Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

David Henderson: October 2012

An Author Archive by Month (29 entries)

Hayek and Hurricanes

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
In a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy, the only thing people should fear more than the storm is the government's response. Let us count the ways. Mandatory evacuations presume that politicians know the risks better than property owners themselves. That... MORE

Jeff Ely on Price Controls During Disasters

Price Controls
David Henderson
I had thought that pretty much all economists agreed that price controls during disasters are a bad idea. But Northwestern University economist Jeff Ely has a different take. He writes the following: But in fact it is quite typical for... MORE

On Speculation: BEST LETTER EVER

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
David Henderson
This is from a letter that Don Boudreaux wrote to the Washington Post: Have you noticed the enormous increase in greedy speculation in the northeast over the past two days? It's quite something! In advance of hurricane Sandy, consumers are... MORE

Socialized Medicine Can Kill

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
A 29-year-old woman will die without a new drug that the NHS is refusing to provide despite the manufacturer offering it to her for free, it emerged today. Caroline Cassin, 29, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has been offered... MORE

Why We Won't Eliminate the Electoral College

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
Co-blogger Garett Jones has an interesting post making his case for the electoral college. I don't have a strong view either way, but I can tell you why it's extremely unlikely that the electoral college will ever be eliminated. The... MORE

My Visit to NASA

Business Economics
David Henderson
Every fall quarter I teach an economics class to Executive MBA students by distance learning. For the first time, we have civilians in the program--in this case 5 students from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. When I teach 5... MORE

Tribute to an Audience

Business Economics
David Henderson
UPDATE below. One of the lessons I tell my friends who want tips on speaking is one that, in the intensity of the moment, I often forget to do myself. Last Tuesday, I remembered. It is to lead with a... MORE

Bruce Bartlett's Mistake

Taxation
David Henderson
I wrote on Friday: Bruce's bottom line may be right, but there's something fishy about these numbers. Start with the fact that the median income for the whole country is at or around the bottom end of this bracket. That... MORE

Friday Night Video: Life Without Capitalism

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
The Fund for American Studies put out this excellent 6-minute video. Posted with permission.... MORE

Bartlett on Romney's Tax Plan

Taxation
David Henderson
In response, Romney put forward a new tax plan in recent days suggesting that he might not raise taxes by eliminating specific deductions that are too popular to touch, but rather by capping all of a taxpayer's deductions by some... MORE

CPI Bias and Experiment Bias

Growth: Consequences
David Henderson
As Bryan admits, his experiment to figure out whether the economy is stagnating suffered from a small-sample problem. Various commenters when Bryan first asked for volunteers pointed out that there was huge selection bias. The people who are even aware... MORE

Rigor, Math, and Numbers

Economic Methods
David Henderson
Quickly researching the work of the two Nobel Prize winners Monday morning has given me more than the usual amount of thinking to blog on. I came across an interesting thought in the classic 1962 Gale/Shapley article that, as you'll... MORE

UPDATE BELOW: When I have approximately 4 hours to research and write a Wall Street Journal article each year on the Nobel prize winners in economics, by necessity, I have to pick and choose what to emphasize. Another constraint is... MORE

Designing Men

Regulation
David Henderson
That's the title I gave my piece in today's Wall Street Journal on the Nobel prize winners in economics. But, consistent with my experience as author of over 200 op/eds, the editors didn't use my title. The title they used... MORE

Obama's War on Coal?

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
I was working Sunday on a talk I'm giving on October 23 in Dallas on Obama's economic policies. One thing I had taken as given, having talked to a few people who I thought had followed the issue closely, is... MORE

By keeping average taxes the same, while reducing marginal tax rates, it is possible to encourage people to earn and report more income. This is from Alan Reynolds, "Marginal Tax Rates," in the first edition of The Concise Encyclopedia of... MORE

Friedman on Chicago vs. Columbia

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
I just received my review copy of Lanny Ebenstein's The Indispensable Milton Friedman. It's a compilation of less-well-known, but, nevertheless, often very interesting, essays by Friedman. Yesterday morning, I did a "drop-in interviewer" spot on a local libertarian/conservative talk show... MORE

Romney's Tax Cut

Taxation
David Henderson
There is a lot of controversy about Mitt Romney's proposal for cutting tax rates and broadening the tax base by limiting deductions and exemptions. I've discussed this here and here and Garett Jones highlighted Josh Barro's piece on it yesterday.... MORE

Hanson on "Bankrupt California," Part Two

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
I promised in yesterday's post to cover the parts of Victor Davis Hanson's article that dealt with other aspects of California. Immigration aside, I found myself agreeing with a number of them and wanting to extend some. 1. Gas prices.... MORE

Victor Davis Hanson on "Bankrupt California"

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
"Bostonian," one of the commenters on my previous post on immigration quoted from an article by my Hoover colleague, Victor Davis Hanson. So I read the whole thing. There's a lot of meaty content, good and weak, in his article,... MORE

Henderson vs. Woodruff on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In response to my Freeman article, "Tear Down These Walls," Henry Woodruff wrote [permission granted from The Freeman to reprint his letter and my response]: I very much enjoyed reading David Henderson's article, "Tear Down These Walls," in the June... MORE

Overdetermination vs. Randomness

Statistical theory and methods
David Henderson
Here are the opening sentences from an article by San Jose Mercury News sports reporter Tim Kawakami: All the melodramatic twists, tweaks and breaks should've made the Giants virtually unbeatable on Saturday. They had their ace, Matt Cain, on the... MORE

Henderson on Landsburg's "Armchair Economist"

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Steven Landsburg's The Armchair Economist is one of the best economics books ever written. It is insightful, disarmingly simple and yet sophisticated and, at the same time, provocative, passionate, and witty. Were I to detail the many things I like... MORE

The Latest Unemployment Figures

Labor Market
David Henderson
Our new co-blogger, Luigi Zingales, in his first post, has done an excellent job of dispelling the conspiracy theory that political operatives in the Obama administration "got to" the professionals in the Bureau of Labor Statistics who gather and report... MORE

Henderson on John Goodman's Priceless

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
My review of health economist John Goodman's book, Priceless, is now out. I'm generally positive about the book, but I do have some major criticisms. Some positive excerpts: A dominant theme in health care reform is what Goodman calls "the... MORE

Last Night's Debate on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
I'm so glad that I don't need to use quotation marks around the word "debate" in the title above. For the days leading up to it, every time I've mentioned it, I've used quotation marks because the typical format is... MORE

Freakonomics on Shale Gas

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Steve Sexton over at Freakonomics has an excellent piece on shale gas. It lays out some basic economics beautifully. Before I continue, a disclosure: I have invested in a fracking operation in Colorado. I wish I hadn't, but that's another... MORE

Welcome, Luigi Zingales

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Starting this week and for the next few months, Econlog will have a guest blogger, Luigi Zingales. Professor Zingales is the Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the David G. Booth Faculty Fellow. We have not met... MORE

Robert Murphy: A New Result on Carbon Taxes

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Just about every public discussion of carbon tax swaps implicitly assumes that the distortions emanating from the tax code must decrease if the government begins taxing a negative externality (carbon emissions) and uses the revenue to reduce tax rates on... MORE

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