Category Archives: links to my essays

Revisiting Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest

I write, I have come to see the “can-do” attitude, and its attraction to politicians and the public, as very dangerous. On economic matters, the “can-do” adviser offers the promise of a free lunch: increased access to health care without … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, links to my essays | 8 Comments

Richard Bookstaber on Economic Methods

I have a long essay on his book, The End of Theory. One brief excerpt: In conventional economics, people are assumed to know, now and for the indefinite future, the entire range of possibilities, and the likelihood of each. The … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic education and methods, links to my essays | 5 Comments

On the state of economics

I have a long essay on the scientific status of economics in National Affairs. A few excerpts from the conclusion: In the end, can we really have effective theory in economics? If by effective theory we mean theory that is … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, links to my essays | 8 Comments

My Review of Kevin Laland

The book is Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony, which is still my favorite non-fiction book of 2017. My review says, Laland weaved together mathematical models, simulation exercises, experiments, and observations in a way that was much more persuasive than most social science. … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic education and methods, links to my essays | 6 Comments

The make-or-buy decision with respect to human capital

From a National Academy of Sciences report: As long-term employment becomes less common, new ways of providing for health care and pensions for all workers need to be considered that transcend their relationships with particular employers. For example, one option … Continue reading

Posted in business economics, links to my essays, Timothy Taylor is my Favorite Blogger | 10 Comments

Losing health insurance that you do not want

Tyler Cowen writes, many of the poor do not value health insurance nearly as much as many planners feel they ought to, in large part because they are already getting some health care. He quotes from the abstract of a … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Health Care, links to my essays, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 22 Comments

College women and the future of economics

Catherine Rampell writes, The shrinking of the middle is largely due to a recent rise in the share of women (who also represent a majority of college students) who identify as either liberal or far left. The share of female … Continue reading

Posted in Introductory Economics, links to my essays, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 24 Comments

Arguments for Liberty

That is the title of a new and recommended book. From my review: Arguments would make an excellent book of supplemental readings for a course in political philosophy. Such a course could use another supplement, consisting of readings of philosophers … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Libertarian Thought, links to my essays | 6 Comments

The Cato Institute on the Future of the Free Society

They write, We have reached out to leading thinkers and challenged them to answer the following questions: What are the most pressing challenges that free societies face in the coming years? What is the most important reason for optimism about … Continue reading

Posted in Libertarian Thought, links to my essays, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 5 Comments

Michael Mauboussin on Luck

A commenter recommended him, and I watched this video. Some interesting points: 1. As skill in an activity becomes more refined, differences in skill at the high levels tend to narrow. As a result, luck starts to play a relatively … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, links to my essays | 12 Comments