Patrick Coate, PhD
Articles from Patrick Coate, PhD
In a recent blog post on Alt-M, an alternative money website, Lawrence H. White, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and professor of economics at George Mason University, discussed how two groups—Baptists and bootleggers—have largely become one and the same. He referred to the two types of groups that tend to spearhead prohibitions, the former on ethical grounds, and the latter with the goal of eliminating legal competition. In the blog post, the prohibition he is concerned about is on the use of cash.
United Airlines made headlines recently with its announced introduction of Basic Economy pricing – and mostly not in a good way. Most of the coverage has focused on the fact that this plan no longer includes complimentary carry-on baggage or choice of seating, with the baggage fee recently drawing the ire of Senator Chuck Schumer. However, this new fare is just the latest example of increasing competition between name-brand airlines and budget airlines such as Spirit and Frontier airlines.
The biggest news story in the world this past week has been the election of Donald Trump, and the biggest reason for his election was the vote of working class white voters in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that had been projected to vote for Hillary Clinton. One current explanation is that these voters felt Trump better understood their economic anxieties better than Clinton – or past Republican candidates. In particular, President-elect Trump spent a lot of time during the campaign talking about trade with China and immigration.
One classic insight is Arrow’s impossibility theorem, originally published in a 1950 paper by Nobel Prize winning economist Kenneth Arrow. It shows that there is no way to ensure any voting system, will always simultaneously satisfy a list of seemingly desirable conditions. More generally, it makes the same point about the impossibility of aggregating individual preferences to societal preferences.
Teachers matter. Primary and secondary education is one of the most important human capital investments Americans will ever make, and teachers are crucial in the quality of that education. But how do we measure teacher effectiveness, and exactly how much do teachers affect their students’ long-term future?
One interesting feature of the U.S. labor market over the last few decades is the decline in geographic migration, a topic I discussed in AIER’s March Research Brief. This is occurring during a period where other types of labor-market mobility (such as job changes) are also decreasing. A natural supposition is that these trends are linked, and many observers believe that this lower mobility is a sign of a less flexible and dynamic U.S. economy, and thus, a big problem