Paul Krugman

In 2008, U.S. economist Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Krugman, one of the best-known economists in the world, is familiar to the public mainly through his regular column in the New York Times and for his New York Times blog titled “The Conscience of a Liberal.” Besides being an original th...

Read More

Labor Unions

  Although labor unions have been celebrated in folk songs and stories as fearless champions of the downtrodden working man, this is not how economists see them. Economists who study unions—including some who are avowedly prounion—analyze them as cartels that raise wages above competitive levels by restrictin...

Read More

Social Security

  Social Security, or, to be precise, Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI), is the U.S. government program that pays benefits to workers after retirement, to spouses and children of deceased workers, and to workers who become disabled before they retire. In 2003, the program had 47 million recipien...

Read More

Unintended Consequences

The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended. Economists and other social scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have larg...

Read More

Japan

  Following the end of the Allied occupation of Japan, real increases in GNP averaged 9.6 percent from 1952 to 1971. From 1972 to 1991, growth remained strong but less dramatic, averaging 4 percent per year. The rest of the 1990s and early 2000s have been a different story. From 1991 to 2003, real economic growth...

Read More

Comparative Advantage

  When asked by mathematician Stanislaw Ulam whether he could name an idea in economics that was both universally true and not obvious, economist Paul Samuelson’s example was the principle of comparative advantage. That principle was derived by David Ricardo in his 1817 book, Principles of Political Economy and...

Read More

Telecommunications

  Telecommunications matters economically for two reasons. First, it plays a role perhaps second only to brain power in the operation and rapidly expanding productivity of the modern “information-based” economy; indeed, it supplies a primary technical means for productively harnessing the information and know...

Read More

Ten Key Ideas: Opening the Door to the Economic Way of Thinking

By Russell Roberts Ten Key Ideas: Opening the Door to the Economic Way of Thinking Introduction Here are ten fundamental ideas to help you explore and understand the world around us using the economic way of thinking. I've written an essay on each idea and listed some reading and listening suggestions if you want ...

Read Guide
Search Econlib
MORE OPTIONS