Markets, and its alternatives

Naturally enough, economists praise the workings of free, private, competitive markets. This blog entry looks at some alternatives to markets. . . . → Read More: Markets, and its alternatives

Size and the city

Cities of the world unite! . . . → Read More: Size and the city

Ronald Coase

Ronald Coase died in September 2013 at the age of 102. More famous than he was perhaps comfortable with, he made great contributions to rectify shortcomings in the cartoon economics of ordinary economics textbooks. This column elaborates on one example. . . . → Read More: Ronald Coase

Summer travels, short-term travails, and long-term prospects

The U.S. is too deeply mired in its problems to expect quick economic relief. Europe’s economies are withering away. The growth spurt in southeast Asia is sliding. Africa, Latin America, and Oceania are too small to boost the world economy. It’s all a bit bleak. Yet there is hope. . . . → Read More: Summer travels, short-term travails, and long-term prospects

Health Care USA

Sometimes even I am guilty of thoughtlessly repeating some number and its alleged implication. For example, it is said (and I have repeated) that health care spending in the United States consumes about one-sixth of U.S. gross domestic product: One in every six dollars earned is spent on health care. Somehow, this is taken to be bad. But why? What does this number mean? And where does it come from? . . . → Read More: Health Care USA

“One in Ten” – Veterans Day on 11/11/11

11/11/11, or Nov. 11, 2011, is Veterans’ Day in the United States. Here are some figures. . . . → Read More: “One in Ten” – Veterans Day on 11/11/11

Courtship, Love, and Marriage

Google “economics of marriage” and a large number of entirely relevant hits come up. Noneconomists find it puzzling that economists talk of courtship, love, and marriage in terms of markets and prices and option values but economics is as good an entry point as any other to discuss humankind’s most important social institution. . . . → Read More: Courtship, Love, and Marriage

Positive Failure

Henry Ford, the founder of the automobile company that (still) bears his name, appears to have understood the anthill principle of exploration: To have one good idea, you must have not one idea, but one hundred ideas. . . . → Read More: Positive Failure

Toward a More Latinized United States of America

The U.S. Census 2010 will prove it. Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States. The economic, political, and cultural power of this population segment is growing. Business and politics had better adjust. But, on average, Hispanics are poorly educated and this carries huge implications for economic growth, tax revenue, and the viability of the Social Security and Medicare programs. . . . → Read More: Toward a More Latinized United States of America

Our Daily Bread

A lecture tour to India and Australia gives rise to ruminations about food. . . . → Read More: Our Daily Bread

Biological and Economic Limits to Growth

Biologists frequently remind economists that there are limits to growth. This is both true and false. . . . → Read More: Biological and Economic Limits to Growth


How do new inventions spread across time and space? One view is that they spread like epidemics. … Read on! . . . → Read More: Technology