Thursday, February 23, 2012

Assault of Thoughts - 2/23/2012

"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK

- A large portion of what bugs me about Austrian economics (and other heterodoxies) is not Austrian economics per se, but the bad arguments that they heap on mainstream economics. This constitutes a large share of what heterodoxies do on a day to day basis, of course. A case in point is the whole criticism of search theory, and talking about "surprise", etc. One of the best take-downs of the Austrian critique here is Bryan Caplan in his debate with Peter Boettke. It's on Youtube and it's a masterful performance - I encourage you all to watch it. Anyway, Boettke links to Dan Klein - who discusses Caplan's position on "surprise". I do like how Klein phrases it better than how Caplan phrases it. But that's not surprising, since Klein's whole post is based on dissecting the phrasing. I think Caplan's point still stands, though, that neoclassical economics is entirely capable of talking about this at least as well as any Austrian alternative. I have comments in Boettke's post to that effect. (and... since this is once again on Coordination Problem... perhaps I should say "if I don't say something, don't assume I think it").

- David Ribar informs us that these contraception requirements - ones that are stricter than the Obama administration's in many cases - are already common at the state level.

- The Romers have a new paper on tax policy in the interwar period - Harding's tax reductions are included in the analysis.

1 comment:

  1. There is a lot that I think Caplan misses, even if in certain ways I agree with him. Caplan, in his formal work (in a debate in QJAE, I believe), he takes the standpoint of Bayesian reasoning and pretends that it is "the" neoclassical perspective. I think it's rather obvious that neoclassicals are nearly always in the frequentist camp, which is who Kirzner is really attacking.


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