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Incentives

A Category Archive (26 entries)

Report from Naples

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Former star student Thomas Strenge wrote me an interesting email and gave me permission to quote. What follows below is my slightly edited version of what he wrote. My Mom lives about 10 miles inland from Naples and her experience... MORE

"As a team, trying to win and not have a distraction on the team, I just take that as a player -- there's certain players that could be on the team with big distractions, and there's other players that it's... MORE

How Much Pee in Your Pool?

Incentives
David Henderson
The scientists calculated that one 220,000-gallon, commercial-size swimming pool contained almost 20 gallons of urine. In a residential pool (20-by-40-foot, five-feet deep), that would translate to about two gallons of pee. It's only about one-hundredth of a percent, but any... MORE

Incentives Work in the NBA Too

Incentives
David Henderson
Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg objected to how Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics regularly carries the ball and gets away with it. Check out from about 2:40 on in this video. I hadn't realized how extreme it was until... MORE

Markets, Morals, and United Flight 3411

Economic Education
Contributing Guest
by Steven Horwitz Presumably most readers are now broadly familiar with the recent incident on United flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville. The short version is that the operator, Republic Airlines which is a United regional carrier, needed four... MORE

In the 1936 election, Roosevelt claimed that 85 percent of the newspapers were against him. In the standard work on the subject, historian Graham J. White finds that the actual percentage was much lower and the print press generally... MORE

Quinones versus Eberstadt

EconTalk
David Henderson
We have demonized government and laughed at government and called it incompetent, not paid taxes to support it. And we have a situation now, in my opinion, where--having done all that, having exalted the private sector, demonized government, what we... MORE

Taxes and Deadweight Loss

Taxation
David Henderson
In his excellent post on taxes and the incidence of taxes, co-blogger Scott Sumner does not mention another important issue in taxation: deadweight loss. The deadweight loss from a tax is the part of the loss to those who bear... MORE

The Many Faces of Means-Testing

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Isn't a Universal Basic Income just another name for a negative income tax, such as Tax = -$10,000 + .3*Income?  If so, isn't a Universal Basic Income means-tested by definition?The answer to the first question is Yes.  UBI is just... MORE

Why the Electoral College Will Not be Abolished

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
Steve Chapman, a columnist at the Chicago Tribune, has an excellent short article on the electoral college this morning. It explains why the candidates spend a disproportionate amount of time in swing states. Probably most readers knew why, but he... MORE

In 1992, I went to San Francisco's Candlestick Park to see the Giants play the Cincinnati Reds. To get into the baseball spirit, I wore my blue L.A. Dodgers helmet. (I root for both the Giants and Dodgers, but... MORE

A Nobel Prediction

Incentives
David Henderson
I have my wishes about who will win the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday. But I always distinguish between what I want and what I expect. I have never predicted the Nobel accurately, after trying for over 20 years.... MORE

Incentives and Get Out the Vote

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
Although I still think Hillary Clinton is likely to win the presidency, both she and some of her supporters are unwittingly undercutting one of her big advantages: her "get out the vote" effort. Clinton is leaving nothing to chance, putting... MORE

#TWET...Slavery & Racism

EconTalk
Amy Willis
Incentives matter, sure. But isn't there a limit to what institutional analysis can (and ought) explain? That's what lingering in my mind after listening to this week's EconTalk episode with everybody's favorite guest, Mike Munger of Duke University. How... MORE

Incentives Matter for Politicians Too

Incentives
David Henderson
In a Facebook comment on my recent post on Peter Thiel and Donald Trump's foreign policy views, my friend Stephen M. Jones wrote (I quote with his permission): Tyler Cowen had an important post linking this article about Trump and... MORE

Prices on everything, please

Incentives
Alberto Mingardi
When it comes to the "informatization" of society, I suspect Italy followed a path that is shared by some other countries. 63% of families own a personal computer, whereas 93% own a cellphone. Most of these cellphones are smartphones: and... MORE

The Case Against a Basic Income Guarantee

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Jason Kuznicki of the Cato Institute has written a piece calling for an "Unconditional Basic Income." (I should note that he did not publish this under the auspices of the Cato Institute. I mention Cato only to identify his affiliation.)... MORE

Liberty Mutual: Pay More Now Instead of Later

Business Economics
David Henderson
For the last few months, at least, my wife and I have been annoyed by the silliness of Liberty Mutual's ads for auto insurance. Thank goodness for the mute button, or, if we're watching something we have DVRed, the fast... MORE

Some Economics of Tipping and Take Away

Incentives
Emily Skarbek
Munger and Roberts have a great Econtalk where they briefly discuss restaurant pricing schemes and the puzzle of why it is not usually cheaper to have take-away (a.k.a. "to go") when clearly the cost of producing the good is cheaper... MORE

Thus the inventor of a new machine or any other invention has the exclusive priviledge of making and vending that invention for the space of 14 years by the law of this country, as a reward for his ingenuity, and... 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

The Institutions of Forensic Science

Economics of Crime
Emily Skarbek
Without posting any spoilers, it's fair to say that the new Netflix sensation, Making a Murderer, has sparked a significant discussion on the effectiveness of the US criminal justice system. Bravo. A much more critical attitude towards US incarceration practices... 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

Garett Jones and Charles Tiebout

Game Theory
David Henderson
I haven't read Garett Jones's book Hive Mind yet and so what I'm about to write is based on my trusting Scott Alexander to accurately characterize Garett's argument. In his review of Garett's book, Alexander summarizes part of Garett's argument... MORE

Using Economics to Make Judgement Calls

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
There are few student species more nakedly ambitious, focused, and future-oriented than the average Harvard law student. Having likely spent his undergraduate years planning admissions maximization strategies, he now has the Holy Grail almost within his grasp. Let him but... MORE

"The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed," he told CNN on Thursday. This is from a BBC report titled "Ben Carson defends linking gun control to... MORE

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