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The Peltzman Effect on the Golden Gate

A safety barrier on the median was just installed on the Golden Gate Bridge; unintended consequences follow. …in the days since the more secure movable median barrier was installed, the average speed of drivers on the approach from the north has jumped even though the speed limit was lowered from 55 to 45 miles per […]

“Let’s Play Two”

Very sadly Ernie Banks — the baseball player for you foreigners out there — has passed away. Oddly, I have taken to quoting him lately.  If you are going out to eat with a small group, I recommend two stops.  No, don’t eat any more food than usual, but distribute your meal across two restaurants.  […]

What is the economic impact of Facebook?

Here is some media coverage of a recent Facebook study of its economic impact in terms of revenue and jobs.  Facebook claims it added $227 billion to the global economy, but they approached the question the wrong way. The correct method is to treat jobs as a cost of Facebook, not a benefit, admittedly that […]

Institutions are not always so important (or easy to measure properly?)

Jinfeng Luo and Yi Wen from the St. Louis Fed have a new working paper (pdf), “Institutions Do Not Rule: Reassessing the Driving Forces of Economic Development”: We use cross-country data and instrumental variables widely used in the literature to show that (i) institutions (such as property rights and the rule of law) do not […]

Assorted links

1. Scott Sumner on Keynesian excuses. 2. Alan Krueger working for Uber.  And dating average is over.  And rendering Tyler Cowen obsolete. 3. Newspapers are still deep in a financial hole. 4. Divorce machine gun markets in everything.  And Croatia wants to peg to the Swiss franc (!) for mortgage protection. 5. Department of Uh-Oh: […]

The Supply Curve

Here is our video introducing the supply curve from our principles of micro-economics course at MRUniversity. Supply, Demand and Equilibrium are available now. Next week, elasticity!

How to read fast, I mean really fast markets in everything

As part of a publicity stunt, author James Patterson is giving away 1,000 self-destructing digital advance copies of his latest novel, Private Vegas. If you score one, you have 24 hours to finish the entire book before the text vanishes forever. And if that’s just not risky enough, Patterson is selling a real self-destructing copy […]

Cato Scholars Respond to the 2015 State of the Union

Caleb O. Brown Cato Institute Scholars Respond to the 2015 State of the Union Cato Institute scholars Alex Nowrasteh, Aaron Ross Powell, Neal McCluskey, Mark Calabria, Bill Watson, Chris Edwards, Gene Healy, Chris Preble, Julian Sanchez,...Show More Summary

Banks Are 'Under Assault'

Steve H. Hanke J.P. Morgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon has it right when he asserts that banks are “under assault.” This has put a damper on the source of 80 percent of the U.S. money supply, broadly measured. The CFS Divisia M4 is growing...Show More Summary

You Ought to Have a Look: Web Reactions to SOTU Climate Claims

Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger You Ought to Have a Look is a feature from the Center for the Study of Science posted by Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. (“Chip”) Knappenberger. While this section will feature all...Show More Summary

Slashing the Budget?

David Boaz I’ve written before about the propensity of journalists to declare modest budget cuts—or reductions in the rate of growth of government spending—in apocalyptic terms such as “slashing” and “draconian.” I was thus amused by this line in a Washington Post editorial today: Mr. Show More Summary

President Obama Offers Free Trade as Reluctantly as Possible

K. William Watson President Obama has proven once again that he is his own worst enemy on trade policy. Despite expectations that he would make a strong push for trade promotion authority (TPA), President Obama offered only quick mention...Show More Summary

Is the Senate Going Lukewarm?

Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels When it comes to opinions about climate change, there have traditionally been two main camps: either you think human activities are warming the climate at a pace that will largelyShow More Summary

The Fed Should Quit Making Interest-Rate Promises

George Selgin If there’s anything we ought to have learned from the recent boom and bust, it’s that a Fed commitment to keep interest rates low for any considerable length of time, like the one Greenspan’s Fed made in 2003, is extremely...Show More Summary

The New York Times takes an early lead for correction of the year

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the country whose army chased Tommy Caldwell’s kidnappers. As the article correctly noted elsewhere, Caldwell was in Kyrgyzstan, not Kyrzbekistan, which does not exist. Source....Show More Summary

Grading Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter

It’s my second year, so this makes it a tradition. I take the conceit of grading it like one of my development class exams. But this year I do it in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. The letter makes a “big … Continue reading ? The post Grading Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The World Misery Index: 108 Countries

Steve H. Hanke Every country aims to lower inflation, unemployment, and lending rates, while increasing gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Through a simple sum of the former three rates, minus year-on-year per capita GDP growth,...Show More Summary

Yemen's Chronic Instability

Emma Ashford The last few days have brought dramatic news from Yemen: rebels occupied the presidential palace, initially forcing constitutional concessions and then the resignation of President Hadi. The president was, at least nominally, a U.S. Show More Summary

Toward a new, gender-based economic theory of the Indian caste system

This is just published in the Journal of Development Economics, from Chris Bidner and Mukesh Eswaran, and the title is “A Gender-Based Theory of the Origin of the Caste System of India”: We propose a theory of the origins of India’s caste system by explicitly recognizing the productivity of women in complementing their husbands’ occupation-specific […]

A Clean Win for Freedom (updated)

Even a small win for rolling back the state is so seldom observed that it’s worth mentioning when one happens: the medium-sized town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire (one of the most “progressive” municipalities in the state) has abolished all taxi regulations and shut down its Taxicab Commission. Correction: the regulators voted to abolish themselves, but […]

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