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David Henderson: January 2016

An Author Archive by Month (29 entries)

Don't Make Canadians Poorer

Regulation and Subsidies
David Henderson
In short, because the price of oil has fallen, Canadians as a whole are somewhat poorer than if the price had not fallen. What should government do about this? Not make them poorer. Wasteful government spending is bad enough when... MORE

Huffington Post's Stunning Ignorance of Immigration Law

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
"Yes, we're planning to add this note to all future stories about Trump," the [Huffington Post] spokesperson said. "No other candidate has called for banning 1.6 billion people from the country! If any other candidate makes such a proposal, we'll... MORE

Gordon on Growth: Rates versus Levels

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
I'm looking forward to reading Robert Gordon's new book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth. PBS recently did an 8-minute segment on it that lays out his argument nicely. HT2 John Cochrane and Greg Mankiw. I won't try to... MORE

In Like Flint and Out Like My Cousin Vinny

Regulation
David Henderson
David A. Graham argues that firms that make charitable contributions create long-term problems. For those who haven't been paying attention to the news lately, the government of Flint, Michigan totally messed up, selling lead-laced water to Flint residents for 16... MORE

Bet on Terrorist Incident

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
On Monday, I attended an excellent event at the Hoover Institution on the work and influence of the late Robert Conquest. Recall that he was the person who, with his 1968 book, The Great Terror, "outed" Joseph Stalin as a... MORE

Joan Baez Sr.: A Reminiscence

International Trade
David Henderson
Here's a true story that illustrates two things I love in political discussions, two things that are all too rare. In April 1980, while the Mariel boatlift was beginning, the fact that some, and possibly many, of the Cubans coming... MORE

Progress on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Progress on health care? Really? While Obama is President? The Obama who said you can keep your doctor and your insurance and oh, by the way, your insurance will cost less? That Obama? Yes, really. But it has little or... MORE

Hire Locally

International Trade
David Henderson
I have an idea and I wonder what various commenters think about it. I was looking on line for a small town in Washington state and found out that one of its most famous citizens is a professional baseball player.... MORE

The Economics of the Cadillac Health Care Tax, Part II

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
A little analysis goes a long way. Yesterday, I wrote: I'm sympathetic to what it's [the Cadillac tax is] trying to achieve, but I'm against it. Moreover, I'm against it for the same reason that I'm sympathetic to what it's... MORE

Jane Mayer's Problem

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
George Melloan, a retired editor of the Wall Street Journal, had a review in a recent issue of the Journal of Jane Mayer's new book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.... MORE

The Economics of the Cadillac Health Care Tax, Part I

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
A libertarian friend who sells health insurance asked me the following by email: What are your views on the healthcare "Cadillac" tax? I started to answer him by email but then realized that my response is probably of more general... MORE

High Profits as an Incentive to Bear High R&D Costs

Business Economics
David Henderson
Sunk Costs Now Were Not Always Sunk Here's a question I asked my students in the final exam last quarter: When the drug company Burroughs-Wellcome brought out the first major anti-AIDS drug, AZT, in the late 1980s, the company priced... MORE

Will Paul Krugman Say He's Sorry?

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
Being Paul Krugman means never having to say you're sorry. Paul Krugman writes: But being a conservative means never having to say you're sorry for predicting inflation. He's talking about Art Laffer's prediction in 2009 that inflation due to the... MORE

Climate Economists Base Their Alarm on Their Own Ethical Judgments

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Update below The title above doesn't quite tell the story. It's hard to tell in just a title. That's why you need to read this post. Unless you've been living in a cave, you probably know that when economists say... MORE

Smith's Defense of Western Civilization

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I'm glad that co-author Bryan Caplan called attention to the excellent essay by Nathan Smith. Otherwise I might not have known about it. Bryan highlighted some great sections. I want to highlight one other section. It's about the nicest modern... MORE

Does Contract Enforcement Require Government as a Backstop?

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Recently, Arnold Kling has been arguing that even when contract enforcement is totally private, it requires government as a backstop. He wrote: Taking existing institutions as an existence proof for the feasibility of an-cap is not a valid argument. The... MORE

Friedman and Reynolds on Saez and Zucman

Statistical theory and methods
David Henderson
This paper combines income tax returns with macroeconomic household balance sheets to estimate the distribution of wealth in the United States since 1913. We estimate wealth by capitalizing the incomes reported by individual taxpayers, accounting for assets that do not... MORE

Last week I highlighted a comment by Econlog reader Jim Glass. Since then, I've looked closely at the study he cited. The study is titled "Do Firms Underinvest in Long-Term Research? Evidence from Cancer Clinical Trials." It's published in the... MORE

The Economist Who Didn't Bark

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
Actually, economists plural. One of my favorite Sherlock Holmes stories is "Silver Blaze" because Holmes used as evidence the fact that a dog didn't bark. In line with my relentless "glass half full" way of looking at the world, I... MORE

Uberize the Economy

Regulation
David Henderson
Kay is the editor of The Walrus and has been writing about Uber, usually positively. But here, he argues that it's unfair for competition from Uber to undercut the taxicab monopoly. He could have gone two ways: (1) advocate banning... MORE

Hiring Without Signals

Labor Market
David Henderson
Readers of Econlog who read co-blogger Bryan Caplan's posts know that Bryan has posted a lot on a college degree as an expensive signal to potential employers. Here are 88 posts Bryan has written on signaling. I find Bryan's argument... MORE

Henderson Vote Counts

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
Jen Henderson, that is. Back in August, the blogosphere was popping with stories about a cynical group of businesses in Missouri that persuaded the city council to create a special Community Improvement District. Here's part of the news story at... MORE

Thinking on the Margin

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
The two Feature Articles for January are out this week and the first one is by me. The title is "Think on the Margin." An excerpt on buying beer: A few years ago, I went to the supermarket to buy... MORE

Brian Doherty on Guns, Crime, and Gun Laws

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
This morning when I was reading the blogs, the title of Brian Doherty's article caught my eye: "You Know Less Than You Think About Guns." Really? Well, it turns out that, if he was addressing me, he was right. His... MORE

Henderson on the Lars Larson Show

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
David Henderson
Talking about the 1.5% drop in the S&P 500, trade with China, and the problem with retaliatory tariffs. It's here. And my segment goes from about 85:10 to about 94:20.... MORE

Three Great Comments on My FDA Post

Regulation
David Henderson
Three people, Jim Glass, Dan Klein, and db, made important comments on my FDA post yesterday. First, Jim Glass: How the patent system and the FDA discourage study of cancer prevention (quoting...) "R & D on cancer prevention and treatment... MORE

The Problem with FDA Restrictions on Drugs

Regulation
David Henderson
Or, actually, one of many problems. When asked specifically how his wife's illness had changed his work at the F.D.A., Dr. Pazdur said he was intent on making decisions more quickly. "I have a much greater sense of urgency these... MORE

Introducing Emily Skarbek

Econlog Administrative Issues
David Henderson
Starting tomorrow, January 4, Econlog will have a new guest blogger. It is my pleasure to introduce Emily Skarbek. Emily is a Lecturer in Political Economy at King's College London. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University... MORE

Jeffrey Sachs's Sleight of Hand

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
The wars over climate science aren't really about whether humanity is dangerously changing the climate. It is. So begins a short piece in today's (Saturday/Sunday) Wall Street Journal titled "A Grand Bargain on Energy." The rest of the piece is... MORE

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