtful economist could deny that Rothbard exudes... MORE

Cinematic Proof

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
If you're one of those economists who says "we can only talk about observable behavior," check out Brokeback Mountain: One minute of sex, two hours of yearning.... MORE

Mozart: An Ultimate Resource

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Tyler Cowen has urged all bloggers to give Mozart his props this week. Here goes: Dear Wolfgang: I am very sorry I didn't get the chance to meet you. But you'll be happy to know that I have probably heard... MORE

Where Dysgenics Goes Wrong: Comparative Advantage Strikes Again

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
A number of smart people, Charles Murray included, are worried about "dysgenic pressure." The story, in brief, is that: 1. Intelligence is highly heritable. 2. The more intelligent have fewer kids than less intelligent. 3. Our average IQ is declining,... MORE

How to Get in the Financial Times

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
How economics is changing: A few years ago, the Financial Times discussed my article on systematically biased beliefs about economics. A few days ago, the Financial Times discussed my blog on the economics of dental hygiene.... MORE

Whenever I go out in public, I notice pairs of mothers and daughters. Once kids hit adolescence, you rarely see mothers and sons, fathers and sons, or fathers and daughters spending much time together. But mothers and daughters of all... MORE

Where Eugenics Goes Wrong: The Implications of Comparative Advantage

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Almost no one wants to be called a "eugenicist." It's a term of abuse. But if you go back to the origin of the term, it basically amounts to the following two claims: Claim #1: One of the main causes... MORE

Gnomonomics

Growth: Causal Factors
Bryan Caplan
Apparently I'm not the only guy who teaches economics using cartoons. Larry White uses South Park to score a damning point against Jeff Sachs: One of the all-time greatest episodes of South Park is “Underpants Gnomes,” wherein the coffee-addled character... MORE

Funding Jihad

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
Due to mild fear of a strip search at the airport, I decided not to fly with Daniel Brown's A New Introduction to Islam. But it was worth the wait. In another fascinating section, Brown explains how the early holy... MORE

How Islam Spread: Veeery Slooowly

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
I am engrossed by Daniel Brown's A New Introduction to Islam. It's packed with juicy scholarship. A standard history will tell you that Islam swept the Middle East in the space of thirty years. What it won't tell you is... MORE

As I Was Saying

Price Controls
Bryan Caplan
As couple days ago, I wrote: But if my analysis is right, there will be some lucky workers who keep their jobs, don't immediately see their wages fall, and get extra health care. It will be easy to run a... MORE

Are Neighborhood Effects Really Genetic Effects?

Human Capital: Returns to entrepreneurs, skills, etc.
Bryan Caplan
A new paper leads Tyler Cowen to ask: "Are Neighborhood Effects Really Family Effects?" But I'd say he's suffering from what I've called "environmental bias." Since the whole behavioral genetics literature has already found shockingly weak evidence of family effects... MORE

Mind Wide Open

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
The main finding in Philip Tetlock's awe-inspiring Expert Political Knowledge is that open-minded "foxes" are better predictors than theory-driven "hedgehogs." But toward the end of the book, he has a fascinating chapter about a fascinating exception. Background: There's a whole... MORE

Economists are lambasting Maryland's "Fair Share Health Care Fund Act", which effectively forces Wal-Mart to spend at least 8% of its payroll on health care. While I'm happy to join in the chorus, I nevertheless believe that many opponents of... MORE

Confession of a Broken Planner

Price Controls
Bryan Caplan
Tom DiLorenzo has a charming anecdote in the latest issue of the Free Market: During the post-war occupation of Germany, American "planners" rather liked the Nazi economic controls, including price controls, that were in fact preventing economic recovery. The notorious... MORE

A Verdict on Mindless Economics

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
During my four years at Princeton I can't recall anyone other than myself having the slightest interest in methodology. How the times have changed! Princeton's Faruk Gul and Wolfgang Pesendorfer have put out a lengthy methodological tract, "The Case for... MORE

The Censors of Ghost Town

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Howard Stern premiered today on Sirius satellite radio, and I couldn't be happier. I don't find Stern funny. I don't subscribe to Sirius. But this move is another market-driven nail in the coffin of the censors at the FCC. These... MORE

The L.A. Times has a big expose about the union founded by Cesar Chavez: Today, a Times investigation has found, Chavez's heirs run a web of tax-exempt organizations that exploit his legacy and invoke the harsh lives of farmworkers to... MORE

The Upside of Asia

Cross-country Comparisons
Bryan Caplan
Alex Tabarrok has a pair of neat posts on India and China. The first points to a vast expansion of private schooling in India, and makes the plausible argument that growth is causing education rather than the other way around.... MORE

IQ, Algernon, and Introspection

Human Capital: Returns to entrepreneurs, skills, etc.
Bryan Caplan
There are a lot of people who take offense at the idea that people have different levels of intelligence - and even at the idea that something called "intelligence" exists. As with most controversial issues, more data is unlikely to... MORE

Reflecting on the best social science of 2005, it is striking how much of it appears in The Onion. Here are just a few articles that provide more insight than the typical publication in the American Economic Review: Bush to... MORE

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