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David Henderson: July 2013

An Author Archive by Month (30 entries)

The Economics of Self-Imposed Price Ceilings

Business Economics
David Henderson
About once every two weeks, I drive to Costco for my favorite fast food per dollar: the famous Costco hotdog. It's priced, along with a soda with free refills, at $1.50 plus tax. In Sand City, California, my local Costco,... MORE

David Kennedy needs to understand a key paragraph in Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society" There are so many things I like about Chapter One of David M. Kennedy's book, Freedom from Fear. I blogged about the book yesterday.... MORE

How U.S. Steel Helped Break Down Racism

Labor Market
David Henderson
In 1919, U.S. Steel Pulled a Branch Rickey My economic historian friend, Jeff Hummel, has recommended for years that I read David M. Kennedy's Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. Kennedy is a first-rate historian... MORE

Twitter vs. Flying Cars

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
You've probably heard that line from Peter Thiel: We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters. That line expressed his disappointment about how technology has turned out. Now, when rich libertarian entrepreneurs, especially ones I admire as I do... MORE

Bastiat on Baseball

Business Economics
David Henderson
Without question, advancing a runner to the next base makes it easier for the runner to score. You can literally see the runner move to the next base. That's easy. But as Bastiat declared, ""Stop there! your theory is confined... MORE

Friday Night Video: Grover Norquist on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Grover Norquist has been amazingly effective with his tax pledge that he has gotten almost all Republican Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to sign. It turns out that he has thought a fair amount about immigration too.... MORE

UPDATE BELOW: Last week, my wife and I saw the movie, "42." It's about Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, hiring Jackie Robinson to play baseball for him in the mid to late 1940s. I recommend the movie.... MORE

In researching a piece I'm writing, I came across an excellent article by Paul Krugman, written in 1996, at the height of his "explain economics to non-economists" era. It's titled "The CPI and the Rat Race." He starts by pointing... MORE

Nowrasteh on Sowell and Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute, one of my favorite Cato Institute writers (although the list of my favorites is long) has published two excellent critiques of one of my favorite Hoover Institution writers, Thomas Sowell. In Alex's July 19... MORE

Averages and Margins: A Teaching Moment

Labor Market
David Henderson
UPDATE BELOW: OMG. Even economist Paul Krugman screwed up on this one. A Facebook friend provided a link to the following article from 2009 by John Carney and Vincent Fernando. It's titled "French: The Most Productive People In The World."... MORE

We Calculate: You Decide

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger have figured out a marvelously clever way of showing the effects of various levels of carbon reduction on the temperature 2050 and by 2100. They use a term called "climate sensitivity" and... MORE

Eminent Domain's Contribution to Detroit's Downfall

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin has an interesting post on the contribution of eminent domain to Detroit's decline. He discusses the infamous 1980s case of Poletown. Much earlier, before the infamous 1967 Detroit riot, there was another instance... MORE

Robin Hanson on Questions

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
In a post today, George Mason University economist Robin Hanson reports on an interesting interview with Bill Raduchel. The whole interview is interesting, by the way. Robin highlights Raduchel's conclusions about, when he was "assistant dean of admissions for Harvard... MORE

Daniel Kuehn on Questions about Funding Sources

Revealed Preference
David Henderson
Ad hominem is contextual. Daniel Kuehn, a frequent commenter on this blog, defends Senator Barbara Boxer's questioning of who funds the Institute for Energy Research, the organization under whose auspices Bob Murphy testified on Thursday. His general point is that... MORE

Friday Night Video: Murphy on the Optimal Carbon Tax

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
This is Bob Murphy's testimony on the optimal carbon tax, given Thursday, July 17, 2013. It's excellent. His written testimony is here. The best my Senator, Barbara Boxer, chair of the committee, came up with was to attack not... MORE

Noah Smith on Wealth and Efficiency

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
In a recent post on how "normal people" think about economics, Noah Smith writes something that I strongly disagree with: In a certain sense, the normal people's approach makes more sense than that of the economists. We are an incredibly... MORE

Les Miserables

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
I remember reading an excerpt from Victor Hugo's famous novel in a high-school class in Carman, Manitoba. I came home and told my mother about this story of a man who had been given a long prison sentence for stealing... MORE

Selgin on Gorton

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
One of the best writers in economics, and one of the very best thinkers in monetary economics, is University of Georgia economist George Selgin. I highly recommend his recent critical review of Gary Gorton's recent book, Misunderstanding Financial Crises. After... MORE

Roughead on Sea Power

International Trade
David Henderson
In Monday's Wall Street Journal, Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations and now a fellow at the Hoover Institution, has a review of Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy by Seth Cropsey, a former deputy undersecretary of the... MORE

Abrams on Investing

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
David Henderson
I was introduced to the stock market when I was 13. I had a bar mitzvah and my father bought me ten shares of something called Bayuk Cigar. I was outside playing stickball, came in for dinner, and my father... MORE

Krugman's Graph on Food Stamps

Labor Market
David Henderson
Check out Paul Krugman's graph of participation in the food stamp (SNAP) program and U6 unemployment. MAKE SURE YOU LOOK ONLY AT THE GRAPH. Don't read his words around the graph. Then ask yourself what you think the relationship is... MORE

The Chicago School: What Went Wrong

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I have a couple of thoughts to add to Bryan Caplan's recent excellent post on this issue. 1. I think Milton Friedman felt defensive about his libertarian activism. The main reason, I think, was the attitude of his close friend,... MORE

Robin Cook's Mistaken Idea about Pooling Risk

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
I'm on vacation in Hawaii and just finished the first novel I've read in months. It's Marker by Robin Cook. While it's a real page turner and I enjoyed it, I found the ending, which I began to anticipate halfway... MORE

Krugman: Where's Your Evidence?

Economic Education
David Henderson
Paul Krugman writes: Cut through the noise and fog, and it is true that Democrats broadly want to redistribute income down, and Republicans want to redistribute income up He gives zero evidence for either claim. Does he have any? I... MORE

Numeracy and Risk in Air Travel: A Personal Account

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Months ago, my wife and I made plans to fly from San Francisco to Honolulu on Sunday, July 7. Of course, we didn't know that the day before there would be a big airline crash in San Francisco. Should that... MORE

If you have been following the news on unpaid internships lately, you will have noticed that they're becoming increasingly at risk legally. Here's an excerpt from a recent news story in USA Today: The controversy over unpaid internships escalated recently... MORE

Henderson on Reinhardt on Goodman and Kotlikoff

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In a letter to the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, Princeton health economist Uwe Reinhardt criticizes an earlier op/ed by health economist John C. Goodman and economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff. It was an interesting enough response that I think... MORE

Quote of the Day: Alan Reynolds

Taxation
David Henderson
In writing on the recent paper by Robert Rector and Jason Richwine ("The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer"), which found that U.S. governments spend more on households headed by illegal immigrants than those immigrants... MORE

Congratulations to Cato Legal Scholars

Regulation
David Henderson
The Supreme Court's term is over, with 75 cases having been argued and decided. It's safe to say that the most significant ones were those decided this week, on the politically fraught subjects of affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act... MORE

Ben Powell on the Drug War

Regulation
David Henderson
Economics is a science of means and ends. Thus, the question for economics is whether the means--drug prohibition--is effective in promoting the ends of greater health, safety, and productivity, as well as lower violence and criminal justice costs. In "The... MORE

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