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David Henderson: September 2013

An Author Archive by Month (23 entries)

Henderson's Godwin's Law

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
If you read blogs much, you've probably come across Godwin's Law. Godwin's Law states: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1. I think it's basically correct. However, one could formulate... MORE

Airplane Repo: Paean to Private Property

Property Rights
David Henderson
While channel surfing recently, I came across "Airplane Repo" on Discovery. It is what its name implies: it weaves together stories, typically about three, of people whose job is to repossess airplanes. Based on about 6 cases I've seen, typically... MORE

Maxim Lott on the Carrier Cost Overrun

Political Economy
David Henderson
Maxim Lott has a short, excellent piece on the cost overrun for the almost-$13 billion (yikes!) aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford. Of course, I'm biased, because he quoted me and used the two best quotes I gave him. Here's... MORE

Optimal Minimum Wage?

Labor Market
David Henderson
David Lee of Princeton University and Emmanual Saez of University of California, Berkeley have an article in the Journal of Public Economics titled "Optimum Minimum Wage Policy in Competitive Labor Markets." It has two strange results, one that I understand... MORE

Weekend Wall Street Journal

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
I rarely do a potpourri of various links but the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal this weekend had 5 good op/eds: the Weekend Interview, the two unsigned "Review and Outlook," and two pieces by non-WSJ authors. 1. Weekend... MORE

Friday Night Video: David Friedman vs. George Smith

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Rarely do I get totally engrossed in watching a debate, especially one that's almost 2 hours long. But I recently discovered this 1981 debate between economist David Friedman and philosopher George Smith on the issue: Ethics vs. Economics as a... MORE

Tupy: Wealth Saves Lives

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
Over at Cato at Liberty, Marian L. Tupy reports the good news on worldwide child mortality. He quotes a UN report: In 2012, approximately 6.6 million children worldwide--18,000 children per day--died before reaching their fifth birthday, according to a new... MORE

Free Market Schizophrenia

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Ted Levy, a physician friend of mine who has often commented on this blog, sent me the following. I thought it was good enough to post. It's essentially a very sharp non-economist's way of explaining what economists call "the theory... MORE

Mark Perry: Food Prices Have not Risen Much

Statistical theory and methods
David Henderson
Annual increases in food prices over the last four years have averaged less than 2%, which is the lowest average food inflation rate over a 48-month period in almost 50 years. Although it might seem like food prices have been... MORE

Coase on Regulating Goods and Ideas

Regulation
David Henderson
One of the articles by the late Ronald Coase that I highlighted in my recent Wall Street Journal encomium to him was his clever 1974 piece, "The Market for Goods and the Market for Ideas." I had remembered the highlights... MORE

Incentives in Foreign Policy

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
One of the issues I emphasized in my speech last night, "The Economic, Moral, and Constitutional Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy," was the role of incentives. Here's part of what I said: Now consider the incentive problem. Neither the... MORE

Mencken on Government

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
Some of my Facebook friends are celebrating H.L. Mencken's birthday with their favorite quotes from Mencken. One that pops up again and again is this one: Democracy is the theory that the common man knows what he wants and deserves... MORE

On Thursday evening, September 12, I will be giving a speech in Marina, California. The title: The Economic, Moral and Constitutional Case For a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy Details are here.... MORE

Academic Freedom: For Professors Only?

Economics of Education
David Henderson
This past weekend, I was engaged in a fierce debate on Facebook about academic freedom. What led to the debate was was a video that has gone viral. The video is of William Penn, an English professor at Michigan State... MORE

Assad Pulls a Keystone

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Why has the little nation of Qatar spent 3 billion dollars to support the rebels in Syria? Could it be because Qatar is the largest exporter of liquid natural gas in the world and Assad won't let them build a... MORE

Stephen Hicks on War and Philosophy

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
My friend and fellow immigrant from Canada, philosopher Stephen Hicks, has posted a 9-minute video in which he considers the major wars of the 20th century. His point is that philosophy is practical and that one can see that by... MORE

This is an almost 2-hour video of a forum held at Butler University in April. The participants are Mike Munger, Robert Skideslky, Richard Epstein and moderator Russ Roberts. The transcript is here. Some highlights: 00:08:40: Mike Munger's "beauty contest... MORE

I, Coffee

International Trade
David Henderson
For instance, even the relatively simple GVC [global value chain] of Starbuck's (United States), based on one service (the sale of coffee), requires the management of a value chain that spans all continents; directly employs 150,000 people; sources coffee from... MORE

Henderson on Coase

Obituaries
David Henderson
My op/ed on Ronald Coase's work was published in today's Wall Street Journal. Here's an ungated version published by the Hoover Institution. While, of course, I discussed the two articles that were most responsible for his winning the Nobel Prize,... MORE

Coase on Friedman's Methodology

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
My post this morning will be briefer than usual because I'm busy writing a piece for the Wall Street Journal, due this morning, on the late Ronald Coase. But I can't resist quoting from a review of his book of... MORE

In Praise of Productive Labor

Labor Market
David Henderson
Yesterday afternoon, I came home from walking at Point Lobos Park with a colleague. We watched probably about a dozen large whales off the shore. It's the most I've ever seen. When I got home, I couldn't park in front... MORE

Daniel Kuehn on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Appropriately, given that it's Labor Day, one of Econlib's two feature articles is on immigration. In "Why the Conventional View of Immigration is Wrong," author and economics graduate student Daniel Kuehn challenges two conventional views on immigration: (1) That the... MORE

Robert Murphy on Math in Economics

Economic Methods
David Henderson
Bryan Caplan (here and here) and I (here) have both posted in Econlog on economics in math. You can read our posts and find links to much of the other discussion. Now Robert Murphy has laid out some of his... MORE

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