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I, Pothole

I am a pothole—an ordinary road hazard and a bane to all who drive. Messing with you and your vehicles is my vocation; it’s what I do. My genealogy is compelling enough. I come from a common road-built with dirt, six to twelve inches of #2 gravel and #57 gravel with lime dust—which is compacted .. MORE


The Past, Present, and Future of Public Choice: Part I

James Buchanan Sixty years ago, the Public Choice Society was founded by Gordon Tullock and James Buchanan, nearly coincident with the publication of their jointly authored book, The Calculus of Consent.1 A decade ago on the 50th occasion I was tasked with discussing the “Past, Present, and Future of Virginia Political Economy.” That paper (co-authored .. MORE


Americans Are Still Thriving

Improving standards of living are something that we have mostly taken for granted in modern America. In fact, failing to produce sufficient increases in national income is one of the surest ways for a President to lose reelection (even if they have little control over it in the short run). But how much are living .. MORE

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Some questions for Bloomberg

By Scott Sumner

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Economics in Fiction, Catch-22 Edition

By Kevin Corcoran


I, Pothole

By D. Eric Schansberg


Americans Are Still Thriving

By Jeremy Horpedahl

Book Review

Glimpses of a New Order

By Arnold Kling

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Henderson on The Chile Project

By David Henderson

Business Economics

The Antitrust Circus of FTC v. Amazon

By Pierre Lemieux

Altruism and Charity

Elie Hassenfeld on GiveWell

Economic Growth

The Zero Sum Death Spiral

By Scott Sumner


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Ian Leslie on Curiosity

Why are some people incurious? Is curiosity a teachable thing? And why, if all knowledge can be googled, is curiosity now the domain of a small elite? Listen as Ian Leslie, author of Curious, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts why curiosity is a critical virtue, why it’s now in dangerous decline, and why, when it comes to .. MORE


Sherry Turkle on Family, Artificial Intelligence, and the Empathy Diaries

Psychologist and author Sherry Turkle of MIT talks about her book, The Empathy Diaries, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The Empathy Diaries is a memoir about Turkle’s secretive family and how that secrecy turned Turkle into an acute observer, skilled at revealing the story behind the story. She also chronicles the early days of artificial .. MORE


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Business Economics

Highlights of My Weekly Reading and Viewing

Timothy Taylor, “Some Economics of Pharmacy Benefit Managers,” The Conversable Economist, September 28, 2023. This is the nicest treatment of the facts that I’ve seen. I confess that I’ve seen PBMs as something of a black box rather than doing the standard middleman treatment that Tim does. Tim highlights the work of Matthew Fiedler, Loren .. MORE


What’s Wrong with Macro?

In my previous post, I looked at the development of modern macroeconomics. Several commenters responded by discussing what they thought was wrong with macro. Here I’ll put in my own two cents, and then explain how my views relate to those of my commenters. In my view, the biggest problem with modern macro is the .. MORE


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The Purchasing Power of Money

By Irving Fisher

THE purpose of this book is to set forth the principles determining the purchasing power of money and to apply those principles to the study of historical changes in that purchasing power, including in particular the recent change in “the cost of living,” which has aroused world-wide discussion.If the principles here advocated are correct, the .. MORE

Tyranny Unmasked

By John Taylor

Most political writers have concluded, that a republican government, over a very large territory, cannot exist; and as this opinion is sustained by alarming proofs, and weighty authorities, it is entitled to much respect, and serious consideration. All extensive territories in past times, and all in the present age, except those of the United States, .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Raj Chetty on Economic Mobility

Economist Raj Chetty of Harvard University talks about his work on economic mobility with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The focus is on Chetty’s recent co-authored study in Nature where he finds that poor people in America who are only connected to other poor people do dramatically worse financially than poor people who are connected to .. MORE

He Tells Us It’s the Institutions

By Arnold Kling

[I]nstitutions should be formative… they should act as links between the personal and the social. What we need, then, is a recommitment to such an understanding of institutions. Our challenge is less to calm the forces that are pelting our society than to reinforce the structures that hold us together. That calls for a spirit .. MORE



Capitalism, Government, and the Good Society

On April 10, 2013, Liberty Fund and Butler University sponsored a symposium, “Capitalism, Government, and the Good Society.” The evening began with solo presentations by the three participants–Michael Munger of Duke University, Robert Skidelsky of the University of Warwick, and Richard Epstein of New York University. (Travel complications forced the fourth invited participant, James Galbraith .. MORE


A Conversation with Ronald H. Coase

Nobel laureate Ronald H. Coase (1910-2013) was recorded in 2001 in an extended video now available to the public. Coase’s articles, “The Problem of Social Cost” and “The Nature of the Firm” are among the most important and most often cited works in the whole of economic literature. Coase recounts how he tried to encourage .. MORE

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College Economics Topics

Supplementary materials for popular college textbooks used in courses in the Principles of Economics, Microeconomics, Price Theory, and Macroeconomics are suggested by topic.

Economist Biographies

From the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Corporations and Financial Markets , Economic History

The 2008 Financial Crisis

It was, according to accounts filtering out of the White House, an extraordinary scene. Hank Paulson, the U.S. treasury secretary and a man with a personal fortune estimated at $700m (£380m), had got down on one knee before the most powerful woman in Congress, Nancy Pelosi, and begged her to save his plan to rescue .. MORE

Economic Regulation, Government Policy

Trucking Deregulation

Regulation The federal government has been regulating prices and competition in interstate transportation ever since Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to oversee the railroad industry in 1887. Truckers were brought under the control of the ICC in 1935 after persistent lobbying by state regulators, the ICC itself, and especially, the railroads, which had .. MORE

Economic Regulation, Government Policy, Labor, Taxes, The Economics of Special Markets, The Marketplace

Health Care

Is Health Care Different? Health care is different from other goods and services: the health care product is ill-defined, the outcome of care is uncertain, large segments of the industry are dominated by nonprofit providers, and payments are made by third parties such as the government and private insurers. Many of these factors are present .. MORE


No one has a right to thrust himself into the affairs of others in order to further their interest, and no one ought, when he has his own interests in view, to pretend that he is acting selflessly only in the interest of others.

-Ludwig von Mises

Among the works of man which human life is rightly employed in perfecting and beautifying, the first in importance surely is man himself.

-John Stuart Mill Full Quote >>

The concept of capitalism is as an economic concept immutable; if it means anything, it means the market economy. One deprives oneself of the semantic tools to deal adequately with the problems of contemporary history and economic policies if one acquiesces in a different terminology.    

-Ludwig von Mises Full Quote >>