Sunday , June 20 2021
Home / EconLog Library (page 31)

EconLog Library

Ezra Klein on California Housing Restrictions

In much of San Francisco, you can’t walk 20 feet without seeing a multicolored sign declaring that Black lives matter, kindness is everything and no human being is illegal. Those signs sit in yards zoned for single families, in communities that organize against efforts to add the new homes that would bring those values closer to reality. Poorer families — disproportionately nonwhite and immigrant — are pushed into long commutes, overcrowded housing and homelessness....

Read More »

White Guilt and Reparations: A True Story

Co-blogger Bryan Caplan’s post this morning on collective guilt and the subsequent discussion in the comment section reminded me of something that happened my first day of a microeconomics class in 2001. At the end of the opening class, a number of people came up to ask questions. One was a young black woman who said, “Professor, what do you think of reparations for slavery?” I answered, “I promise I’ll answer but first I want to know what you think.” She said, “I...

Read More »

Hume, hockey sticks, and The Great Forgetting

In the 21st century, macroeconomics is entering a new Dark Ages. We seem to be forgetting much of what we learned in the last half of the 20th century. That judgment may be harsh, but if I’m wrong then you should no longer read anything I write (including the book I have coming out this year), because in that case I wouldn’t actually know anything useful about macroeconomics. Perhaps the most firmly established proposition in late 20th century macroeconomics is that...

Read More »

Collective Guilt for Everyone for Everything

Here’s an excerpt from my book-in-progress, Poverty: Who To Blame. After “Don’t blame the victim,” the second-most obvious maxim for blame is, “Only blame the perpetrators.”  Precisely who, though, are the “perpetrators”?  Another deep criticism of my approach is that I blame too narrowly.  Instead of concentrating blame on specific wrong-doers, we should blame large swaths of society – or even whole countries.  To my ears, this echoes a blood-curdling passage from...

Read More »

The Magness Horpedahl Convergence on Lockdowns

Yesterday I watched a debate between Phil Magness and Jeremy Horpedahl on lockdowns and liberty. Phil is a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research and Jeremy is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas. The debate was sponsored by the University of San Diego’s Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy and the Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics. The moderator was Dov Fox, Professor of Law...

Read More »

Vaccine Adventures

Following up on information that Covid-19 vaccines were available there, I walked into the small Maine pharmacy. I saw nobody inside, not even at the cash register. I continued to the back of the store: nobody manned the two counters of the pharmacist’s hideout. I stood in front of one. After just a few minutes, an employee appeared on the other side. “Could I see the pharmacist?” I asked. The pharmacist came. “I have been told that you have Covid vaccines,” I said....

Read More »

The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism Book Club Commentary, Part 4

We’ve now moved on to “War Is Peace.”  Here are my thoughts on your latest comments. LEB: I know you were speaking to the specific Huxley quote, but on the whole I wouldn’t dismiss “Brave New World” so quickly.  Americans have willingly ceded a great deal of their freedom to the government in recent decades… I agree that Americans ceded a great deal of freedom to the government over the last century.  I don’t see that there’s been a net loss of freedom in American...

Read More »

Prof. Bryan Caplan – Poverty: Who Is To Blame

The Oxford Economics society is delighted to host Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics at at George Mason University, research fellow at the Mercatus Center, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and former contributor to the Freakonomics blog. Professor Caplan will be discussing which entities and which people can be held accountable for the continued existence of widespread poverty in the Third World, and the implications of this for attempting to tackle such poverty.

Read More »

What is Equity?

In a comment on one of my recent posts, co-blogger Scott Sumner quotes my statement: But implicit in his discussion is the idea that equity is synonymous with income equality or, at least, reduced income inequality. That’s not my view. My view is that people are treated equitably when other people don’t take their stuff. Scott then writes: That’s fine as a definition, but in that case I’d just use a different term.  Even if I accepted your definition of “equity”, it...

Read More »

What is this “monetary policy” that you refer to?

Tyler Cowen recently linked to a study by Alina Bartscher, Moritz Kuhn, Moritz Schularick, and Paul Wachtel of the effects of “monetary policy” on racial inequality. The study focuses specifically on the effect of unanticipated monetary shocks on racial inequality: For the empirical analysis, this paper relies on the most widely used monetary policy shock series – the (extended) Romer-Romer shocks (Coibion et al., 2017) as well as different financial market surprise...

Read More »