World energy markets

Russia is swooning. So are Nigeria and Venezuela. I am not referring to their questionable polities, but to the decline in world energy prices. . . . → Read More: World energy markets

The Effect of State Firearm Laws on Firearm Manufacturing Location

The blog entry summarizes a recent working paper I co-authored on how variations in U.S. state firearm law are related to the number of firearm manufacturing plants across states, for the years 1986 to 2010. . . . → Read More: The Effect of State Firearm Laws on Firearm Manufacturing Location

Megabrands – So what?

Are conglomeration corporations that own most of the world’s best-known brands really so bad for us, as some internet postings suggest? Think again. . . . → Read More: Megabrands – So what?

The Gun Debate

A review of Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss’s excellent new book, The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2014). . . . → Read More: The Gun Debate

Energy prices

Energy prices are dropping, or so it is said. The full-scale advent of “fracking,” the extraction of natural gas (and oil) by new commercial technology, is unlocking vast new supplies in the United States and upsetting pricing on the energy markets. I decided to have a look at the numbers provided by the U.S. Energy Information Agency. . . . → Read More: Energy prices

Child’s Play: The Business of Guns in America

R Muggah, with J Brauer [Copy of a piece in the Huffington Post, posted: 05/05/2013 9:42 am]

Children are at the front line of America’s gun debate. More young citizens are killed and maimed each year by gunfire than all United States soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Homicide is one of the leading . . . → Read More: Child’s Play: The Business of Guns in America

Political risk, uncertainty, and falling business investment

The 2008/9 world economic crisis, and the ongoing malaise, is often blamed on “business.” But it is political uncertainty and instability that makes business unwilling to invest and to generate jobs. The ultimate responsibility for this lies with voters who need to make decisive and intelligent choices regarding political representation. . . . → Read More: Political risk, uncertainty, and falling business investment


There has been concern in the news media about why 2011 was a year of slow productivity growth in the United States when, in contrast, 2010 showed strong productivity growth. As it turns out, this is a very common pattern in all recessions over the past 50 years. . . . → Read More: Productivity

The SHOT Show 2012

I was a guest of the SHOT Show 2012, held January 17-20, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The annual gathering of the shooting, hunting, and outdoors trade, SHOT assembles firearms manufacturers, wholesales, and retailers. This column offers some observations. . . . → Read More: The SHOT Show 2012

Mr. Lerner’s price-markup formula

One of my favorite economic formulas is Mr. Lerner’s. It also is one close to the heart of business people, namely the condition that describes how much the price of a good or service may be marked up over cost. . . . → Read More: Mr. Lerner’s price-markup formula

Private Security Companies

With 625,000 employees worldwide, a company called G4S surely ranks among the world’s largest private-sector employers. But who is G4S? . . . → Read More: Private Security Companies

Global Drug Policy Reconsidered

An outfit called the Global Commission on Drug Policy just published a report of its findings and recommendations. From the economist’s point of view, it is a heartening report. . . . → Read More: Global Drug Policy Reconsidered