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Robert P. Murphy



Articles by Robert P. Murphy

The Chicago School versus the Austrian School

9 days ago

Although it’s true that Austrians agree with Chicago economists on many policy issues, their approach to economic science is very different. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “The Chicago School versus the Austrian School”

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The Chicago School versus the Austrian School

9 days ago

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article. People often ask me, “How are the Austrians different from the Chicago School economists? Aren’t you all free market guys who oppose big-government Keynesians?” In the present article I’ll outline some of the main differences. Although it’s true that Austrians agree with Chicago economists on …

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Ludwig von Mises’s “Circulation Credit” Theory of the Trade Cycle

21 days ago

[This article is part of the Understanding Money Mechanics series, by Robert P. Murphy. The series will be published as a book in late 2020.] Starting with Carl Menger’s undisputed role in the “marginal revolution,” which ushered in subjective value theory, the Austrian school has made important contributions that have been absorbed into standard economic theory. However, …

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Keynesian Fallacies Are Not Just Wrong, but Dangerous

May 1, 2020

As an Austrian economist, I’ve known for years that Keynesian economics rests on crude fallacies—indeed, Tom Woods and I have an entire podcast dedicated to the (usually wrong) columns of Paul Krugman. But in the arguments over the coronavirus, we see that the Keynesian commentary isn’t just wrong, but dangerous. Specifically, Neil Irwin, the senior …

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Bitcoin and the Theory of Money

April 29, 2020

In a modern primer on money mechanics, it is necessary to provide at least an introduction to Bitcoin.1 Consequently, in this final chapter we will first give a basic explanation of what Bitcoin is and how it works. Then we will place Bitcoin in the framework of money that we developed in chapter 2, seeking to …

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Why the Current Unemployment Is Worse Than the Great Depression

April 27, 2020

Government restrictions on production are driving prices up as unemployment drives them down. It’s impossible to say now whether price inflation or price deflation will be the predominant factor in the crisis’s next phase. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Why the Current Unemployment Is …

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Why the Current Unemployment Is Worse Than the Great Depression

April 24, 2020

The latest report on new unemployment claims was abysmal, coming in at 4.4 million last week, some 100,000 more than surveyed economists had expected. The continuous claims came in at just under 16 million, an all-time record. Mainstream labor economists estimate that, all things considered, the actual unemployment rate now (which is only officially reported with …

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Understanding the Coronavirus Alarm and Practical Steps to Weather the Storm

April 6, 2020

Bob Murphy urges skeptics not to dismiss the panic over the coronavirus as merely due to anti-Trump fear-mongering. Although government coercion is not justified, the underlying health crisis is very real. Bob also explains the economics of the toilet paper shortage, and gives practical tips he is using to try to keep his own household …

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Do the Textbooks Get Money and Banking Backwards?

April 2, 2020

[This article is part of the Understanding Money Mechanics series, by Robert P. Murphy. The series will be published as a book in late 2020.] In chapter 5 we reviewed the textbook analysis of how a central bank buys government debt in “open market operations” to add reserves to the banking system, with which commercial banks can …

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Oren Cass and the Conservative Critique of Pure Laissez-Faire

March 30, 2020

Oren Cass is the executive director of American Compass (AmericanCompass.org), a conservative think tank that stresses the importance of family and domestic industry, in opposition to a singleminded devotion to economic efficiency. Cass was previously a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and was the domestic policy director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 …

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Commentary on the Politics and Economics of the Coronavirus Response

March 24, 2020

Bob Murphy comments on various aspects of the response to the coronavirus. Although many libertarians are accusing the authorities of exaggerating the threat, it would also be a “libertarian take” to accuse them of downplaying the threat early on, misleading the public on how to stay safe. Bob also tries to clarify thinking about the …

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The Fed’s Massive Injection of “Liquidity” Also Benefits Uncle Sam

March 16, 2020

There’s a lot to be said regarding the Fed’s surprise announcements—including its Sunday surprise of $700 billion in renewed QE and the complete elimination of all reserve requirements for banks—but here let me just focus on one element: the tendency for Fed officials and all the pundits to treat injections of “liquidity” as if they don’t count …

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Brian Williams’ Billionaire Bloomberg Blunder

March 13, 2020

Bob Murphy first gives some thoughts on the stock market crash and coronavirus, then discusses the jaw-dropping discussion between Brian Williams and a member of the New York Times editorial board regarding Mike Bloomberg’s claimed ability to give every American $1 million. For more information, see BobMurphyShow.com. The Bob Murphy Show is also available on …

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Max Sklar Interviews Bob Murphy on Mises’s Class vs. Case Probability

March 11, 2020

On his podcast The Local Maximum, software engineer (and developer at Foursquare) Max Sklar has Bob Murphy explain Ludwig von Mises’s distinction between class and case probability. They apply Mises’s framework to other economic theory, and discuss Bayesian inference and machine learning. For more information, see BobMurphyShow.com. The Bob Murphy Show is also available on …

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The “Market Monetarists” and NGDP Targeting

March 10, 2020

[This article is part of the Understanding Money Mechanics series, by Robert P. Murphy. The series will be published as a book in late 2020.] In addition to the Keynesian perspective (covered in chapter 14), a relatively new challenge to the Austrian framework comes from the “market monetarists” and their endorsement of a central bank policy of …

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Why Intelligent Design Will Be the Public Choice of the Natural Sciences

March 5, 2020

Anticipating his forthcoming interview with Winston Ewert, Bob Murphy explains why the Intelligent Design movement will be to the natural sciences what the Public Choice school in economics is to the social sciences. Bob predicts that the explanation for the observed complexity of the universe will ultimately be pushed back into the structure of mathematics itself. …

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Corey DeAngelis Makes the Case for School Choice

March 2, 2020

Corey DeAngelis is the Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation, and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. He talks with Bob Murphy about the studies supporting school choice, and dispels the myths around it. The interview ends with Bob raising the possibility that government voucher programs could end …

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Tough Questions for Libertarians

February 28, 2020

Following up on his two previous episodes firing off provocative questions for both progressives and conservatives, Bob Murphy now looks inside his own camp and raises issues for self-reflection. The tough questions for libertarians cover topics ranging from God to abortion to drag queens to tax incidence. For more information, see BobMurphyShow.com. The Bob Murphy …

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Harry Dent on the Coming Financial Crash

February 26, 2020

Harry Dent is the founder of Dent Research, which provides economic forecasting and financial recommendations. He is the author of numerous books, including Zero Hour (2017). Harry argues that demographic trends set the U.S. economy up for a major adjustment that the Federal Reserve merely postponed with its easy-money policies in 2008 and beyond. Harry …

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Central Banking since the 2008 Financial Crisis

February 25, 2020

[This article is part of the Understanding Money Mechanics series, by Robert P. Murphy. The series will be published as a book in late 2020.] In chapter 5 we reviewed the textbook analysis of how a central bank buys government debt in “open market operations” to add reserves to the banking system, with which commercial banks can …

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The Green Fatal Conceit: Why Physical Science Can’t Tell Us Proper Policy Goals

February 19, 2020

The Committee on Energy and Commerce recently released more details of the so-called CLEAN Future Act, which “formally adopts the goal of achieving of a 100 percent clean economy by 2050.” Besides the manipulative name, the proposal (a) doesn’t even bother trying to justify its central goal and (b) includes a grab bag of proposals that progressive Democrats have always favored, …

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Even Tyrannical Regimes Ultimately Rest on Public Opinion

February 12, 2020

Summarizing insights from Mises, Hume, and La Boetie, Bob Murphy argues that even the worst tyrants ultimately stay in power because people obey them. If the people withdraw their support from a regime, it will fall. For more information, see BobMurphyShow.com. The Bob Murphy Show is also available on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and via RSS.

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Why Progressives Are Anti-Vaxxers When It Comes to the Alt Right

February 6, 2020

Bob Murphy first explains a standard progressive viewpoint when it comes to dealing with issues like virus outbreaks, underage drinking, and prostitution. Yet, when it comes to dealing with people whose views they abhor, the progressives suddenly are “zero tolerance” and ignore the mechanisms they point to for the other issues. For more information, see …

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Lyn Ulbricht on the Absurd Trial and Sentencing in the Silk Road Case

February 3, 2020

Lyn Ulbricht is the mother of Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Silk Road website. Contrary to the government’s assertions, Lyn argues that her son was hardly a criminal kingpin menacing society. Even taking the laws on the book at face value, Ross’ trial was a sham, and the government’s behavior was shocking. For more …

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Why I Am Still an Austrian Economist: My Response to Caplan

January 31, 2020

In Bob Murphy’s interview of Bryan Caplan, they briefly discussed Bryan’s essay criticizing Austrian economics. At listener request, in this episode, Bob presents a more comprehensive analysis of why he remains an Austrian economist, even after seeing top-notch neoclassicals in action during his own time in grad school. For more information, see BobMurphyShow.com. The Bob …

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The Theory and Brief History of Money and Banking

January 29, 2020

[This article is part of the Understanding Money Mechanics series, by Robert P. Murphy. The series will be published as a book in late 2020.] The ultimate purpose of this booklet is to give the reader a solid grasp of how money works in today’s world. Yet before diving into the particulars of central banks, …

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The Theory and Brief History of Money and Banking

January 29, 2020

[This article is part of the Understanding Money Mechanics series, by Robert P. Murphy. The series will be published as a book in late 2020.] The ultimate purpose of this booklet is to give the reader a solid grasp of how money works in today’s world. Yet before diving into the particulars of central banks, …

Read More »