Category Archives: Economic History

Would you buy this book?

The title is Predicting the Markets: A Professional Autobiography. It has many favorable reviews on Amazon, but they seem to pre-date the official release of the book, which makes one suspicious. Maybe you will download the Kindle sample and leave … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic History, financial markets | 6 Comments

Kling on Niall Ferguson’s latest

My review of The Square and the Tower. I think it is very difficult to show that a particular technology favors peer relationships over hierarchical relationships. I think that many of us made this mistake when we projected the social … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic History, links to my essays | 2 Comments

Gabriel Rossman on Niall Ferguson’s latest book

Rossman writes, to this sociologist’s ear, conflating social networks, civic organizations, and social movements is confusing and imprecise. Some forms of human action are shaped by the structure of personal relationships. Others are shaped by affiliation with voluntary associations from … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic History | 3 Comments

How does one define the term “network”?

I ask this question because I have started to work through a review copy of Niall Ferguson’s The Square and the Tower. So far, it is an attempt to reinterpret history as a contest between networks and hierarchies. So naturally, … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic History | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Organizing the causes of the Industrial Revolution

Mark Koyama writes, Consider some prominent views about what caused the British Industrial Revolution. At the risk of grossly simplifying matters we can put them into three bins. …Third, there are those who argue that ultimately only innovation can explain … Continue reading

Posted in Economic History, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 1 Comment

The Elastic Economy and the Great Moderation

Alex Tabarrok writes, Since the great recession ended, growth in real GDP has been much less volatile than in the 1950s to 1980s. Indeed, volatility has been lower even taking into account the great recession. He goes on to point … Continue reading

Posted in Economic History, PSST and Macro | 6 Comments

Should we miss the working class?

Brink Lindsey writes, people are not machines, and they don’t like being treated as such. By inducing millions of people to take up factory work and creating a social order in which those millions’ physical survival depended upon their doing … Continue reading

Posted in Economic History, income distribution-wealth-poverty, labor market | 13 Comments

Land prices in San Francisco

Robert L. Cutts writes, Homes… now sell for 15 times the average salaried worker’s annual gross wage. Even small condominium units… sell for nearly 10 years’ pay. First-time buyers would have to contract 50- to 90-year mortgages to make the … Continue reading

Posted in Economic History, Housing and housing finance | 13 Comments

Broadberry and Wallis: A Suggested Interpretation

The Economist reports, Stephen Broadberry of Oxford University and John Wallis of the University of Maryland have taken data for 18 countries in Europe and the New World, some from as far back as the 13th century. To their surprise, … Continue reading

Posted in Economic History, Growth Causes and Consequences, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 3 Comments

Supply, Demand, and Immigration

Don Boudreaux writes, An increase in the supply of labor lowers wages only if nothing else changes. But when immigrants enter the workforce two very important other things change. First, immigrant workers spend or invest their earnings, both of which … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic History, Growth Causes and Consequences, Specialization and Trade Economics Intro, trade and immigration | 19 Comments