Our Library of Economics and Liberty has a lot of interesting new stuff this week.

1. On Econtalk, Eric Hanushek argues that:

–human capital is measured more accurately by performance on standardized tests than by years of schooling

–better teachers and better schools make a difference (in other words, Steve, it’s not all genetics)

–incentives and accountability can lead to better school performance

2. Geoffrey Lea focuses on the fact that behavioral norms that work for impersonal market transactions can be counterproductive within a family, and vice-versa. Very Inner Economist-ish, although Lea cites Hayek rather than Cowen.

3. Anthony de Jasay argues that when social norms encourage good behavior, the state will likely be smaller and less destructive of property rights. Again, very Cowenian, although de Jasay avoids the jargon of “network and peer effects.”

4. Ibsen Martinez laments the failure of William Easterly to catch on in Latin America, where there instead is too much faith in state planning. Maybe the explanation can be found in de Jasay: Latin America inherited the beliefs of Southern Europe rather than Northern Europe.