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David Henderson: August 2014

An Author Archive by Month (28 entries)

Robert Litan on Microeconomists' Contributions

Microeconomics
David Henderson
Robert Litan gives a nice 15-minute speech in which he highlights some of the main contributions that microeconomists have made that have generated, over 30+ years, hundreds of billions (and possibly trillions) of dollars in consumer and producer surplus. (These... MORE

The Wisdom of Chairman Dwight

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I had lunch yesterday with Richard McKenzie, one of the co-authors of the Econlib Feature Article that will appear Monday. He gave me a copy of a special little paperback he produced of what he calls "Dwightisms." They're actual sayings... MORE

Who Owns the "Right to Recline?" The Airline

Property Rights
David Henderson
I wrote an article to that effect in 2011, noting that airline seats are an excellent case study for the Coase Theorem. This is an economic theory holding that it doesn't matter very much who is initially given a property... MORE

In an otherwise excellent reporting piece in the New Republic, Senior Editor Noam Scheiber gives his view about why the governor's race in Wisconsin is so important. To recap, Governor Scott Walker is running for reelection and he's the one... MORE

The Environment: Own It and Save It

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
The title of this blog post is the same as the title of one of my chapters in The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey. In that chapter, I show how private ownership of resources leads people to take better... MORE

Richard Timberlake on Money

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
EF [Econ Focus}: Let's start with a unifying theme of your work: Your support of a gold standard. Several great neoclassical monetary theorists -- Marshall, Walras, Wicksell, Fisher, and Keynes -- argued that a rules-based fiat money could outperform a... MORE

Greenhouse Gases

Revealed Preference
David Henderson
For many years, Linda Greenhouse covered the Supreme Court for the New York Times. She no longer does, but she has an op/ed in the Times. Her latest op/ed is quite revealing, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not. As regular readers of... MORE

Last night, I did a segment on the John Batchelor Show on the late George Hilton. Here it is. My part starts at 33:10 and goes to the end. One correction: John referred to me as the Features Editor of... MORE

Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, better known as Instapundit, writes: The response to Foley's beheading should have been a MOAB dropped on an ISIS-held town. For those of you who don't know, a MOAB is... MORE

Paul Krugman on Why We Fight

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
I often criticize Paul Krugman's writing on economics. But I also give him credit where credit is due. And credit is due for his excellent recent column on war. Read the whole thing. Some excerpts and my comments: If you're... MORE

George Hilton, RIP

Obituaries
David Henderson
UPDATE BELOW On August 4, while I was on my vacation, my beloved transportation economics professor, George Hilton, died. Co-blogger Art Carden has rightly singled out one of his best articles in a post earlier today. Here are some of... MORE

Krugman on Health Care: I Advocate Horror

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Paul Krugman writes: the attack on Obamacare depended almost entirely on lies, and those lies are becoming unsustainable now that the law is actually working. No, there aren't any death panels; no, huge numbers of Americans aren't losing coverage or... MORE

Canada's Single Payer/Single Problem

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Have you seen this sign in your doctor's office? It reads, "One problem per visit, please." An editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says this sign is popping up in the offices of some family physicians. This is from... MORE

Walmart to the Rescue

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
While away on my vacation in Canada, I missed this story about Walmart and health care. Here's an excerpt: After years of "Will they or won't they?" discussion, Walmart is making its long-awaited move into delivering primary care: The retailer... MORE

Causation

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
Which cause should we focus on? One of my favorite editorial writers for the Wall Street Journal, Mary O'Grady, writes (in "A Terrorist Big Fish Gets Away" in the August 11 print edition): America's voracious appetite for illegal drugs has... MORE

Prohibition: Then versus Now

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
This will likely be my final post about Daniel Okrent's excellent book The Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. This one, appropriately enough, is about the fall and some of the factors that led to it. There's a... MORE

Choose Your Battles

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
It's rare that I disagree with much of what co-blogger Bryan Caplan posts. But among those rare posts are his two recent ones (here and here) on appeasement. I don't want to go at them line by line. Other commenters... MORE

Great Moments in Economic Estimation

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Even the great Irving Fisher was, at times, a lousy microeconomist. "In an attempt to memorize poetry," Irving Fisher wrote in 1926, "Professor Vogt of the University of Christiana found that on days when he drank one and one-half to... MORE

Krugman and I Agree on the DMV

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
The DMV is not nearly as good an example of government incompetence as other examples that are out there. Some of those other examples are of government horror. Let's use those examples. Every once in a while I agree with... MORE

A Working Economy of Strangers

Free Markets
David Henderson
When I was young, I didn't travel much, and when I did, I always worried. How will I get where I'm going? When I leave the airport, how will I get to the hotel? Who will take care of me?... MORE

Law vs. Legislation

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
The repeal of Mullan-Gage did not legalize alcoholic beverages in New York, for the Volstead Act remained in force. Repeal only meant that New York police and New York courts, no longer bound by the state to enforce federal antibooze... MORE

Calvin Coolidge on the Federal Government

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Only in one key respect were the two presidents similar: even considering Harding's belated conversion in Denver, neither man was particularly interested in enforcing Prohibition. In Coolidge's case this was consistent with his general position on the role of government.... MORE

Trust, Even in the Face of Government Hostility

Business Economics
David Henderson
In markets, even illegal ones, we sometimes trust. Seventy miles to the southeast in Quebec's Eastern Townships [DRH note: this is where my grandfather and grandmother grew up in the 1800s: my grandfather was born in 1855, my grandmother in... MORE

The Greatest Invention in History

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
In 1922 he [Sam Bronfman] was thirty-three years old, less than five feet six inches tall, with a receding chin, thinning hair, and a fortune among the largest of all in western Canada. He'd already had a liveried chauffeur for... MORE

Great Moments (Almost) in Property Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
And from the New Republic, no less. The last two tweaks of the Sheppard Amendment [the Amendment to the U.S. Constitution proposed by Senator Morris Sheppard] were connected to each other. In addition to the congressional wets, a few moderate... MORE

Prohibition for Thee but Not for Me

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
OK, then I'll turn into a "thee" But the competitors figure out how to adjust. Among the provisions of the Raines [John Raines was a New York State politician] Law, as it became known, was a Sunday closing rule aimed... MORE

Boudreaux on Piketty

Business Economics
David Henderson
Piketty reasonably assumes that if government finances its expenditures with taxes, then the rich would pay a disproportionately large share of those taxes. But he unreasonably assumes that debt financing of government expenditures not only allows the rich to escape... MORE

You Know You're an Economist When . . .

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
It was an obvious evolutionary step. As pasteurization, refrigeration, and an efficient network of rail lines developed, so did national brewing companies. This is from Daniel Okrent, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, which I blogged about last... MORE

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