Posts Tagged ‘ economics ’

Seeing with reason

January 14, 2015
posted by

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Donald J Boudreaux  

"A frequent complaint about economics is that the failure of most economists to predict the 2008 financial crisis means that economics isn't really scientific. It's true that most economists didn't predict the crisis, but the ability to make such specific predictions is not the hallmark of science." (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ntac4wo  

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Piketty makes up “facts” and I’m the bad guy

January 14, 2015
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Free Advice
by Robert P Murphy  

"Both ideological friends and foes have been chiding me for (in my paper co-authored with Phil Magness) focusing on trivial details, like Piketty getting the dates wrong for tax hikes and minimum wage increases. Big deal, Murphy! Focus on the inequality data. But Phil and I couldn't ignore the boneheaded mistakes. Chris Giles of the FT did exactly what my critics are suggesting, and he was in the news for a week. Then Piketty responded (quite inadequately), Piketty’s fans said, 'Heh what tools, leave the data to the grownups, kids,' and now progressive bloggers smirk at you if you bring up Giles. And that is understandable. Giles was a writer for a newspaper, whereas Piketty is an expert in this literature -- a guy whom Larry Summers said should get a Nobel for the empirical work. Without taking 2 months to read up on the literature yourself, how could you possibly weigh in on this matter? So that's why it's so important for Phil and me to show you just how unbelievably sloppy Piketty was when it came to things that a high school student should get right in a term paper, and then to see him dismiss them as 'typos.'" (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mhguocd  

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How reducing GDP increases economic growth

January 13, 2015
posted by

Joseph T. Salerno Mises Canada
by Joseph Salerno  

"Now it is certainly true that a reduction in real government spending causes a reduction in real GDP, as it is officially calculated. But contrary to Mr. Klein, the reduction in government spending does not retard the growth of production of goods that satisfy consumer demands and, in fact, most likely accelerates it. In addition, real incomes and living standards of producers/consumers in the private sector rise as a direct result of the decline in government spending. The reason for this seeming paradox lies in the conventional method used to calculate real output in the economy. Let me explain with a simple example." (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfzesej  

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Free Thoughts Podcast, 01/12/15

January 12, 2015
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by  

"Peter Van Doren returns to Free Thoughts for a discussion on public choice economics and how it affects political decision making." [Flash audio or MP3] (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mnx8owp  

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Why economists get it wrong

January 12, 2015
posted by

The Canal The Canal
by Adrian Ravier  

"The media, and public debate, are currently home to many complaints that economists are failing to make accurate macroeconomic predictions. The critique goes beyond doubts about the art of prediction, often also attacking the scientific character of economics. For economics is a science, and perhaps one of the most complex there is." (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oajqzx5  

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Uber and basic economics

January 11, 2015
posted by

Mises Canada
by James E Miller  

"Last year, the car-sharing service Uber had the privilege of being a prime target of the capitalist-loathing left. Not only did the company challenge traditional barriers to entry established by government-friendly cartels, but it earned the distrust of the mainstream press. Much of this antagonism was driven by an off-the-cuff, undignified remark made by senior executive Emil Michael at a dinner in which he suggested the company dig up unseemly personal details about reporters. Michael later apologized for the remarks, and admitted he didn’t know the conversation would be on the record. The comments, scandalous and improper as they are, were not without sympathy. The press shamelessly made sure that Uber had a rough 2014." (01/08/15)

http://mises.ca/posts/blog/uber-and-basic-economics/  

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The economics of tax dodging

January 7, 2015
posted by

EconLog EconLog
by Pierre Lemieux  

"Dodging taxes can take two forms: 'tax avoidance,' which is legal, as it uses loopholes included (often intentionally) in tax laws; and 'tax evasion,' which is illegal. The multifaceted campaign against tax dodging targets both individuals and corporations. Ultimately, of course, only individuals pay taxes. Is dodging taxes bad? And what explains the recent government outcry? To answer these questions, we need to inquire into the consequences of tax dodging. These consequences, in turn, depend on how government works." (01/05/15)

http://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2015/Lemieuxtaxdodging.html  

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An exceptional economist

January 5, 2015
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Mark Skousen  

"When I first saw the list of 'Seven Bad Ideas' by Jeff Madrick, I thought of the biblical refrain, 'Woe unto them who call evil good and good evil' (Isaiah 5:20). How can he consider the Invisible Hand, Say's law, limited government, low inflation, efficient markets, free trade, and economics as an objective science to be 'bad ideas?' Then I read the book, and came to the conclusion that Jeff Madrick is an exceptional economist. By that I mean that Madrick considers all the above ideas to be good except when they are misused by economists and government officials who engage in 'dirty economics.'" (01/04/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1353  

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Markets describe reality; models should explain market reactions

December 22, 2014
posted by

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner  

"Paul Krugman has a new post that explains why he is pessimistic about monetary stimulus at the zero bound. He briefly describes his 1998 paper on the zero bound problem. This paper shows that if base money and bonds are perfect substitutes at the zero bound, and if monetary stimulus is expected to be temporary (i.e. not to affect future money supplies) then conventional open market purchases are ineffective at the zero bound. From a technical perspective, there is nothing wrong with Krugman's model. The real problem is the way he uses the model." (12/20/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/12/markets_describ.html  

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Epic fail: 100 years of the Fed

December 17, 2014
posted by

Jeffrey Tucker Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker  

"The most surprising monetary innovation of our time is bitcoin, a privately produced digital currency and payment system. It is a global system that provides a dramatic alternative to central banking and monetary nationalism as we know it. As with other innovations, such as email and texting, it could challenge the dominance of government policies. What will we lose if the private system replaces the government-managed one? A look at the history of central banking -- and the theories behind the history -- shows that we only stand to lose a system that has proven unworkable and dangerous in every way." (12/17/14)

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/epic-fail-100-years-of-the-fed  

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The ECB: Is it a hopeless case?

December 17, 2014
posted by

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner  

"Remember the joke about the motorist who gets lost, and then asks for directions to Podunk? The farmer replies, 'If I was headed to Podunk, I wouldn't start from here.' Yes, and if I was targeting inflation at 1.9%, I would not start from a position of negative 5-year inflation expectations in the eurozone's most prosperous country. But first let's review how they got so far off course." (12/16/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/12/the_ecb_is_it_a.html  

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James Grant explains “The Forgotten Depression”

December 16, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Joseph Calandro Jr.  

"To better understand the current economic environment, financial analyst, historian, journalist, and value investor James Grant, who is informed by both Austrian economics and the value investing theory of the late Benjamin Graham, analyzes the Depression of 1920–1921 in his latest work, The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself." (12/15/14)

http://mises.org/library/james-grant-explains-forgotten-depression  

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Cryptocurrencies and a wider digression theorem

December 12, 2014
posted by

Peter St. Onge Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Peter St. Onge  

"The debate whether or not cryptocurrencies are 'money' has put a spotlight on the Menger-Mises Regression Theorem. As stated, the theorem posits that a non-fiat money must have had value before it became a money. Some have used currencies' lack of antecedent value as knocking it off the money pedestal or as forcing cryptocurrencies to ignominiously piggyback on fiat currencies' own regressions." (12/11/14)

http://mises.org/library/cryptocurrencies-and-wider-regression-theorem  

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Every citizen must know basic economics

December 12, 2014
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Free Advice
by Robert P. Murphy  

"Citizens can only understand the implications of various State policies if they first learn basic economics. Fortunately, this is very easy to do with all of the free online books, videos, and articles put out by such places as the Mises Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education, the Independent Institute, and the Fraser Institute, to name just four (for whom I do work, full disclosure)." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kxmbpcc  

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Does Europe have demand deficiency syndrome?

December 7, 2014
posted by

Frank Shostak Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Frank Shostak  

"There is no such thing as deficiency of demand that causes economic difficulties. The heart of economic growth is the process of real wealth generation. The stronger this process is the more real wealth can be generated and the stronger so-called economic growth becomes. What drives this process is infrastructure, or tools and machinery. With better infrastructure more and a better quality of goods and services, i.e., real wealth, can be generated." (12/05/14)

http://mises.org/library/does-europe-have-demand-deficiency-syndrome  

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Income inequality is a statistical artifact

December 2, 2014
posted by

Robert Higgs Independent Institute
by Robert Higgs  

"Income inequality has no necessary connection with poverty, the lack of material resources for a decent life, such as adequate food, shelter, and clothing. A society with great income inequality may have no poor people, and a society with no income inequality may have nothing but poor people. Coercively reducing income inequality by fiscal measures may do nothing to reduce the extent of real poverty and may indeed -- to tell the truth, almost certainly will -- create incentives that increase the extent of real poverty (and many other social ills). Probably no subject in the social sciences has created so much unnecessary heat. Yet, at the same time, economists actually know a great deal about it and can dispel the public’s confusion about it if they try." (12/01/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q4o7ufs  

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The false feminist economics methodenstreit: Competition versus cooperation

November 19, 2014
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Mikayla Novak  

"The neoclassical mainstream of conventional economic thought, often the centre of feminist economic criticism, is grounded in the model of a rational, autonomous, self‑interested agent that makes optimising choices subject to exogenously imposed constraints. This agent is commonly referred to as the 'rational economic man' or 'homo economicus.' The key criticism levelled by feminist economists is that homo economicus represents a privileged masculine view of the economic order, to the exclusion of what are claimed to be feminine characteristics, such as connectivity, altruism, and emotionality." (11/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kgmvny9  

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In memory of Gordon Tullock

November 10, 2014
posted by

Lawson Bader Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Lawson Bader  

"Gordon fully understood the most important lesson of economics: Incentives matter. He refused to accept that 'public servants' can behave differently because of their supposed detachment from the hustle and bustle and profit motives of private industry. He was fiercely critical of government attempts to solve problems compared with the actions of private actors and institutions. He thought it wishful thinking that government bureaucrats could implement policies that benefit the common good, as if they could always remain aloof from trivial parochial concerns. He’d agree with that Depeche Mode lyric -- people are people." (11/10/14)

https://cei.org/content/memory-gordon-tullock  

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Gordon Tullock and the transitional gains trap

November 10, 2014
posted by

Robert Higgs Independent Institute
by Robert Higgs  

"Gordon Tullock, who died on Monday at the age of 92, was along with his longtime colleague James Buchanan, the founder of the modern field of public choice, which during the past fifty years has become a well-established subfield of economics and of political science and has also had an influence on other disciplines. Tullock himself is most closely associated with the idea of rent seeking, which would have caused less confusion and been more precise if it had been called privilege seeking. One of his most important contributions, which he expounded in a 1975 article in the Bell Journal of Economics, pertained to what he called the transitional gains trap." (11/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/paywx5h  

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Why The Theory of Money and Credit is more important than ever

November 9, 2014
posted by

Richard M. Ebeling Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Richard M. Ebeling  

"Eighty years ago, in the autumn of 1934, Ludwig von Mises's The Theory of Money and Credit first appeared in English. It remains one of the most important books on money and inflation penned in the twentieth century, and even eight decades later, it still offers the clearest analysis and understanding of booms and busts, inflations, and depressions." (11/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pbxsn2y  

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On “economies of scale” and other magical incantations

November 5, 2014
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"There's a certain kind of economic technocrat who tosses around the term 'economies of scale' like a Young Earth creationist tosses around the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This is true of legacy liberalism, obviously, which is still defined by the mid-20th century mass-production paradigm of Joseph Schumpeter, John Kenneth Galbraith and Alfred Chandler. It's also true of most Austrian economists in the tradition of Mises, who see capital-intensiveness or 'round-aboutness,' as such, as the key to productivity." (11/04/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/33168  

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Nobel winner Jean Tirole’s faulty views on monopoly

October 29, 2014
posted by

Frank Shostak Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Frank Shostak  

"Frenchman Jean Tirole of the University of Toulouse won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for devising methods to improve regulation of industries dominated by a few large firms. According to Tirole, large firms undermine the efficient functioning of the market economy by being able to influence the prices and the quantity of products. Consequently, this undermines the well being of individuals in the economy. On this way of thinking the inefficiency emerges as a result of the deviation from the ideal state of the market as depicted by the 'perfect competition' framework." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/omsosj9  

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Why money doesn’t measure value

October 27, 2014
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Mises Canada
by Robert P. Murphy  

"Let me be clear: Gordon (and Mises) are right; money is not a 'measuring rod' of value. However, the reason Tamny and Miles are astounded by Gordon's position is that they think he is denying the (obvious) fact that people acquire money merely as a means to a further end. In the present post, let me try to clear up all of this confusion that the mischievous Gordon stirred up. As we'll see, it's precisely because people use money as a means to a further end, that it is NOT analogous to a ruler or clock or scale." (10/23/14)

http://mises.ca/posts/blog/why-money-doesnt-measure-value/  

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Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian theory of inflations and recessions

October 21, 2014
posted by

Richard M. Ebeling Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M. Ebeling  

"Mises insisted that the economic rollercoaster of the business cycle was not caused by any inherent weaknesses or contradictions within the free market capitalist system. Rather, inflationary booms followed by the bust of economic depression or recession had its origin in the control and mismanagement by governments of the monetary and banking system." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lggawz9  

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Four reasons the Bernanke-Yellen asset-price inflation may be nearing its end

October 20, 2014
posted by

Joseph T. Salerno Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Joseph T. Salerno  

"There are strong indications that the remarkable run up of asset prices in the last few years is beginning to run out of steam and may be on the verge of collapse. We will leave aside the question of whether the asset inflation is symptomatic of a garden-variety inflationary boom or is a more virulent bubble phenomenon in which prices are rising today simply because buyers anticipate that they will rise tomorrow." (10/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pc7t2zt  

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