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David Henderson: January 2014

An Author Archive by Month (28 entries)
In my discussion with Alan B. Krueger on NPR on Wednesday, I pointed out that governments in the United States hamper or prevent entry into many hundreds of occupations. I gave as an example the taxicab monopoly in Monterey and... MORE

Confusion about Income Inequality

Income Distribution
David Henderson
My Econlog co-blogger, Scott Sumner, on his own blog, The Money Illusion, writes that G.I.'s (he thinks this is Greg Ip) post on The Economist blog is a "wonderful post." My view: it's good in some ways and not in... MORE

Henderson and Krueger on NPR Today

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
This morning (Pacific Time) and noon (Eastern time), I'll be on the show "Here and Now," discussing income inequality. The other economist is Alan Krueger, formerly the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. Here and Now.... MORE

Marginal Tax Rates: Singing Taxman to My Class

Economic Education
David Henderson
UPDATE BELOW: Often, when I teach my classes about marginal tax rates, I give them a little history about such rates. They're shocked when I tell them that the top U.S. federal marginal tax rate on individual income in the... MORE

The old doctrine that the slavery of the black, is essential to the freedom of the white race, can maintain itself only in the presence of slavery, where interest and prejudice are the controlling powers, but it stands condemned equally... MORE

Poverty and Income Inequality are Separate Issues

Income Distribution
David Henderson
"One reason that action to limit growing income inequality in the United States is difficult is that the growth in inequality is not a simple picture. Old-line leftists, if there are any left, would like to make it a single... MORE

The Auction/Bidding Metaphor: Geico and Roy Childs

Economic Education
David Henderson
Geico ad beautifully illustrates the problem Roy Childs pointed out to me 40 years ago. "You economists are so careless in your thinking. You use so many metaphors without really thinking about them." So said my friend, the late Roy... MORE

Mankiw on Parental Advantages

Family Economics
David Henderson
The recent paper by Chetty et al. finds that the regression of kids' income rank on parents' income rank has a coefficient of 0.3. (See Figure 1.) That implies an R2 for the regression of 0.09. In other words, 91... MORE

Friday Evening Video: Henderson on Fox News Channel

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
If all goes according to plan, an interview I did with Jim Angle will air on Fox News Channel today: 6:00 p.m. EST and 3:00 p.m. PST. It started out as an interview on this study I wrote for the... MORE

Steve Moore's Alternative Maximum Tax

Taxation
David Henderson
Last week, I credited John Cochrane for his idea of the alternative maximum tax. I pointed out, though, that there was a basic problem with his having it apply to all levels of taxation: federal, state, and local. Then I... MORE

Warren Gibson on Bad Libertarian Arguments

Economic Education
David Henderson
I'm a dedicated libertarian but my first allegiance is to accuracy. It pains me when I see libertarians making arguments that are inaccurate, irrelevant, or just plain wrong. When they do so, they do themselves and our movement a big... MORE

Henderson on Jonathan Macey

Finance
David Henderson
Advocates of free markets and deregulation are often accused of being apologists for big business. The main reason for this seems to be that we defend the rights and accomplishments of big businesses that achieve great things under economic freedom.... MORE

In a post earlier this month, I reported on a Brief Analysis I did for the National Center for Policy Analysis, drawing on a journal article by Sabia and Burkhauser, showing that a hypothetical increase in the minimum wage from... MORE

Recently, there has been a brouhaha in the blogosphere over comments made by Paul Krugman and then responded to critically by Russ Roberts and Bob Murphy. Chris Dillow then defended Krugman. The issue--and everyone on both sides agrees that this... MORE

You read that headline right. This last Wednesday, I sat for over an hour in a waiting room while my wife was having a medical procedure. On the way to the outpatient facility early that morning, I picked up my... MORE

Multiple Bandits are Roving Bandits

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
What I learned from my local anti-tax activism UPDATE BELOW: One of the late Mancur Olson's most-valuable insights was his distinction between roving bandits and stationary bandits. His basic idea was as follows. Consider an anarchist society in which there... MORE

"Fear is Why Workers in Red States Vote Against Their Economic Self-Interest" is the title Robert Reich gives yesterday's post on his site. Reich starts by addressing why no one in West Virginia complained [I'm taking his word for it... MORE

John Cochrane Views the World

Taxation
David Henderson
One of the big advantages of having been an economist for a long time and having been at the Council of Economic Advisers 30 years ago is that I've gotten to know and follow a lot of people and their... MORE

Economists Joseph J. Sabia and Richard V. Burkhauser examined the effects of state minimum wage increases between 2003 and 2007 and reported that they found no evidence the increases lowered state poverty rates. Further, they calculated the effects of a... MORE

Robert Frank's Confusions

Income Distribution
David Henderson
Cornell University economist Robert Frank has become the Johnny One Note of economics. His one note: how bad wealth and income inequality (he often doesn't distinguish between the two although he should) are, along with his particular reasoning about why... MORE

My Top 10 Picks

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Thanks again to all who gave me suggestions for economics books that would "expand the universe" of some interns at a conservative think tank. I sent my own list, as well as a link to this blog post, on to... MORE

Sitting on an Ocean of Alaskan Oil

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Co-blogger Bryan wrote an excellent post yesterday, "Sitting on an Ocean of Talent," in which he compared people's actual opposition to major increases in immigration to their supposed lack of opposition to producing a hypothetical precious resource named Leonium. As... MORE

Walter Oi, An Appreciation

Obituaries
David Henderson
UPDATE below: Walter thought the draft was wrong because he thought that people should be able to make such an important choice--whether to join the military or not--for themselves. His passion for free labor markets was what motivated his work... MORE

Free Market Economics Books Bleg

Economic Education
David Henderson
An economist friend of mine at a conservative "think tank" in Washington, D.C. asked me to recommend 5 to 10 free-market oriented economics books that he could recommend to interns so as to "expand their universes." I quickly came up... MORE

NSA Spying: A Cost/Benefit Analysis

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
Why does the National Security Agency (NSA) spy on Americans? In short, it is attempting to reduce even further the small probability of terrorist attacks on Americans. That reduction in probability, times the value of the damages averted, is the... MORE

Noah Smith on Redistribution

Income Distribution
David Henderson
If you read blogs much, which, presumably, you do, you know two things: (1) bloggers are often rude to each other, and (2) bloggers often talk past each other or refuse to answer each other's questions. That's why I think... MORE

Great Moments in Crowd Sourcing

Economic Education
David Henderson
One highlight of my third year at Columbia was the Industrial Organization course that Larry [Moss] and I took along with several Randians. The professor, Donald Dewey, started off the semester by stating that there were three respectable views on... MORE

Great Moments in Cost/Benefit Analysis California's S.B. 375 mandates that cities increase the population densities of targeted neighborhoods because everyone knows that people drive less in higher densities and transit-oriented developments relieve congestion. One problem, however, is that transportation models... MORE

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