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Josh Hendrickson on Economic Growth, National Defense, and US Monetary Policy

Josh Hendrickson is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Mississippi and Chair of the Economics Department. Josh joins David on Macro Musings to discuss US monetary policy and US defense policy. Specifically, Josh and David discuss the coordination of fiscal and monetary policy and what Milton Friedman would think of it today, the Fed’s responsibility for modern inflation trends, state capacity and how it impacts economic growth, the role of national defense in the context of...

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Tocquevillean Association and the Market

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville highlighted the facility that Americans have with the art of association as well as how important associational life is within American communities.  Tocqueville confessed to admiring "the infinite art with which the inhabitants of the United States succeeded in setting a common goal for the efforts of a great number of men, and in making them march freely toward it."  It is through associations that Americans, according to Tocqueville, undertook...

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Defending the Weak Will of the People

The "will of the people," as it is commonly understood, does not exist. There is simply too much difference between people--and too much danger in overlooking that difference--to justify a belief that the actions of a legislature could reflect such a will. However, the constitutional principles that underlie a society do reflect the governing intent of the people at large, at least to a limited extent. As such, these constitutional principles represent a weak form of the will of the people...

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American pandhandlers

Urban panhandling and its regulation are global phenomena. Panhandling regulation, like other regulation, is likely to be effective only if it is informed about that which it regulates. We investigate whether American panhandling regulation is informed by examining what information about American panhandlers is available to inform it. Information is available about panhandlers' demographics, housing, income, and psychological health. Information is not available about the determinants of...

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A normal market

Historical markets were often ones of symmetric but inaccurate information: buyers and sellers had similar information, but because knowledge was scant and unscientific, the information they had was false. These markets were “normal” in the same sense as classical markets of symmetric and accurate information. With hindsight, however, they are easily mistaken for markets of asymmetric information. I use novel data to study one such market: the market for patent medicine in Industrial...

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The Division of Labor and Knowledge is Limited by the Division of Ownership Over the Ultimate Resource

Julian Simon famously argued that economic growth is correlated with population growth. The basis for this correlation is what Simon refers to as the “ultimate resource,” namely the human mind and the collective stock of dispersed, tacit, and inarticulate knowledge among individuals. Though not incorrect, this simple rendition of his argument does not do full justice to the inspiration that Simon took from the mainline of economic thought. The purpose of this paper is to situate Julian...

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Regulatory capture and the dynamics of interventionism

To what extent are the outcomes of economic regulation intended and desired by its proponents? To address that question, we combine Stigler’s theory of regulatory capture with the Austrian theory of the dynamics of interventionism. We reframe Stigler’s theory of regulatory capture as an analytical starting point for a dynamic theory of interventionism, one accounting for the unintended consequences that emerge from regulation, even if the origins of such regulation were designed to benefit a...

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The Essential Women of Liberty

The thinkers discussed in this volume are a remarkably diverse group. They were born in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, and their work extends into the twenty-first. Some are economists primarily addressing other scholars, others popular writers aiming at the general public. Their educational backgrounds range from entirely informal schooling to PhDs from major universities. They include a former telegraph operator, a onetime Hollywood wardrobe department manager, and a...

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Julian Simon, the problem of socio-ecological resilience and the “ultimate resource”

The article argues that the debate between “the limits to growth” movement and Julian Simon could be reconstructed and reinterpreted in the light of three pairs of models that map three distinct levels of discussion: (i) a “model of man” and (ii) a model of institutional structure and design, both encompassed by (iii) a model of --what the contemporary literature calls-- the Social-Ecological System (SES). Ultimately the “the limits to growth” problem is not so much about resources and...

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