Insiders vs. outsiders in economics

Outsiders have their own form of confidence. When they look at the Insider, they think that they see a naked emperor. They understand the Insiders’ methods well enough. But the Outsiders are convinced that these methods are narrow-minded and limiting. During the housing bubble, when he wanted to confirm his hypothesis that home buyers were expecting unsustainable rates of house price...

Do we need education for economic growth?

In 1960, countries with an education level of 8.3 years of schooling were 5.5 times richer than those with 2.8 year of schooling. By contrast, countries that had increased their education from 2.8 years of schooling in 1960 to 8.3 years of schooling in 2010 were only 167% richer. Moreover, much of this increase cannot possibly be attributed to education, as workers in 2010 had the advantage of...

Do we really need education for economic growth?

A heinous question, I know. We must not question the education-industrial complex! From Tyler Cowen’s blog: Advancement in China’s school system was highly competitive, and the odds of reaching the top of the educational ladder were very steep.  Of the 32.9 million children who entered primary school in 1965, only 9 percent could expect to enter junior high school.  Only 15 percent of...

ATMs did not displace bank tellers: a cautionary tale

Cautionary in the sense that people often think statically, instead of understanding the dynamics of human interaction: In a June 14, 2011, interview, President Obama used ATMs a an example of technology displacing labor. He said (I’ve added punctuation to the raw transcript): There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more...

About me


Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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