Steven Pinker, the Harvard professor, recently published Enlightenment Now. The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. It is a fine book that basically sets out to do what its subtitle promises. It does so covering a wide range of ideas and topics, and discusses and rejects most arguments often used against Enlightenment thought, which … Continue reading Pinker wrote a nice rejoinder
The applied theory of bossing people around Deirdre McCloskey, Reason How to survive being swallowed Ed Yong, the Atlantic Soviet architecture, then & now Noah Sneider, 1843 The Atlantic Ocean before Columbus David Abulafia, History Today
As we are now solidly into 2018, I thought that it would be a good idea to underline the best articles in economic history that I read in 2017. Obviously, the “best” is subjective to my preferences. Nevertheless, it is a worthy exercise in order to expose some important pieces of research to a wider … Continue reading The best economic history papers of 2017
I recently engaged in a discussion (a twittercussion) with Leah Boustan of Princeton over the “popularity” of economic history within economics (depicted below). As one can see from the purple section, it is as popular as those hard candies that grandparents give out on Halloween (to be fair, I like those candies just like I … Continue reading On the popularity of economic history
Last week, Stockholm hosted a special meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) on the populist threats to the free society. MPS meetings are held under Chatham House rules, which means I cannot report in any detail about the proceedings. Yet a few impressions can be shared. I have been a MPS member since 2010, … Continue reading A feast of classical liberal thought: Mont Pelerin Society in Stockholm
I admit to being a happy man. While I am in general a smiling sort of fellow, I was delightfully giggling with joy upon hearing that another economic historian (and a fellow Canadian from the LSE to boot), Dave Donaldson, won the John Bates Clark medal. I dare say that it was about time. Nonetheless … Continue reading On doing economic history
I am a big fan of exploring economic ideas into greater depth rather than remaining on the surface of knowledge that I accumulated through my studies. As such, I am always happy when I see people trying to promote “alternatives” within the field of economics (e.g. neuroeconomics, behavioral economics, economic history, evolutionary economics, feminist economics … Continue reading On Evonomics, Spelling and Basic Economic Concepts
A few days ago, Madsen Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute announced the publication of the Neoliberal Mind. Basically, Pirie accepts the grab-everything-we-don’t-like tag that many would-be thinkers have tried for decades to stick upon what we can refer to as the “liberal right” (I prefer the French expression of droite libérale). All he does is take the … Continue reading Dear Mr. Pirie, refrain from using the “neoliberal” label
On Branko Milanovic’s recommendation, I read Aldo Schiavone’s The End of the Past. Scholarly and elegantly written, it provides one of the best imaginative reconstructions of the ancient Roman economy. Previous posts have touched on the economies of late antiquity, the modernist primitivist debate, and diagnosed problems in many recent assessments of the ancient economy … Continue reading The End of the Past
Yesterday, I published part 1 of what I deemed were the best papers and books in the field of economic history of the last few decades. I posted only the first five and I am now posting the next five. Carlos, Ann M., and Frank D. Lewis. Commerce by a frozen sea: Native Americans and … Continue reading Ten best papers/books in economic history of the last decades (part 2)
The first attempt to answer this question should say: “none.” Notwithstanding that this is the correct approach, we can’t help but feel uneasy about it. Libertarians have had to deal with this uncomfortable truth for so long. In respect to my own personal experience, I remember where I was when I read, for the first … Continue reading What sort of “Meritocracy” would a libertarian endorse, if he had to?
Whilst ambling around San Carlos recently, I came upon the power pole shown here. Ugly, isn’t it? Or maybe not. In fact, my reaction was one of gratitude, prompted in part by the “Gratitude” chapter in Joel Wade’s excellent book, Mastering Happiness (available at drjoelwade.com). I had listened to the chapter the previous evening. What … Continue reading Gratitude to a Power Pole
Não??? Então você não deve estar morando no Brasil. Ok, você mora, mas não sabe do que se trata. Um livro que divulgou este conceito no Brasil é o do Lazzarini. Mas você pode aprender também sobre isto neste video. Este blogueiro (junto com o Leo Monasterio) já falava de rent-seeking no Brasil desde o final do século … Continue reading Cronismo…você sabe o que é isto?
I recently figured out how to download academic journal articles from a number of databases. I’m NOT interested in selling them, copying them, or making them available to the general public, but I would like any recommendations you’d have on reading over Spring Break. Right now I’ve got a bunch of stuff by Frank Knight … Continue reading Seeking Recommendations
For those of you who don’t know, co-editor Fred Foldvary is an editor for the Journal, and Warren Gibson is the math reader. From the website: James Tooley on Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo’s Poor Economics: Banerjee and Duflo propose to bypass the “big questions” of economic development and focus instead on “small steps” to improvement. … Continue reading New Issue of Econ Journal Watch is Out