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Efficiency

To economists, efficiency is a relationship between ends and means. When we call a situation inefficient, we are claiming that we could achieve the desired ends with less means, or that the means employed could produce more of the ends desired. “Less” and “more” in this context necessarily refer to less and more value. Thus, economic efficiency is measured not by the relationship between the physical quantities of ends and means, but by the relationship between the value of the...
CEE By Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren
Energy
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Most of the energy consumed in America today is produced from the combustion of fossil fuels, primarily oil, coal, and natural gas. Energy can be generated, however, in any number of ways. Figure 1 indicates the sources of energy employed by the American economy as...

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  David Henderson

  I've been watching and enjoying the Agnes Callard interview of Bryan Caplan. I don't think I had watched a 2.5-hour interview in the last two years, but this was well worth it. I'll do more posting on it, but I want to highlight one thing that caught my attention and made me think of my own contributions t...

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[ANNUAL LISTENER SURVEY: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CQX28T6. Vote for your 2021 favorites!] Love it or hate it, but you've definitely heard it: the so-called "smooth jazz" of saxophonist Kenny G. Filmmaker Penny Lane talks about her documentary, Listening to Kenny G, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. They discuss th...

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Have you been enjoying your red wine and dark chocolate every evening, amassing their health benefits along the way? Or have you been slowly subtracting days from your life via the same practice? It's hard to know what to make of the torrent of health and nutrition advice that comes our way, and that's the subject of ...

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  Scott Sumner

At today's press conference, a reporter asked Fed chair Powell this question: Do you want to go below 2%, so that on average you get a 2% inflation rate? Powell responded: So no, there's nothing in our framework about having inflation run below 2%.  That we would do that.  That we would try to achieve that outcome...

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A five-part short video series on the life and contemporary relevance of Adam Smith. This video series, produced by AdamSmithWorks, can be watch as a full 38-minute feature, or in five thematic, classroom-friendly chunks. To access all, click here.   Below are some discussion prompts related to this v...

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Introduction The Reading Lists by Topic pages contain some suggested readings organized by topic, including materials available on Econlib. Brief reviews or descriptions are included for many items. Many of these materials are advanced and are most suitable for post-college students. Topics Microeconomics Pri...

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By:

  David Henderson

I'll soon be discussion leader of a Liberty Fund symposium on Liberty and Power. One of the readings is the correspondence between the famous Lord Acton and the less-famous Bishop Mandell Creighton. It's the first time I've read Creighton's side of things and I'm impressed by his willingness to admit error. Acton ta...

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After World War II the German economy lay in shambles. The war, along with Hitler’s scorched-earth policy, had destroyed 20 percent of all housing. Food production per capita in 1947 was only 51 percent of its level in 1938, and the official food ration set by the occupying powers varied between 1,040 and 1,550 calor...

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"It seems to me that in small countries and in emerging markets, the trend is toward economic liberalization. The United States, unfortunately, is not part of this trend." Moises Naim has recently attempted a grand synthesis to document and explain a trend toward decentralization. His new book is called The End ...

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  Bryan Caplan

Most vegans still drive.  Should they?  Driving almost inevitably leads to roadkill on a massive scale.  A painful way to go.  Via Vox: No one really knows how often animals are killed by cars in the US. But one thing's clear: it happens a lot. There are about 253,000 reported animal-vehicle accidents per yea...

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  The 2005 Nobel Prize in economic sciences was awarded to Thomas C. Schelling and Robert J. Aumann, ”for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis.” Schelling was a pioneer in behavioral economics, accomplishing significant and influential work in the ...

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Some twenty years ago, I was driving in Belgium and stopped at a petrol station. You must know that I am inordinately proud of my French, so that, though I was in Flanders, a Dutch speaking region, I asked in French for my car to be refilled. Blank stare! I then told the uniformed employee that I was Spanish and did no...

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Last year's most popular guest, Duke University's Mike Munger, was back on EconTalk, discussing the process of choosing in groups. Their conversation ranged from Odysseus to the Lewis and Clark expedition, and more. 1. Munger and Roberts, in discussing the Lewis and Clark expedition, suggest there is something "f...

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The listening guides listed here are supplements to accompany podcasts on EconTalk. Each guide consists of seven to ten discussion questions encouraging the listener to think broadly about what the podcast is about and to focus more closely on the key economic ideas discussed by the participants. The guides are ap...

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