Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Price Controls

A Category Archive (57 entries)

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

Reverse Mortgages in Organs

Price Controls
Art Carden
Bryan's post below inspired me to think about an idea Mike Hammock and I first talked about while we were colleagues at Rhodes College that, I think, carries Zac Gochenaur's* argument a bit further: reverse mortgages in organs (here's an... MORE

Raise Minimum Wage: Reduce Benefits

Labor Market
David Henderson
At the start of this year, the minimum wage in SeaTac, a city in Washington state, was raised by a whopping 63 percent--from $9.19 an hour to $15.00 an hour. If we critics of the minimum wage, including the late... MORE

Mitt Romney's True Colors

Labor Market
David Henderson
"I ... part company with many of the conservatives of my party on the issue of the minimum wage," he said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I think we ought to raise it because, frankly, our party is... 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

Michael Cannon's Cannon

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Cato Institute's health economist Michael Cannon is the lead economist in a legal case that takes on the IRS. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, grants tax credits to low-income people who buy health insurance in state-run exchanges. There... MORE

My debate opponent Ron Unz says he's abandoning his California minimum wage initiative for lack of funds.  The Nation's Sasha Abramsky responds with a soft-hitting interview.  The low point:You just mentioned undocumented migrants in the context of your minimum wage... MORE

I've finally got around to reading more details about the Congressional Budget Office's report on the number of jobs lost from raising the minimum wage. The CBO estimated a range of outcomes from raising the minimum wage from its current... MORE

Rent Control Devalues the Whole Neighborhood

Price Controls
James Schneider
Rent control has numerous negative effects on the housing market. If a landlord is forced to charge below-market rent, it reduces the incentive to improve the property or even perform basic maintenance. Perhaps, even more importantly, it misallocates who lives... MORE

Robert Murphy on the Minimum Wage

Labor Market
David Henderson
In this article, I explain why, even if the revisionist empirical studies are accurate, it still does not follow that the proposed hike in the minimum wage will be a boon for low-skilled workers. I also argue that, because critics... MORE

In a post earlier this month, I reported on a Brief Analysis I did for the National Center for Policy Analysis, drawing on a journal article by Sabia and Burkhauser, showing that a hypothetical increase in the minimum wage from... MORE

Et Tu, Economist?

Labor Market
David Henderson
Is this from The Economist or from Yes, Prime Minister? Scepticism about the merits of minimum wages remains this newspaper's starting-point. But as income inequality widens and workers' share of national income shrinks, the case for action to help the... MORE

The Swiss overwhelmingly rejected a popular initiative that would have capped executive pay to 12 times the wage of the lowest-paid employee in the same business. Some 65% of the voters came out against the proposal, which was proposed by... MORE

A Crime Beyond Denunciation

Price Controls
Bart Wilson
The works of the roots of the vines, of the trees, must be destroyed to keep up the price, and this is the saddest, bitterest thing of all. Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground. The people came for miles... MORE

But when the minimum wage law confronts the law of demand, the law of demand wins every time. And the real losers are the most marginal workers--the ones who will be out of a job. This is a quote from... MORE

Prices are Like Words

Price Controls
Bart Wilson
People who are troubled by markets tend to treat prices as the problem in a market. Whether the price of labor or agricultural commodities is too low, or the price of housing or healthcare or payday loans is too high,... MORE

Trade unions at the opera

Price Controls
Alberto Mingardi
Richard Epstein has a very interesting column on how "Unions Take High Culture Hostage". The whole thing is well worth reading. Epstein sets off from a recent concert at Carnegie Hall, that was called off because of a surprise strike.... MORE

Galbraith's Imposition of Price Controls

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
In 1941, Leon Henderson (no relation), the head of the Office of Price Administration, chose John Kenneth Galbraith as his economist to control prices. This was a few months before the U.S. government officially entered World War II. Galbraith learned... MORE

Not from The Onion, Affordable Care Act Edition

Economics of Health Care
Garett Jones
In the 1990's and 2000's, as more violent criminals were thrown into prison and, partly for that reason, violent crime rates fell, the media had a wave of stories with titles like this: "Despite falling crime rate, prison populations rise."In... MORE

Bryan takes me to task for my prediction that free market airline security would still be rigorous and intrusive.  His prediction: ..here's one massive cost-cutting, convenience-raising change I'd predict in a free market: Profiling.  Private security firms would still claim to... MORE

Eliminating Conscription in Singapore

Labor Market
David Henderson
In response to co-blogger Bryan Caplan, John Smith argues that Singapore needs conscription. Here's where economics is really helpful: in helping us understand the distinction between how big a military to have and how to man a military. Smith argues... MORE

Jeff Ely on Price Controls During Disasters

Price Controls
David Henderson
I had thought that pretty much all economists agreed that price controls during disasters are a bad idea. But Northwestern University economist Jeff Ely has a different take. He writes the following: But in fact it is quite typical for... MORE

Jenkins on CAFE and GM

Regulation
David Henderson
Holman Jenkins has hit a home run with his analysis in today's Wall Street Journal of the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) mess. It's titled "GM Faces Its Own Regulatory Cliff." I've written about this here, here, here, and here.... MORE

Does Import Dependence Make Us More Vulnerable?

International Trade
David Henderson
An increasing reliance on imports, combined with the fraying of the nation's power grid, highways and rail lines, leaves the United States more vulnerable to the damage of natural disasters and terrorist attacks, according to a report to be released... MORE

A Short History of Gasoline Price Controls

Economic History
David Henderson
In the Weekend Interview in today's Wall Street Journal (WSJ editor Rob Pollock interviews George Shultz), Shultz says the following: And one thing you know from experience is when you control the price of something, you end up getting less... MORE

Moreover, contrary to widely accepted conventional arguments on the subject, free-market sales of bodily organs can actually lower their effective prices. In this article, we focus on the market for transplantable kidneys, but only for purposes of illustration. The points... MORE

Rent Control

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
Peter Dorman writes, In fact, advocates for rent control have taken Econ 101 (most of them), but they just disagree on how large the positive and negative impacts are. The purpose of economics should be to help us think clearly... MORE

Rothbard on Stigler and Friedman

Price Controls
David Henderson
Many of us libertarian economists, even relative veterans such as me, are so used to seeing the late Murray Rothbard attack the "Chicago School." So the following from Rothbard came as somewhat of a surprise: It was in this stifling... MORE

The Moral Case for Allowing Kidney Sales

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
This is just out. I like the point Professor Taylor makes near the end about how virtually everyone involved in the transplanting of a kidney from one person to another is paid except the person who gives up a... MORE

That's the gist of what Lorri Marquez Chapman of West Hartford, Connecticut wrote in a letter to the Wall Street Journal today. She was responding to a modest proposal by Sally Satel for people to be able to donate their... MORE

Medicare Rules: Bring 'Em On

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
David Henderson argues that (thanks to the Gipper, no less), Medicare imposes price controls on health care:But what made it a system of price controls was that the government, along with DRGs, made it illegal for hospitals to charge even... MORE

The Right Minimum Wage Question

Labor Market
David Henderson
Like Bryan, I received the same request from the same friend: what question(s) would I want to put on a survey of economists. My response was that I would want the question on the minimum wage asked accurately instead of... MORE

Rent Control and Material Things

Price Controls
David Henderson
In a recent article in the New York Times about people living in rent-controlled apartments in New York city is the following telling section: But having made it through the 15-year real estate boom with their tenancy intact, the O'Neals,... MORE

Tales of Rationing

Price Controls
David Henderson
In yesterday's post, I stated: David Kennedy makes the claim that rationing was not used extensively in the United States during World War II. I think he's wrong. Read sometime about how people couldn't drive their cars due to gas... MORE

Incentive Ceiling

Price Controls
David Henderson
As someone who has taught economics for 28 of the last 33 years, I thought I had pretty much seen everything a student could come up with in an introductory course in which the issue was rent control. What I'm... MORE

Priceless Anecdote

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
From Don Boudreaux, This morning your reporter interviewed a resident of Galveston, Texas, about the effects of hurricane Ike. The person interviewed said that she went to the gasoline station before Ike hit to "top off" her tank. But she... MORE

No Price Gouging Here!

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
The Knoxville Sentinel reports, Knoxville-area drivers are seeing more bags on gasoline pumps today as a petroleum shortage spreading throughout the Southeast hits local gas stations, groceries and convenience stores. But thank goodness there is no price gouging. Russ Roberts... MORE

How expensive will gasoline have to get before the federal government brings back price controls? My guess is $5.50. What's yours?... MORE

Tax Cuts Under Price Controls

Price Controls
Bryan Caplan
Yesterday I was explaining Singapore's clever approach to fiscal stimulus to Russ Roberts at lunch. During the explanation, I realized that I should probably back up and explain how tax cuts works in markets with price controls. But since I... MORE

Order and Disorder

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
Richard E. Wagner writes, There is an equivalence between a tariff and a quota as these are drawn on the blackboard...They are not, however, equivalent in practice. A tariff and a quota generally involve different institutional frameworks...With the quota, the... MORE

Mugabenomics

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
The Guardian reports President Robert Mugabe's order that all shop prices be cut by at least half, and sometimes several times more, has forced stores to open to hordes of customers waving thick blocks of near worthless money given new... MORE

According to an engrossing biography of a Saudi princess I was reading, the Saudi government has imposed price controls on dowries. In the Saudi context, this means that the amount of money that men pay the family of the bride... MORE

Tyler Cowen's Evil Twin on the Minimum Wage

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
Tyrone writes, Minimum wages probably lower the net amount of government intervention in an economy. Lower minimum wages would mean higher welfare payments to make up the difference. Ever heard of EITC? In reality, minimum wages and EITC work together... MORE

As I Was Saying

Price Controls
Bryan Caplan
As couple days ago, I wrote: But if my analysis is right, there will be some lucky workers who keep their jobs, don't immediately see their wages fall, and get extra health care. It will be easy to run a... MORE

Confession of a Broken Planner

Price Controls
Bryan Caplan
Tom DiLorenzo has a charming anecdote in the latest issue of the Free Market: During the post-war occupation of Germany, American "planners" rather liked the Nazi economic controls, including price controls, that were in fact preventing economic recovery. The notorious... MORE

Was Jimmy Carter Elected President of Iraq?

Price Controls
Bryan Caplan
I just caught a story on Cap'n Arbyte that has to be read to be believed: Gasoline price controls in Iraq are responsible for retail gasoline shortages and a withering decline in refining capacity. BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) — The country... MORE

I'm in favor of gas price ceilings

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
The price gouger's best friend is my colleague Don Boudreaux. His latest letter-to-the-editor (he emails these to those of us on a distribution list, whether they wind up published or not) puts it quite succinctly. Byron Kass correctly notes (Letters,... MORE

Minimum Consistency

Price Controls
Bryan Caplan
Radley Balko amusingly reveals that ACORN, a group that crusades for the minimum wage, has been trying to pay its employees below the minimum wage for years. Ad hominem attack, right? No, there's more to it: In a suit ACORN... MORE

The Political Economy of Wishful Thinking

Price Controls
Michael Munger
by Michael Munger Guest Blogger States have some ridiculous laws on the books, but some of the most interesting, popular, and ridiculous are those on price regulation. At bottom, they come down to this: Wouldn't it be better if there... MORE

Predicting Drug Price Controls

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
Jonathan Oberlander and Jim Jaffe think that drug price controls are on the horizon. They say that this is what happened to payments to physicians and hospitals under Medicare. The government has habitually responded to budget stresses by changing the... MORE

A Re-importation Parable

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
Edward Lotterman tells fellow Minnesotans a parable to try to help them understand drug re-importation. The incomes of U.S. surgeons are substantially higher than those in any other country in the world. U.S. hospitals could save consumers tons of money... MORE

Drug Price Controls

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
Some economists published a petition against drug price controls. Drug-price controls are more difficult to remove than other price controls. Controls on oil and other products often tend to be limited or short-lived, as voters eventually object to the resulting... MORE

Various Articles

Regulation and Subsidies
Arnold Kling
Posting here will be infrequent until later in October. Meanwhile, here are some links that may be of interest. Is the insecurity of Microsoft software an externality that should be regulated or taxed? An example of professional licensing as rent-seeking... MORE

The Case for Price Gouging

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
C.C. Kraemer argues that laws against price gouging are a bad idea. rather than harming the victims, the profit motive actually helps them because the result is an increase in supplies. That assures that everyone who needs the plywood will... MORE

Minimum Wage and CEO Pay

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
Marc Brazeau asks (see Steve Antler's site), Two common arguments against raising the minimum wage are possible inflationary effects and job loss. Why aren't these issues raised in relation to executive compensation? I think that the conventional wisdom is that... MORE

Labor Supply and Demand

Microeconomics
Arnold Kling
About a year ago, the big story in our local suburban newspaper was the adoption of a "living wage" bill in our county. This summer, the big story was the shortage of teenage jobs here. I was tempted to write... MORE

Rent Control's Sad History

Price Controls
Arnold Kling
How has rent control worked in New York City? Exactly as textbooks would have predicted, according to this essay by William Tucker in the New York Post. During the 1920s, builders put up nearly 100,000 new apartment units a year.... MORE

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