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David Henderson: September 2014

An Author Archive by Month (25 entries)
This discussion is related to the time inconsistency of optimal policy, which occurs when the government cannot implement an optimal tax policy because the stated policy is inconsistent with the government's incentives over time. Consider a proposal made by the... MORE

Recarving Rushmore: With Warren G. Harding

Economic History
David Henderson
My wife and I took a break from work yesterday to channel surf. We found Alfred Hitchcock's classic North by Northwest and we were hooked, staying with it to the end. At the end, there is an exciting chase at... MORE

Spot the Problem

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
In a July post, Matt Bruenig estimates that in the absence of government programs to alleviate poverty, the percent of Americans who would be officially classified as poor would be a whopping 23.8% versus what it actually is: 15%. Go... MORE

Richard McKenzie on Foreign Export Subsidies

International Trade
David Henderson
The subsidization of foreign exports enables Americans to tap into the income bases of foreign countries and impose a tax on foreigners every time a subsidized product is imported into this country. Communist China, for example, would never consider allowing... MORE

Zeke Emmanuel on Optimal Life Expectancy

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Private Policy Like Arnold Kling, I found some of the information in Ezekiel Emanuel's article on aging troubling. But also, like health policy analyst Greg Scandlen, I found Ezekiel Emanuel troubling. I first saw reference to his article in a... MORE

Unintended Consequences of De-Insuring Insurance

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Kevin Drum alerts us to some unintended consequences of a law that he advocates. Over at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum has noticed that some health insurers are charging a huge co-insurance rate for HIV drugs. He writes: If all your... MORE

Response to Krugman on My Canada Study

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
UPDATE BELOW I think this qualifies as a cockroach idea (zombies just keep shambling along, whereas sometimes you think you've gotten rid of cockroaches, but they keep coming back.) I thought we had disposed of all this four years ago.... MORE

Richard Epstein's Faulty Case for Intervention

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
My Hoover colleague Richard Epstein has recently been arguing for the U.S. government to make war in the Middle East and has singled out libertarians for particular criticism. In a relatively fact-free piece, Richard argued that libertarians are "clueless on... MORE

Start!

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Over at marginalrevolution.com, Tyler Cowen has posted some excellent rules for managing your time. I won't repeat them here--they're short enough--but I want to add an important one, comment on a few, and add a final one. Here's the one... MORE

Scotland, Quebec, and Tupy

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
Scotland's greater statism and, ironically for the birth place of Adam Smith, suspicion of capitalism, is a potent obstacle to reform in England and Wales. It is also a serious danger to economic prosperity north of the border. Sooner or... MORE

My 1984 CEA Memo on Alaskan Oil Exports

International Trade
David Henderson
Earlier this week, I posted a 1983 memo that I wrote to my boss at the Council of Economic Advisers, Martin Feldstein, about a meeting to discuss relaxing the limits on exports of Alaskan oil. Below is a follow-up memo... MORE

Vanguard's Strange Assumption

Finance
David Henderson
I'm a big fan of Vanguard. All of my IRA-type assets are in Vanguard funds. And when I mistakenly claimed in a Wall Street Journal that John (Jack) Bogle, who started Vanguard, had learned from work by Eugene Fama, Bogle... MORE

My 1983 CEA Memo on the Ban on Alaskan Oil Exports

International Trade
David Henderson
Last week, I posted here and here about Larry Summers's excellent talk in which he advocated removing the ban on U.S. oil exports. I then remembered that when I was the Senior Economist for Energy Policy with President Reagan's Council... MORE

Larry Summers on Oil Exports, Part II

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Yesterday, I posted about Larry Summers's excellent speech making the case against government restrictions on exports of oil and natural gas. It was getting overly long and so this is Part II. I'll start by highlighting, and responding to, the... MORE

Larry Summers on Oil Exports, Part I

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
I believe that the question of whether the United States should have a substantially more permissive policy with respect to the export of crude oil and with respect to the export of natural gas is easy. The answer is affirmative.... MORE

Our Regulated Society

Regulation
David Henderson
Last night, after a productive meeting in Indianapolis, I flew home to Monterey. Well, not quite to Monterey. That was the plan. But the plan didn't work out. And the reason it didn't work out is a tale of regulation.... MORE

Prize Bleg

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
Cafe Hayek blogger Don Boudreaux has reminded me about the 2014 Coolidge Prize for Journalism competition. So, like him, I am asking you a favor. Please suggest, in the comments, your favorite blog posts or other articles (or both) of... MORE

Reply to Scott Sumner on Global Warming

Economic Methods
David Henderson
Scott Sumner writes: I recall that when liberals favored lots of "command and control" regulation to address global warming, and conservatives favored a carbon tax. That was the "market solution" comparable to the market-based approach to reducing sulfur emissions from... MORE

The Nixon Pardon: Incentives Matter in Politics Too

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
In this weekend's Wall Street Journal, Ken Gormley and David Shribman celebrate the 40th anniversary of President Ford's pardon of Nixon. The piece is titled "The Nixon Pardon at 40: Ford Looks Better Than Ever." They give basically three arguments:... MORE

Joan Rivers: More than a Comedian

Obituaries
David Henderson
Like many people, I mourn the loss of Joan Rivers. In the last year or so, my wife and I have gotten into watching Fashion Police and enjoying, except for her over-the-top comments, many of Joan's great, obviously prepared, catty... MORE

Arrow: Why Shouldn't I Go to the Highest Bidder?

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Harold Hotelling, an economist, taught some of the statistics courses and "gave a course in mathematical economics" that Arrow said he took "out of curiosity." But because it began to hook him on economics, when his cash ran down Arrow... MORE

Kling on Bush and Baker on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Like many entrepreneurs, Bush began by trying to solve one problem and ended up having to solve another. The problem that he and his partner tried to solve was reducing the cost of childbirth, in part by making more effective... MORE

(Taxi) Deutschland Über Uber

Regulation
David Henderson
I couldn't resist. Guest blogger Alberto Mingardi's excellent update on Uber's legal status in Germany made me think of this title. Taxi Deutschland successfully sued to prevent ride-share operator Uber from operating throughout Germany. The German government, thus, triumphed over... MORE

California Drought: A Pricing Problem

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
A simple economic truth is that water-price hikes can get the job done without the expense--and the inefficiency--of conservation ads and water police--as well as the discord that can arise when neighbors snitch on and shame each other. Also, people... MORE

The Role of Unions

Labor Market
David Henderson
Every Labor Day in the last few years, we hear about the decline of unions and how that has been a bad thing. What I find striking is how economically uninformed most of this commentary is. Start with the fact... MORE

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