Book Club: Sampling Pseudoerasmus’ “Top 25 Economic History books since 2000”

Some months ago, Pseudoerasmus posted The 25 most stimulating economic history books since 2000 – not a “best” list, exactly, but a list premised on “best” = “makes you think”.  My original, absurd hope was to review several of the books in depth.  I’m settling instead for possibly-useful capsule descriptions of volumes that led, in … Continue reading Book Club: Sampling Pseudoerasmus’ “Top 25 Economic History books since 2000”

Sanforized* Economics: A Look at Shrink Theory

A week or so ago, Alvaro La Parra-Perez tweeted a link to a Rafael del Pino master conference presentation (think of this as being asked to address bigwigs by Brookings Institute or American Enterprise Institute) by John Joseph Wallis of the University of Maryland.  Wallis, an economic historian, entitled his presentation “The Nature of Long-Term … Continue reading Sanforized* Economics: A Look at Shrink Theory

William Baumol (1922-2017)

"A distressing phenomenon is occurring throughout the industrialized world.  Many community services have been deteriorating - fewer postal deliveries, larger classes in public schools, less reliable garbage pickups - even though the public is paying more for them." --Baumol and Blinder, Macroeconomics: Principles and Policy, 5th Ed., 1991 I so hated economics in college that … Continue reading William Baumol (1922-2017)

The Tomato was right on Innovation! Is that a Good Thing?

Some months ago, in a semiserious post, I offered a “Second Law of Strategy” in the form of a dictum that “all profits come from routine innovation.”  This second “law”, like the first, was aimed more at consultspeak than economic theory.  Inspired by some airplane reading, I lumped Gary Pisano’s quadrant-diagram varieties of innovation into … Continue reading The Tomato was right on Innovation! Is that a Good Thing?

Getting It Right But Still Not Getting It On Trade

Large among the benefits of my Foreign Affairs subscription are the “Subscriber Exclusives” – downloadable virtual issues that show FA has been attending for years to today’s hot button topics.  A “Who Benefits from Trade?” compendium was made available last September.  From oldest to newest the contributions range from G.B. Roorbach’s “Foreign Trade or Isolation”, … Continue reading Getting It Right But Still Not Getting It On Trade

Playing Smallball on Diversity: Dietrich Vollrath on Fractionalization

Dietrich Vollrath, in a Sgt. Joe Friday throwback, has put up something unusual for the day: a quiet, just-the-research-ma’am post exploring the theorized impact of diversity on economic performance.  He provides examples of major studies, summarizes the findings, and points out some ways in which those findings, because of research design, might be suspect.  In … Continue reading Playing Smallball on Diversity: Dietrich Vollrath on Fractionalization