Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

David Henderson: January 2012

An Author Archive by Month (28 entries)

Report on the Austrian Economics Conference, 1975

Austrian Economics
David Henderson
Many people have written about the first Austrian economics conference, the one held in 1974. I remember it well and have many reminiscences. But that's not my purpose here. In going through a box of correspondence this morning, I found... MORE

Adam Davidson Turns Mercantilist

International Trade
David Henderson
The currency intervention also functions as a massive inequality-creation machine. U.S.-based behemoths, which own or use many of those exporting Chinese factories, benefit, as do their shareholders. And because more than 90 percent of U. S. stocks are owned by... MORE

An Answer to a Monetary Riddle

Money
David Henderson
Last quarter, I received the following "riddle" from a student in my class: It's a slow day in some little town........ The sun is hot....the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.... MORE

Two New Blogs

Taxation
David Henderson
I recommend two new blogs that I've been reading in the past week. What they have in common, besides being good, is that both bloggers have been frequent commenters on Econlog. One is "PrometheeFeu's Blog." This recent post on tax... MORE

There have been a lot of good comments on Arnold Kling's post on Charles Murray's "bubble" and a few on mine. On Arnold's post, Tom West makes a good point about not taking any particular question of the 20 too... MORE

Life in the Bubble

Revealed Preference
David Henderson
I've been busy all week teaching an intense course. Thus the hiatus in my blogging. I took the Charles Murray quiz that Arnold suggested and I scored, depending on the definition of a close friend, either 12 or 13 points... MORE

A Little Optimism from Walter Block

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
This is part of economics professor Walter Block's answer to someone who expressed deep pessimism about the prospects for liberty in the future: I agree with your negative assessment of short term success. It is due to biological hard wiring,... MORE

Krugman's Evidence for Ricardian Equivalence

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Paul Krugman has been an outspoken critic of Ricardian Equivalence, David Ricardo's idea, revived by Robert Barro in 1974, that, holding government spending constant, when the government cuts taxes and increases deficits, people will save more to pay the inevitably-higher... MORE

A SOPA Analogy

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
I've been trying to understand what the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would or wouldn't do. Would it simply protect intellectual property? Then I'm somewhat sympathetic. Why just "somewhat?" See my previous post and the links therein. Or would it... MORE

Jeff Tucker on Intellectual Property

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
Might it be that some of the users' shared content on Megaupload was copyright protected? Absolutely. It is nearly impossible not to violate the law, as shown by SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith's own campaign website, which used an unattributed background... MORE

Most of the discussion by economists of the appropriate capital gains tax rate is about a very narrow criterion: the effect of capital gains tax rates on capital gains tax revenues. But in a 2009 study done for the Institute... MORE

Me on Stossel: The Video

Political Economy
David Henderson
Here's a link that takes you to the video of my appearance on John Stossel's show last night. Three comments: 1. One thing that surprised me, when I researched to prep for the "debate," is how small a percent of... MORE

Jeff Sachs is Right--and Misleading

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
My friends Steve Horwitz and Don Boudreaux have taken strong exception to a recent piece by Jeff Sachs. But I think Sachs got this one right, at least on the particular passage to which Steve and Don take exception. Here's... MORE

Henderson on Stossel

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
I red-eyed it to NYC Monday night to tape a segment on John Stossel's show on Fox Business Network. I returned the same day. Total time in NYC: 11 hours. The segment was a debate with Colonel David Hunt, who... MORE

Moneyball

Human Capital: Returns to entrepreneurs, skills, etc.
David Henderson
I'm tooling along in an American Airlines flight from JFK to SFO and I just finished watching the movie Moneyball. I had blogged about the book (here and here), but this is the first time I've actually seen the movie.... MORE

Ludwig von Mises on Entrepreneurs Under Socialism

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
A popular slogan affirms that if we think less bureaucratically and more commercially in communal enterprises, they will work just as well as private enterprises. The leading positions must be occupied by merchants, and then income will grow apace. Unfortunately... MORE

Seven Myths about Free Markets

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
On Wednesday, January 18, I'll be giving a talk, "Seven Myths about Free Markets" to students, faculty, and the general public at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, California. It will start at 2:00 p.m. It's sponsored by the... MORE

Don Lavoie on Soviet "Growth"

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Today there is a growing consensus that the contemporary Soviet economy serves the consumer very poorly (e.g., see Goldman 1983), but this criticism is often accompanied by a concession that the Stalinist model is suitable for rapid development and fails... MORE

Caplan, Kahneman, Bastiat, and the First Amendment

Economic Education
David Henderson
Bryan Caplan's post earlier this week, "Eureka! Economic Illiteracy as Mental Substitution," is one of his best ever. And that's a high bar. Bryan applies the insight from Kahneman--that people answer the question they want to answer rather than the... MORE

Don Lavoie on the Socialist Calculation Debate

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
The late Don Lavoie was one of the most informed and insightful modern economists on the ins and outs of the famous "socialist calculation debate." One socialist economist who thought he had solved the problem was Fred M. Taylor, who... MORE

Mitt Romney on Mercantilism

International Trade
David Henderson
But they [the Chinese] sell us this much stuff [holding his hands far apart.] We sell them this much stuff [holding his hands close together.] Tell me, who doesn't want the trade war? They don't want it real bad. And... MORE

Bryan Caplan on Income Inequality

Labor Market
David Henderson
The Power of Partial Derivatives Bryan Caplan's reasoning on income inequality is correct. Some of the commenters who think they disagree are pointing to the fact that rich people are often honored and praised. That's correct. They often are. That... MORE

Sylvia Nasar's Grand Pursuit

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
The idea that humanity could turn tables on economic necessity--mastering rather than being enslaved by material circumstances--is so new that Jane Austen never entertained it. With an opening sentence like that, I thought, Sylvia Nasar's Grand Pursuit: The Story of... MORE

Bastiat's Insight on Government Inaction

Regulation and Subsidies
David Henderson
I've noticed in discussions--in person, on Facebook, and in blogs--how hard it is for most people to see that opposition to having the government subsidize or require activity X does not mean that one opposes activity X. Frederic Bastiat addressed... MORE

Ed Leamer on "Pure" Economics

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
Messieur Walras...was one of the first "mathematical economists," who chose the title Elements of Pure Economics for his 1874 book...Do you wonder what is "pure" economics? It's not an epithet, like pure baloney. "Pure" is a reference to the language... MORE

My Hoover colleague Paul Gregory has an interesting op/ed on how things would look if the media treated Republican congressmen the way they treat Democrats. He takes a New York Times story and rewrites it the way people who oppose... MORE

The Microeconomics of "Stimulus" Policy

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
But couldn't economic productivity be increased by targeting federal spending on hiring the unemployed either directly to work for government or by subsidizing private firms to hire them? Such an approach makes sense only if it produces more value than... MORE

Robert Frank's Narrow View on Schools

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
When I posted on Facebook a link to my recent blog post and book review [scroll down to the third page] of Robert Frank's latest book, a George Mason University economist friend wrote, "David, your critique is spot on, but... MORE

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