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Archive: The Dismal Science September 2012

How old is behavioural economics?

Paul Walker Feb 01, 2017

I came across an interesting paper the other day that suggests behavioural economics is older than most people think. The paper “The Relations of Recent Psychological Developments to Economic Theory” by Z. Clark Dickinson in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 33, No. 3: 377-421 dates from May 1919! The summary of the paper reads, The purely objective factors … Read More

Citizen Thiel and ‘seasteading’

Eric Crampton Jan 27, 2017

A new year brings a new New Zealand media and Twitter zeitgeist, thanks to the revelation that US tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel is a New Zealand citizen. Tired: Low-skilled immigrants from China and the Pacific are ruining our economy. They’re hurting New Zealand’s productivity stats, they’re making New Zealand a low-wage economy, and they’re stealing all the houses. We need … Read More

I smell burnt toast! Acrylamide and cancer

Eric Crampton Jan 25, 2017

One way to help shore up public support for Brexit when there’s been a bit of post-referendum second-thoughts: vigilant enforcement of the stupidest possible Eurocrat regulations. Remind Britons why they want to leave. And the Eurocrats have come up with a doozey. Chris Snowdon points to the coming EU campaign against baked potatoes. Pubs and restaurants could soon … Read More

An economist chooses his favourite books of 2016

Donal Curtin Dec 18, 2016

Surrounded by “isn’t it awful”, “the world is going to the dogs” types? Here are two antidotes: Nobel laureate Angus Deaton’s The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality and Johan Norberg’s Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future. Both document the immense progress made in the past three hundred years by large parts … Read More

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Brexit, Trump and all that

Michael Reddell Dec 14, 2016

Last week, The Treasury hosted a guest lecture featuring two visiting academics under the heading Brexit, Trump & Economics: Where did we go wrong.  One of the visitors –  Samuel Bowles, now a professor at the Santa Fe Insitute -had been around long enough that in his youth he had served as an economic adviser in Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign,  … Read More

Great walks, water meters and NZ Super – Solvable problems

Eric Crampton Dec 13, 2016

The world has plenty of hard unsolveable problems. It’s irritating when easy to solve problems fail to be solved, although they too may point to a broader difficult problem. Great walks Swing bridge on the Great Walk Lake Waikaremoana, New Zealand. Wikimedia / Michal Klajban. Item the first: New Zealand’s great walks are, well, great, and very popular with … Read More

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