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David Henderson: May 2013

An Author Archive by Month (27 entries)

Superfreakonomics on Geo-Engineering

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Back in 2009, I posted three pieces on Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner's book Superfreakonomics. As with their first book, there were strengths and weaknesses. I highlighted them here, here, and here. I never posted, though, on their... MORE

Reynolds on Krugman and DeLong

Income Distribution
David Henderson
Alan Reynolds has posted two excellent responses to criticisms of him by Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong. They are "Imaginary Squabbles Part 3: Krugman and DeLong's Changing Theories and Missing Facts" and "Imaginary Squabbles Part 4: Krugman and DeLong on... MORE

Solow on Friedman

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
I promised recently that I would post on Robert Solow's views on Friedman once I had got over the shock. I am now over the shock. Because Solow's piece is quite brief, I won't try to summarize it here. Instead,... MORE

Jason Furman at CEA

Business Economics
David Henderson
There's a rumor, presumably well-founded, that Jason Furman will become the next Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Given the universe of people from whom President Obama probably chose, I think it's probably a good choice. Four years ago,... MORE

Feedback Loops in Government

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
Public Choice in a Nutshell Government officials are happy making and executing plans that affect the lives of millions, but when things go wrong, well ... they're willing to accept the responsibility, but they're not willing to take the blame.... MORE

Henderson on Milton Friedman

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
What were Friedman's other characteristics that mattered? I'll explain by telling my own tale of discovering Milton Friedman. In the summer of 1968, when I was 17 and had just finished reading almost all of Ayn Rand's works, fiction and... MORE

John Allison's Nice Summary

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
As a financial contributor to the Cato Institute, I get a bimonthly memorandum from the president and CEO of Cato, John A. Allison. In the latest one, he leads off with two paragraphs that sum up, beautifully succinctly, so much... MORE

Shorting Housing

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Thanks to Bryan Caplan for his excellent post this morning. In the Comments section, people discussed the difficulty of shorting housing even if you thought it was overpriced. I'll tell two stories of two friends who saw what was happening.... MORE

Consumer Surplus: An Application of the Concept

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
I've written on consumer surplus a number of times on this blog. See here. David Boaz recently posted on a 1979 talk by Nathaniel Branden to which I was the introducer. In my intro to Nathan, I applied the concept... MORE

The Flaw in Heyne, Boettke, and Prychitko

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In a post on Tuesday, "Find the Flaw," I asked readers to find and evaluate the implicit assumption in the following passage from an economics textbook: When physicians must be licensed and new drugs approved by the Food and Drug... MORE

Tocqueville's Tweeters

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Private Sector, 1: FEMA, 0 Social media is [sic] often recognized narrowly as a way to connect with friends, or to share and read the news. Yesterday it was demonstrated that social media can serve as a medium of mobilization... MORE

Find the Flaw

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Here is a passage from one of my favorite economics textbooks: When physicians must be licensed and new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they can be marketed, buyers are spared the cost of evaluating goods... MORE

Congestion Externality Bleg

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
In the cost/benefit analysis course i teach, one of the actual cost/benefit analyses we work our way through--and one that I present as a reasonably good CBA--is a study done by two St. Louis Federal Reserve economists on adding another... MORE

Linda Gorman on How ObamaCare Treats Middle Class

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Linda Gorman, my former Naval Postgraduate School colleague and author of three excellent articles in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (here, here, and here), has written a post laying out some weird consequences of the ObamaCare law. I would be... MORE

Kenneth Elzinga on Teaching Economics

Economic Education
David Henderson
The best talk I attended at the annual meetings of the Association for Private Enterprise Education (APEE) was a luncheon speech given by Kenneth Elzinga of the University of Virginia. I have known Ken since the early 2000s when we... MORE

"Most Economists?" Really?

Business Economics
David Henderson
Sari, Ed. My friend Edward Lopez, who blogs here, linked on Facebook to a great story from the New York Times about an entrepreneur's solution to the challenge of dry-cleaning saris. It's neat and the piece is short. Then Ed... MORE

Gray Lady Down: Justin Gillis's Misleading News Story

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
How to Mislead and Undercut While Appearing to be Writing a News Story A friend who is an avid reader of the New York Times sent me a link last night to a piece by New York Times reporter, and... MORE

Marty Nemko: Don't Go to College

Economics of Education
David Henderson
The Daily Show had a nice segment this week on the case for not going to college. The whole thing is quite good. Check out what the guy at the 2:40 point learned. The late Ayn Rand's term for his... MORE

Sanctions and Boycotts in an Interconnected World

International Trade
David Henderson
Hawking's decision to join the boycott of Israel is quite hypocritical for an individual who prides himself on his own intellectual accomplishment. His whole computer-based communication system runs on a chip designed by Israel's Intel team. I suggest that if... MORE

Hayek on Medical Marijuana

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Yesterday, as co-blogger Art Carden noted, was the late Friedrich Hayek's birthday. I want to honor him by pointing out his insight about medical marijuana. Really? Medical marijuana? But, you're probably saying, Hayek never discussed marijuana, medical or otherwise. That's... MORE

Dwight Lee on Ebenezer Scrooge's Morality

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
The first Scrooge [before the visit of the three ghosts] satisfied only the requirements of the first morality, which I call mundane morality, while the second Scrooge [after the ghosts' visits] enthusiastically embraced the second morality, which I call magnanimous... MORE

Adam Smith on the Public Choice of Foreign Intervention

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
Why the 13 colonies are a net loser for Great Britain: A great empire has been established for the sole purpose of raising up a nation of customers who should be obliged to buy from the shops of our different... MORE

John Thacker on Vaccinations and the Sequester

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
John Thacker, a frequent commenter on this blog, also frequently comments on Scott Sumner's blog. It's safe to say that I have learned something from virtually every comment he has written. On Scott Sumner's blog yesterday, Thacker points out some... MORE

Chef Rudy's Virtues Project

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
When I was 16, I had a job at the Minaki Lodge in Minaki, Ontario from which I was fired. (Why was I fired? That's a whole other story. It had nothing to do with my work ethic.) After I... MORE

My take on Reinhart and Rogoff

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
UPDATE BELOW Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers write: In the end, all the corrections advocated by the critics shift the average GDP growth for very-high-debt nations to 2.2 percent, from a negative 0.1 percent in Reinhart and Rogoff's original work.... MORE

Medicare Kills a Program

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
What do you do when you find a program that actually works, that is, saves the government money and improves health outcomes? If you're the people who run Medicare, the socialized health insurance program for the elderly, you kill it.... MORE

Smuggling in Values

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Co-blogger Bryan Caplan made a good point yesterday about the alleged efficiency/equity tradeoff. He's right to emphasize it. Many economists smuggle in their "equality" value by equivocating between equity as equality and equity as some other value. I pointed this... MORE

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