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Hiring a Research Assistant or a Cowboy

“I need a research assistant at $5 an hour,” he said. “But they are hard to find. In fact, I can’t find one on the market.” This is not exactly the complaint that The Economist reports from Wisconsin dairy farmers, but it would have served equally well to illustrate a common economic confusion. The magazine writes (“Business Has Gone Sour in America’s Dairy Capital,” January 23, 2020): Farmers complain it is getting hard to find labor, even as wages rise. It is never...

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