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David Henderson: April 2014

An Author Archive by Month (26 entries)
What I find interesting about the case of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is how well it illustrates Gary Becker's insights on the economics of discrimination. Becker pointed out that the market makes people "pay" for discriminating on racial... MORE

Farewell, James Schneider

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Our guest blogger James Schneider will post his last entry tomorrow. Because his friend Bryan Caplan posted the welcome, I have asked for--and have been granted--the honor of writing his farewell. I met James at a Liberty Fund seminar on... MORE

Applying Hayek's "Local Knowledge" Insight to Foreign Policy

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Now, there's nothing in Hayek's arguments to suggest that it applies only to central planning of a domestic economy. A government that wishes to intervene in another country's affairs faces the same problem, possibly even magnified by the fact that... MORE

Acemoglu and Robinson on Mobutu

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
I'm at a conference in San Diego in which the participants are discussing various articles and book chapters on the causes of economic growth. A number of chapters are from Daren Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail, which... MORE

Econlib in Classes

Economic Education
David Henderson
When I was at the Association for Private Enterprise Education (APEE) annual meetings in Las Vegas last week, two professors came up to me and, unsolicited, sang high praises of Liberty Fund's Library of Economics and Liberty web site. Both... MORE

Cuba's Wage Policy: Modified Nazi

Labor Market
David Henderson
The writer of Schindler's List would understand. The Economist writes: But on March 29th Cuba's parliament approved a new foreign-investment law that for the first time allows Cubans living abroad to invest in some enterprises (provided, according to Rodrigo Malmierca,... MORE

Robert Solow on Piketty

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
According to Solow, if Piketty gets his way, real wages will stagnate. My copy of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century finally arrived and now I face a tradeoff between reading it and reading many reviews of it. I'm... MORE

Krugman's Strange Post on Solar Power

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Paul Krugman has a strange post on solar power that contradicts basic microeconomics. He writes: Like just about everyone who has looked at the numbers on renewable energy, solar power in particular, I was wowed by the progress. Something really... MORE

Gary Johnson's Bold Attack on Freedom of Association

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
The Our America initiative, which is headed up by 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate and former two-term New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, has produced a sharp commercial asking for donations to fund a legal challenge to presidential debates. The basic argument?... MORE

Old Home Week

Economic Education
David Henderson
Three of my former students were in town last week and I had lunch with each of them. Meeting with them and hearing what they had learned in my class was very gratifying. On Wednesday, I had lunch with one... MORE

Facts

Economic Methods
David Henderson
One of my pet peeves is people latching on to alleged facts and then running with them even when there is doubt about whether they are true. These "facts" then get repeated so often that many people form an emotional... MORE

I'm a Liberal

Economic History
David Henderson
When I figured out my basic political beliefs at ages 17 and 18, I didn't know the term for them. Katherine George, a left-wing sociology professor at the University of Winnipeg with whom I was arguing, called me a libertarian.... MORE

Rudebusch on "Housing Demand"

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
This is another installment in my posts on my visit to the San Francisco Fed on April 9. My talk was in the afternoon, but I always like to see the talks that precede mine so that I can get... MORE

Can a Positive Number Fall by over 100 Percent and Still be Positive?

Statistical theory and methods
David Henderson
Answer: No. But it has become increasingly common for people, even otherwise numerate analysts, to write as if it can. Consider a recent instance. In the Spring 2014 issue of Regulation, Sam Batkins and Mitch Boynton discuss a case in... MORE

I Agree with Barbara Ehrenreich

Income Distribution
David Henderson
On a flight home from Las Vegas last night, I found the April 14 issue of Time magazine. I hadn't read it in years. On the last page was a feature called "10 Questions." They were 10 questions to "activist,... MORE

My San Francisco Fed Talk

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
Last Wednesday I gave a talk at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. The event was the "2014 Conference of Twelfth District Directors." I was one of three presenters. See here for the other two. The session was on "Bubbles"... MORE

Donald Boudreaux takes on one of Robert Reich's recent arguments for the minimum wage. Reich writes: A $15/hour minimum is unlikely to result in higher prices because most businesses directly affected by it are in intense competition for consumers, and... MORE

Maximizing Short-Run Profits

Business Economics
David Henderson
I was one of three speakers on a panel at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank on Wednesday. The other two speakers were Kevin Lansing of the SF Fed and Atif Mian of Princeton University. The event went well and... MORE

The Moral Vision of a Blind Economist

Obituaries
David Henderson
That's the title that Regulation gave my piece on Walter Oi. [I had given it the title "An Economist of Character Who Was a Real Character.] It appears in the Spring 2014 issue of Regulation. I had already written a... MORE

Simon Kuznets: An Appreciation

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
I second co-blogger Bryan Caplan's appreciation of the late Simon Kuznets. One of my pleasures in writing the many bios of famous economists for The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics was researching and writing his bio. Some excerpts from the Encyclopedia... MORE

Reason's Home Run on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
When I dug into [Reason e-book] Humane and Pro-Growth, I realized that I had fallen behind in the immigration debate. Sure, I had read all of my [Econlog] co-blogger Bryan Caplan's excellent posts on immigration. And I've become quite familiar... MORE

Robert Bradley on Enron

Business Economics
David Henderson
My previous Econlib article, "Enron: The Perils of Interventionism," described how capitalism's most trenchant critics turned the rise and fall of this once iconic corporation into "Exhibit A" against laissez-faire. Other critics, though, understanding that America's regulated economy leaves no... MORE

UPDATE BELOW: Anyway, there were a few houses I worked on where we got J-grade lumber, which is lumber that is destined for Japan. It is a grade above A-grade that you can't even buy at a lumber yard. You... MORE

I've Changed My Mind, Part 2

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
UPDATE BELOW In a comment on my April Fool's Post, "I've Changed My Mind," NZ wrote: You make a joke out of changing your mind, which seems to imply that you don't actually plan to change your mind because you're... MORE

What's a Doctor to Do?

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen posted a question asked by a 3rd-year medical student who's a regular reader of MR. Here's the question: I am a 3rd year medical student, and for the purposes of this question, let's assume... MORE

I've Changed My Mind

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I woke up this morning with an epiphany. In my political views, I've been on the wrong track for a long time. Specifically: 1. I think Obamacare is great. So what if it's causing young people to subsidize the elderly?... MORE

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