The Economics of Price and Quantity Signals

– January 29, 2020

The first time I thought about the relationship between quantity and price, I was a teenager working at the same job that taught me about transaction costs in labor markets. Evidently, there was much for me to learn at this rather dull junior sales job …

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The Paranoid Fear of Intellectual Property Theft

– January 28, 2020

Sad is that some of the most important centers of opinion in all of the U.S. now direct significant real estate to the alleged thievery of American know-how by the Chinese.

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Should We All Be Flying Less?

– January 24, 2020

I have long been a fan of the writer, statistician, and “flaneur” of financial markets Nassim Nicholas Taleb. His eye for the unseen and his heavy emphasis on sample selections and randomness in the world always struck a chord with my basically Misesia …

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The Four Pillars of Economic Understanding

– January 24, 2020

It is no exaggeration to say that learning economics changed my life. In fact, I would go as far as saying the two most pivotal moments of my young adulthood was meeting my future wife at 17 and being exposed to economics at 19.  Not only pivotal, …

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When Perfect Correlations Dissolve Into Dust

– January 22, 2020

Statistical relations can be tenuous, and statistics can be fishy. Perhaps with time, Harvey’s yield curve relation will go the way of pedestrians and South Dakota lawyers — a near-perfect correlation dissolving into dust.

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The Market Process Is Not an Intoxicated Ass

– January 20, 2020

Assertions such as those made by Cass are easy to offer. Dreamers, dirigistes, and demagogues have done so since the dawn of the industrial age.

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State Capacity, Economic Growth, and Reverse Causality

– January 14, 2020

The problem is that, from a research perspective, there are important reasons to keep off the state capacity bandwagon, even if doing so would be ideologically congenial.

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New and Improved Economics? Don’t Believe It

– January 14, 2020

The New Yorker’s January 13th, 2020, issue features a full-page ad for Richard Robb’s new book, Willful. At the top of this ad we read in large, two-color print that “Willful is a breakthrough in economics,” and near the bottom is a blurb from Nobel-la …

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How to Teach the Benefits of Trade

– January 7, 2020

In an environment that constantly presents us with pessimistic reasons why things cannot be done, turning a paperclip into $225 of pizza in less than two days proves that opportunities to make everyone better off exist all around us if we just take the time to observe and act.

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Private Governance, Not State Capacity

– January 6, 2020

Economist Tyler Cowen has released a provocative essay with, I hope, the opposite of its intended impact. State Capacity Libertarianism, which he deems the only “smart” path for libertarians and classical liberals, is as conventional in its thinking as …

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There Is No Such Creature as The People

– December 31, 2019

Among the most important advances in the social sciences of the 20th century is Kenneth Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem. The full explanation of this theorem first appeared in Arrow’s 1951 book, Social Choice and Individual Values. As explanations go, th …

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In Defense of the Quid Pro Quo

– December 30, 2019

It is not the occurrence of quid pro quos that are a problem in society. It is all a matter of whether they are free and voluntary

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