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An Economist Looks at Europe

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina

In November last I was in Argentina, the country of Evita Peron, for a Liberty Fund colloquium on whether commercial banks should back deposits with 100 percent ready money to avoid runs when confidence falters. What I have come to think about fractional reserve banking I will leave for a later column. Today, my topic .. MORE

Thinking Straight

Paved With Good Intentions Part I. The Curse of Job Protection

Good intentions may not all lead to hell, but some lead to less final outcomes than hell, though sorry ones all the same. One way of telling one kind of justice from another or more precisely to find the decisive points on which one system of rules opposes another, is to look at the highly .. MORE

Featured Article

Planning Order, Causing Chaos: Transantiago

“Transantiago was predictably a choice of planned chaos, rather than orderly market, from the outset.” I sat in the office of the Decano, or Dean, of the School of Government. Out the window, the sun sank into the Andes in a Dr. Seuss palette of pastels. I must have been distracted. Because I thought I .. MORE

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Economic Growth

Is Art as Progressive as Science?

By Scott Sumner

Literature, Reading, and Writing

Let the Poems Out of the House

By Nancy Vander Veer

History of Economic Thought

Henderson on South Royalton Austrian Conference

By David Henderson

Artificial Intelligence

Gemini, We Have a Bias

By Kevin Lavery

Economic and Political Philosophy

Reciprocity, Symmetry Breakers, and Semantic Stopsigns

By Kevin Corcoran


Bernanke on Forward Guidance

By Scott Sumner

Political Economy

D-Day and the Naïve Conception of Democracy

By Pierre Lemieux


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Dwayne Betts on Beauty, Prison, and Redaction

Dwayne Betts was a 16-year-old in solitary confinement when a fellow inmate slid a book of poetry under his cell door. What happened next is an astounding story of transformation: from desperation to the discovery of beauty, even behind bars. Listen as the lawyer, prison reform advocate, and award-winning poet explains to EconTalk host Russ Roberts .. MORE


Nicholas Vincent on the Magna Carta

Did an 800-year old piece of parchment really change the world? Nicholas Vincent of the University of East Anglia talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Magna Carta, the founding document of English law and liberty. The Magna Carta was repudiated just ten weeks after King John issued it. Yet, its impact is still .. MORE


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Political Economy

D-Day and the Naïve Conception of Democracy

The speech that President Biden gave at Pointe du Hoc (Normandie, France) in celebration of D-Day echoed a naïve and widespread conception of democracy. The general theory goes like this: Democracy is a system where the voter is in power. He is well-informed and votes to express his interest in the public goods that the .. MORE

Economic Growth

Is Art as Progressive as Science?

A few years ago, I answered the question in this post’s title in the negative: It seems to me that human progress is very uneven: Technology: Very rapid progressScience: Rapid Progress Public morals: Slow progressSports: Slow progress Human personalities: No progressArt: No progress Now, I wonder if this judgment was too hasty.  Perhaps I was .. MORE


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Can Capitalism Survive?

By Benjamin A. Rogge

One of the signs of advancing age in the American college professor is a tendency for him to write less and publish more. This seeming paradox is easily explained by the phenomenon of Collected Works, that is, by what on television would be described as reruns. As in television, no great public outcry is needed .. MORE

Some Aspects of the Tariff Question

By Frank William Taussig

The main purpose of the present volume is to consider and illustrate some questions of principle in the controversy on free trade and protection. The three chapters which constitute Part I state these questions and summarize the main conclusions. The succeeding Parts give illustrations and verifications drawn from the history of several industries,—sugar, iron and .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Speculations on Origins and Endings: An Essay on The Essential UCLA School of Economics

By Michael L. Davis

An Essay and Book Review of The Essential UCLA School of Economics, by David R. Henderson and Steven Globerman.1 When you think about dinosaurs—which you should; dinosaurs are awesome—you always end up with the same two questions: where did they come from and where did they go? Yes, all life evolves through a process that .. MORE

Interpreting Modern Monetary Theory

By Jeffrey Rogers Hummel

Introduction Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a non-mainstream economic doctrine, has recently emerged from popular and academic obscurity to become a hot topic. Enthusiastically embraced by assorted progressive politicians, MMT allegedly demonstrates that such expansive government programs as the Green New Deal will not impose significant financial burdens on government. Economists critical of the theory range .. MORE



A Conversation with Milton Friedman

Recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Milton Friedman (1912-2006) has long been recognized as one of our most important economic thinkers and a leader of the Chicago school of economics. He is the author of many books and articles in economics, including A Theory of the Consumption Function and A Monetary History .. 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

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Conversations with some of the most original thinkers of our time

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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

Government Policy, Schools of Economic Thought

Keynesian Economics

Keynesian economics is a theory of total spending in the economy (called aggregate demand) and its effects on output and inflation. Although the term has been used (and abused) to describe many things over the years, six principal tenets seem central to Keynesianism. The first three describe how the economy works. 1. A Keynesian believes .. MORE

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

Health Insurance

The Birth of the “Blues” In the 1930s and 1940s, a competitive market for health insurance developed in many places in the United States. Typically, premiums tended to reflect risks, and insurers aggressively monitored claims to keep costs down and prevent abuses. Following World War II, however, the market changed radically. Hospitals had created Blue .. MORE

Economies Outside the United States, Government Policy, International Economics, Macroeconomics

International Capital Flows

International capital flows are the financial side of international trade.1 When someone imports a good or service, the buyer (the importer) gives the seller (the exporter) a monetary payment, just as in domestic transactions. If total exports were equal to total imports, these monetary transactions would balance at net zero: people in the country would .. MORE


Private enterprise has produced the wealth of the world; yet it has suffered more calumny and obloquy than any other system. Its alternative, state economy, has retarded the production of wealth; yet it has been lauded and deified. “Corrigible Capitalism, Incorrigible Socialism”

-Arthur Seldon

“All constitutions of government, however, are valued only in proportion as they tend to promote the happiness of those who live under them.”

-Adam Smith Full Quote >>

The direction of all economic affairs is in the market society a task of the entrepreneurs. Theirs is the control of production. They are at the helm and steer the ship.    

-Ludwig von Mises Full Quote >>