Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Bryan Caplan: December 2006

An Author Archive by Month (28 entries)
According to an engrossing biography of a Saudi princess I was reading, the Saudi government has imposed price controls on dowries. In the Saudi context, this means that the amount of money that men pay the family of the bride... MORE

Testing the Freedom to Choose

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Jane Galt relays a challenge to believers in free will (myself among them) from Scott Adams: It seems to me that free will can be easily tested. The next time someone is getting brain surgery, just take a few minutes... MORE

Krugman Overcomes Pessimistic Bias

Fiscal Policy
Bryan Caplan
Krugman no longer seems very worried about the deficit, but why? Inquiring minds want to know...... MORE

Anti-Foreign Car Guys to Japan: Thanks!

International Trade
Bryan Caplan
The most vociferous bearer of anti-foreign bias that I know is also a life-long car afficionado. (He and his buddies call themselves "car guys.") A couple of days ago he was telling me about the low level of quality control... MORE

Real Caricature

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
For me, one of the funnest parts of teaching undergraduate labor is when I lecture on why "the standard history of labor is wrong." I begin with a quick summary of what I take the standard view to be: Most... MORE

At Least They Beat Christmas Carols

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Mankiw's got a good econo-parody here. I wrote this and this back in grad school, for a Christmas skit that never was.... MORE

Teaching Bias

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
David Balan has joined the august bloggers at Overcoming Bias. Let me tell you about this guy. A couple months ago, he came to GMU to deliver a paper. A crew of GMU profs took him out to lunch beforehand,... MORE

Mmm... Immigration Doughnuts

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Before blogging, there were listservs. I ran one for Armchair Economists. (Technically, it's still up, but competition from blogging has all but killed it. That's Creative Destruction for you...) One of our liveliest debates revolved around the doughnut industry. In... MORE

Robin Hanson's Intelligence Continues to Amaze Me

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Well, it shouldn't, explains Robin. Consider the foolish way that the world reacts to new fossils: Fossil hunters have found a winning formula for getting media attention: pretend to believe behavior X appeared around the time of the earliest known... MORE

Another Puzzle from the Tower Bankruptcy Sale

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
I just made my life's final purchase from Tower Records. Perhaps it's insensitive to be pondering economic puzzles while my favorite store is on its deathbed, but I can't resist. Here goes: How come the prices for Rap/Hip-hop were slashed... MORE

I Wish I Wrote That

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
No, it's not an article in a top econ journal, it's the season finale of Dexter. It's permeated by the best of economics, philosophy, and psychology, with plotting worthy of Victor Hugo. If Immanuel Kant came back from the dead,... MORE

How Egalitarianism Undermines the Study of Voter Competence

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
The clever Arthur Lupia is launching a multi-pronged contrarian defense of the competence of the average voter. He's got a whole series of new papers (some co-authored) trying to debunk the broad consensus in political science that voters don't know... MORE

Jane Shrugged

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
Here's the true story of Jane Galt, exploited PIRG employee who finally attained class consciousness. By way of contrast, every libertarian organization I ever gophered for treated me like family. I did however occasionally work extra hours off the books... MORE

A True Story of Efficient Regulation

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
I'm a member of local Fairfax pool. I don't know exactly how this pool got started, but for about $400/year, my family was able to become a shareholder in this private non-profit. One nice thing about this pool is that... MORE

Jefferson on the Indians

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
I was curious to read more about Jefferson's position on the Indians. Here's a nice set of quotations. It's full of high-minded rhetoric, like: Our system is to live in perpetual peace with the Indians, to cultivate an affectionate attachment... MORE

New World Apocalypse

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
The most straightforward - if not the best - way to interpret the end of Apocalypto is that Christian Europeans finally arrived in the New World to put an end to monstrous pagan barbarism. Whether or not that was Gibson's... MORE

Myth of the Rational Voter Update

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
My book won't be out until April, but Princeton University Press has already put up a nifty promotional webpage for it. P.S. You can now pre-order my book from Amazon.... MORE

The Ratios

Growth: Causal Factors
Bryan Caplan
Arnold writes: If you think that culture matters but institutions do not, look at North and South Korea. If you think that culture does not matter at all, look at differences among different ethnic groups within countries. South Korea/North Korea... MORE

"Jewish Media" Proves Extremely Fair

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Director Mel Gibson's infamous anti-semitic rant notwithstanding, Apocalypto has gotten stellar reviews. It's practically straight out of The Onion. P.S. Saw it last night. Amazing despite its simple linear plot. I think Mel's hate speech has cost him multiple Oscars.... MORE

A Kuranian Take on the Religious Gender Gap

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Last week I stumbled upon a little gem outside of Larry Iannaccone's office: a chapter by Rodney Stark and Alan Miller on the religious gender gap. Long story short: Women are more religious than men by virtually every measure in... MORE

Make Money Fast (no, really!)

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
I've argued that student essay contests are a sweet deal. Here's another example: the Economic Communicators Contest, sponsored by the Association for Private Enterprise Education.... MORE

Podcasting: A New Experience

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
I did the first podcast of my career on Friday - a chat with Russ Roberts about discrimination... which somehow morphed into my spiel about the relative wretchedness of the European standard of living. Overall, I had a swell time,... MORE

The Anti-Hack

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
Jane Galt ably defends my co-blogger against the charge of hackdom, and raises an important challenge in the process:If the word "hack" has never come out of your lips (or keyboard) in public reference to someone on your own side,... MORE

The Far-Seeing Arnold

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
I just noticed that, four years ago, my co-blogger asked "Is blogging a fad?" Using a simple model, he stuck his neck out and said: No. Good call, Arnold!... MORE

Economists: The World's Got a Problem With Us

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
The smartest man I know is being savaged on the comments section of the Washington Monthly. Don't miss it!... MORE

The Culture of Growth

Growth: Causal Factors
Bryan Caplan
Lawrence Harrison makes the case for the economic importance of culture in the latest issue of Cato Unbound: How then would Easterly explain why, in multicultural countries where the economic opportunities and incentives are available to all, some ethnic or... MORE

Can 600 Economists Be Wrong About the Minimum Wage?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Gary Becker has some interesting thoughts about the economics profession's beliefs about the minimum wage: A recent petition by over 600 economists, including 5 Nobel Laureates in Economics, advocated a phased-in rise in the federal minimum wage to a much... MORE

Big finding as the Titanic goes down: The greater the demand for a CD at its regular price, the greater the elasticity of demand for that CD. When everything is 50% off, CDs that normally sell 1 per week may... MORE

Return to top