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Lipton Matthews



Articles by Lipton Matthews

Africa’s Long History of Trade and Markets

4 days ago

Market reforms in Africa can be thwarted because of propaganda asserting that markets are a Western import. Notwithstanding the currency of this belief, it is patently absurd. Markets flourished in Africa prior to colonialism, and wherever they are repressed, the result is social immiseration, as economist William Hutt points out in his pathbreaking study, The Economics …

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Industrial Policy—a.k.a. Central Planning—Won’t Make America Great

20 days ago

China’s industrial policy has been marked by many failures and few successes. Rather, China’s real growth has been fueled by the regime’s limited turn to markets.  Original Article: “Industrial Policy—a.k.a. Central Planning—Won’t Make America Great” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Industrial Policy—a.k.a. Central Planning—Won’t Make America Great

November 5, 2021

Across the political aisle pundits are suggesting industrial policy as a tool to contain the ascent of China. Commentators worry that failure to do so might result in China eclipsing America as the world’s economic superpower. Without doubt, the tantalizing arguments abetting industrial policy are gaining traction because defenders of markets have failed to make …

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Polygamy Is a Problem for Economic Development

October 20, 2021

Research reveals that in sub-Saharan Africa children in polygamous families are 24.4 times more likely to die when compared with children in monogamous families. Original Article: “Polygamy Is a Problem for Economic Development” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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How “Cultural Distance” between Societies Can Hamper Economic Prosperity

October 13, 2021

Cultural disparities between national, linguistic, or cultural groups can prevent the spread of trade and hamper the adoption of useful economic strategies. Original Article: “How “Cultural Distance” between Societies Can Hamper Economic Prosperity” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Polygamy Is a Problem for Economic Development

October 12, 2021

Though a rarity in most places, polygamy is pervasive in a batch of countries situated in West and Central Africa, including Burkino Faso (36 percent), Mali (34 percent), and Nigeria (38 percent). Economist James Fenske in a 2011 paper discussing polygamy in Africa provides some shocking statistics: “Of the nearly half a million women included …

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How “Cultural Distance” between Societies Can Hamper Economic Prosperity

October 6, 2021

Uncovering the cause of disparities in long-term economic performance across societies is of paramount importance to economists. Differences in institutional quality and geographical advantages are usually invoked as reasons for the divergence in economic performance. Although both factors possess explanatory power there is renewed interest in exploring how culture impacts economic development. For decades, we …

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Is an Educated Population Really Necessary for Innovation and Growth?

September 29, 2021

The example of England in the Industrial Revolution suggests enormous amounts of innovation and growth can be achieved even without high levels of education among the general population. Original Article: “Is an Educated Population Really Necessary for Innovation and Growth?” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Is an Educated Population Really Necessary for Innovation and Growth?

September 23, 2021

Lamentations that the waves of innovation are receding have engulfed policy circles. Distinguished economist Robert Gordon avers that the days of transformative innovations are over. Like Peter Thiel, he is disappointed at the incremental nature of modern-day inventions. The declinist thesis is predicated on the assumption that groundbreaking innovations like the steam engine, electricity, and …

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War Has Declined in the West Because War Isn’t “Worth It” for Rich Countries

September 18, 2021

Thanks to private property, trade, and the Industrial Revolution, there isn’t much to be gained from wars among rich countries anymore. But things are different in the developing world. Original Article: “War Has Declined in the West Because War Isn’t “Worth It” for Rich Countries” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. …

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Eco-imperialism: The West’s New Kind of Colonialism

August 16, 2021

Western intellectuals are trying to tear down symbols of traditional colonialism. Yet the West still continues a form a colonialism in Africa: eco-imperialism. Original Article: “Eco-imperialism: The West’s New Kind of Colonialism” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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How Botswana Became the World’s Fastest-Growing Economy

August 5, 2021

The risk of government expropriation of private property remained low, and Botswana rejected antiwhite reformist politics which destroyed capital in many other countries in the region. Economic success has been a result. Original Article: “How Botswana Became the World’s Fastest-Growing Economy” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Eco-imperialism: The West’s New Kind of Colonialism

August 3, 2021

Globally, there is a movement to remove the residues of Western imperialism from all quarters of society. Throughout the world, monuments dedicated to Western explorers and statesmen are being toppled. Activists in the developing world and their allies in the West assert that developing countries must be permitted to chart a new course without the …

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The Real Trickle-Down Effect: Making “Luxuries” Affordable to Regular People

July 7, 2021

The “trickle down” effect is real in how capitalists are motivated to expand affordability of their products and services. Mobile phones and air travel were once just luxuries enjoyed by a select few, but are now widely affordable.  Original Article: “The Real Trickle-Down Effect: Making “Luxuries” Affordable to Regular People” This Audio Mises Wire is …

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Why Africa’s Geography Is a Barrier to Growth

July 6, 2021

Browsing through history, we can identify several examples of states overcoming the hurdles of geography to achieve great feats. Though the plague of an inhospitable geography is not an insurmountable obstacle to development, it remains crucial to understanding disparities in income across countries. However, some mainstream economists place a premium on institutional development as a …

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The Real Trickle-Down Effect: Making “Luxuries” Affordable to Regular People

June 24, 2021

Most readers are familiar with the notion of the “trickle-down effect.” This caricature is usually employed by left-leaning economists to denounce tax cuts for the entrepreneurial class. Writing for the Washington Post, Christopher Ingraham tells readers that slashing tax rates for the wealthy fails to stimulate employment, though rich people become more affluent. Unfortunately, free …

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How Marriage Patterns May Have Helped Fuel Europe’s Rise to Wealth

June 5, 2021

From the Late Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, Europe transitioned from being one of the most backward regions in the world and became the world’s economic powerhouse. How did this happen? One reason, as shown by Ralph Raico, is Europe’s unusual political decentralization. But another likely factor is Western Europe’s unusual pattern of family formation. In …

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What Igbo Culture Teaches Us about Capitalism

May 24, 2021

The Igbos are one of many ethnic groups within Africa. They consist of about 43 million people, 40 million of whom live within Nigeria.  They are widely successful in Nigeria and are considered by many to be the “Jews of West Africa,” partly because they tend to be more economically successful than their neighbors.  For example, according to some …

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Self-Interest versus Racial Solidarity

May 8, 2021

Modern-day race theories—much like the standard racist theories of the past—assume that racial solidarity ought to be the overriding factor in all human behavior. Whites are supposed to always ally with whites. Meanwhile, blacks are supposed to always side with other blacks, even if this means abandoning self-interest. Experience suggests, however, that blacks are not …

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What Happens When Governments Force Corporate Boards to Appoint More Women

May 5, 2021

A controversial new law in California requires publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to include at least one woman on their board of directors. Supporters of those types of laws even contend that gender quotas could boost firm profitability. However, the literature indicates that gender quotas are unlikely to enhance firm performance. What is also shocking …

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Are Monarchies Better for Economic Growth? Here’s What the Empirical Evidence Says.

April 23, 2021

Hans-Hermann Hoppe has argued that monarchies take a longer-term view of their national economies and therefore are more likely to pursue more stable and secure economies. That is, among monarchs, the desire to maximize wealth promotes more farsightedness than exists in democratic regimes. Due to the lower time preference of monarchs, they are less likely to succumb …

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When Measured by Real-World Outcomes, Capitalism Delivers

April 14, 2021

Nathan Robinson is an erudite socialist who frequently argues for the superiority of socialism over capitalism. He is the editor of Current Affairs and is the author of Why You Should Be a Socialist (All Points Books, 2019). He’s made quite a lucrative career out of pushing for socialism. More specifically, he argues that socialism …

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Trust, Corruption, and the Cultural Foundations of Capitalism

April 8, 2021

Economists promote free market capitalism as the most advantageous system for human development. Notwithstanding the popularity of their rhetoric, capitalism remains a derisive term in the developing world. Transplanting promarket institutions to developing countries has failed to generate widespread support for capitalism. For capitalism to work in the developing world it must be aided by the …

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Colonies Compared: Why British Colonies Were More Economically Successful

March 27, 2021

Last month, British black studies professor Kehinde Andrews argued that the British Empire was “far worse than the Nazis.” It was a controversial comparison to be sure, but it raises the question: Compared to other expansionist regimes, how bad was the British Empire? A survey of the evidence suggests that the British Empire was relatively …

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Why Envy Can Destroy Economic Progress

March 27, 2021

In some cultures, entrepreneurial achievement and capital accumulations are viewed with high levels of suspicion and envy. This can be disastrous for economic progress.  Original Article: “Why Envy Can Destroy Economic Progress” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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Why Envy Can Destroy Economic Progress

March 22, 2021

Economists think that culture is a fuzzy concept. Yet as research demonstrates, culture provides insight into a country’s potential for growth. One cultural feature worth studying for its propensity to impede development is envy. Envy is described as a feeling of resentment motivated by the achievements of other people. The manifestation of this emotion can be destructive …

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India’s Farming Reform: A Lesson in Interest Group Politics

February 27, 2021

If Punjabi farmers had been portrayed as affluent, the media would view them as greedy entrepreneurs. But leveraging the political capital of perceived powerlessness has allowed them to obscure their true status as rent seekers.  Original Article: “”India’s Farming Reform: A Lesson in Interest Group Politics” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher …

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American Households Made Economic Gains before Covid, but This Progress Can Be Lost

February 26, 2021

Before 2020, there were growing signs of increasing economic prosperity for a wide variety of income groups in America. Whether or not this prosperity survives covid lockdowns and ever higher levels of government regulations remains to be seen. But in spite of increasingly reckless monetary and fiscal policy over the past decade, there were definite signs of ongoing …

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India’s Farming Reform: A Lesson in Interest Group Politics

February 23, 2021

India’s farmers have been demonstrating in response to the government’s decision to liberalize the agricultural sector. Though economists note that these measures will boost the incomes of farmers, it is unsurprising that the protests have received immense support. Unlike corporate titans, the heavily subsidized farmers of Punjab can weaponize sympathy to further their agenda. Because …

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