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David Henderson: April 2013

An Author Archive by Month (23 entries)

Budget Cuts Seem to Work

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Washington Post blogger Mike Konzcal writes that we now have a test of monetary vs. fiscal policy. According to him, fiscal policy won. That is, fiscal policy is more potent and monetary policy is impotent. In fact the very data... MORE

Why Trailers Instead of Manufactured Homes?

Regulation
David Henderson
It's the regulations. In a comment on my post, "Tocqueville's Trailers," MingoV writes: Small manufactured houses make more sense than mobile homes. Here's why: 1. Almost no owner moves a mobile home, so the costs of frame/chassis, axles, wheels, hitch,... MORE

Tocqueville's Trailers

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
To move into Pismodise you must meet four conditions: Be 55 or older, keep your dog under 20 pounds, be present when guests stay at your home, and be comfortable with what most Americans consider a very small house. "If... MORE

Garett Jones argues that the growth rate of the money supply is a target--and targets are often hard to hit, while short-term interest rates are an instrument. He writes: This is known as the "instruments versus targets" distinction in macroeconomics,... MORE

Will ObamaCare Reduce the Number of Uninsured People?

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In two words, not necessarily. In four words: "We simply don't know." Greg Scandlen walks us through the reasoning here. The whole thing is worth reading. An excerpt: The Congressional Budget Office is more constrained, but even they have upped... MORE

Bet on Euro: I Won

International Macroeconomics: Exchange Rates, International Debt, etc.
David Henderson
Back in October 2011, I had a bet on the Euro with Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. To recall, he bet that by the end of March 2013, Spain, Italy, and Greece would have left the Euro. I... MORE

James Buchanan on Writing

Political Economy
David Henderson
An excerpt from my appreciation of Public Choice, Gordon Tullock, and James Buchanan: One other thing I've gotten from Buchanan--primarily by hearing it from his past students, and mainly from the most-published ones--is his famous line, "Don't get it right;... MORE

Bleg: Median Voter Theorem

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
In my Cost/Benefit Analysis course, I teach one segment on Public Choice. One of the issues I get into is the median voter theorem. I point out that it applies more directly to direct democracy, i.e., voting on initiatives and... MORE

Boston: Centralization vs. Friedrich Hayek and Jane Jacobs

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
The Massachusetts' governor's response to one murderer being at large was to shut down an entire large city--de facto, martial law. Various commenters have said that he "asked" people to stay in their homes. That might be literally true. But... MORE

Friday Night Video: Shikha Dalmia on Unskilled Immigrants

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
With permission from ReasonTV, this is Shikha Dalmia on five reasons that unskilled immigrants are good for America. If you go to this link, you can find a fairly faithful transcript.... MORE

Speech: The Perverse Economics of Sanctions

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
Tonight I'll be speaking at the Monterey Institute of International Studies on the perverse economics of sanctions. The other speaker is Stephen Zunes. The overall event is on Iran. 7:30 PM at the Irvine Auditorium, Monterey Institute of International Studies... MORE

Physics Applied to Economics

Economic Education
David Henderson
When I teach my Energy Economics course, in the first problem set, one of the problems is the following: Name an energy activity that the government is currently engaged in that you think should be eliminated and give your reasons... MORE

Proposition 65: When Government Cries Wolf

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
There was some confusion a few days ago about whether certain kinds of licorice are legal in California. I had pointed out that an out-of-state firm was unwilling, because of Proposition 65, to ship its licorice to California. That does... MORE

Margaret Thatcher's Legacy

Taxation
David Henderson
I've held off commenting on Margaret Thatcher because I didn't know her legacy as well as many did. In 2011, Bruce Bartlett pointed out that she did not succeed in reducing government spending or government revenue as a percent... MORE

How I Found Well-Being in a Bubble World

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
That could be the title of co-blogger Bryan's latest post, as commenter Rochelle essentially pointed out. Even though I'm not with him on all the particulars, I am with most. Here was my earlier version. My main purpose with this... MORE

Proposition 65 and the Red Licorice Police

Regulation
David Henderson
My wife is a big fan of red shoestring licorice. She tried to order some on-line from an out-of-state vendor. Here's the e-mail she got back: Please accept our sincerest apologies. Due to changes in the California Proposition 65 at... MORE

Jared Bernstein Gets Efficiency Wrong

Taxation
David Henderson
Jared Bernstein, formerly chief economist for Vice-President Joe Biden, argues for a measure that I agree with him on, but ends up arguing, on one criterion, against the measure. He doesn't know that this argument goes the other way, which... MORE

Krugman Gets Hoover Wrong

Economic History
David Henderson
No one whose opinion I respect doubts that Paul Krugman is very clever. Here's a recent example from his column in yesterday's New York Times, titled "The Urge to Purge": When the Great Depression struck, many influential people argued that... MORE

Worstall on Cyprus and Russians

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
In response to my post earlier today, Tim Worstall wrote me. He quoted this from my review: We have examples of highly extractive governments even in the modern world. One shocking one, to me at least, is the case of... MORE

Acemoglu and Robinson on the Wealth of Nations

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Acemoglu and Robinson divide countries into two types: extractive and inclusive. In extractive countries, one group--usually a very small minority--uses coercive power to grab wealth from and, often literally, enslave a larger group. In inclusive countries, political power is widely... MORE

Henderson on Mulligan's Redistribution Recession

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Casey Mulligan's cleverly titled book, The Redistribution Recession, could have been one of the most important economics books in 2012. It makes the case that a major reason U.S. employment has been so low is that during the recent recession,... MORE

Introducing Art Carden

Economic Education
David Henderson
I'm pleased to announce that EconLog has a new guest blogger. He is Art Carden. Art is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Samford University's Brock School of Business in Birmingham, Alabama, a Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for... MORE

Carden and Horwitz on Market Failure

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
Externalities, public goods, asymmetric information, and market power provide necessary--but insufficient--conditions for intervention to be justified. They certainly are not talismans that provide interventionists with carte blanche to tinker with the members of a society as if they were pieces... MORE

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