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Links for 2016-09-20 [del.icio.us]

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 0:18
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  • Paul Krugman on Gary Johnson, libertarianism, and pollution – Marginal REVOLUTION
    That is the opposite of the correct criticism.  The main problem with classical libertarianism is that it doesn’t allow enough pollution.  Under libertarian theory, pollution is a form of violent aggression that should be banned, as Murray Rothbard insisted numerous times.  OK, but what about actual practice, once all those special interest groups start having their say?  Historically, under the more limited government of the 19th century, it was big business that wanted to move away from unpredictable local and litigation-driven methods of control, and toward a more systematic regulatory approach at the national level.  There is a significant literature on this development, starting with Morton Horwitz’s The Transformation of American Common Law.
  • Value-Added and Social Desirability Bias, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
    The policy that dramatically passes the cost-benefit test is “deselection,” better known as firing bad teachers.
  • The Grumpy Economist: Regulations and Growth
    Economic growth in the United States has, on average, been slowed by 0.8 percent per year since 1980 owing to the cumulative effects of regulation: If regulation had been held constant at levels observed in 1980, the US economy would have been about 25 percent larger than it actually was as of 2012. This means that in 2012, the economy was $4 trillion smaller than it would have been in the absence of regulatory growth since 1980. This amounts to a loss of approximately $13,000 per capita,…
  • A Tax on Social Mobility – The American Interest
    Impact fees are just one of the ways that local government regulations have artificially raised the cost of housing in recent years. Such restrictions have benefitted the wealthy—suppressing new construction enhances the property value of people who already own real estate—while making it harder for young people and working families to start building home equity. They have also probably dulled the (sluggish) economic recovery by swallowing up a big chunk of wage growth that has taken place since the Great Recession.
  • The Welfare State and Taxes Are Bad, Mmkay, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
    1. I turned my recent “Libertarianism Against the Welfare State: A Refresher” into a talk for the Cato Institute’s spring interns.  Here are the slides. 
  • Biased Behavioral Econ, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
    Behavioral economists often use their findings to argue for government intervention.  Critics of behavioral economics often accuse its practitioners of a tacit double standard: Human irrationality is a poor argument for government action because officials are human.  Question: Can behavioral economists really neglect such a basic critique of their position?

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