Category Archives: Economics

Book Review: The Undercover Economist

The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford I no longer enjoy popular physics books. Usually I quit part way through thinking “I’d rather just be rereading my textbooks,” since I’m at the level where I’m aware of how much deeper and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Reviews

Book Review: The Essential Hayek

The Essential Hayek by Don Boudreaux I have in my library a book called The Essential Galileo which consists of excerpts of Galileo’s major works with commentary provided by the editor. When I heard that Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek was … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Reviews

Book Review: The Myth of the Rational Voter

The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan Given that most voters aren’t well informed on complicated matters like international trade or health economics, why isn’t democracy a total disaster? One answer is that as … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Rationality, Reviews

Economic death spirals

An economic death spiral occurs when an innovation enters a market and incumbents raise rates in response which hastens adoption of that innovation. Some possible (plausible?) examples: When early adopters install solar panels on their home, they begin consuming less … Continue reading

Posted in Economics

Book Review: The Dictator’s Handbook

The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alistair Smith In a previous academic book, The Logic of Political Survival, the authors and others presented arguments in favor of a political model called … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Rationality, Reviews

Division of labor and specialization as applied to ideas

Two important concepts we get from economics that enable the human race to go to the next level are division of labor and specialization. Adam Smith, in formulating the notion of the division of labor, said that it was always … Continue reading

Posted in Economics

Has the Solar Age finally arrived?

One news feed I follow is Today in Energy from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), where recently the follow fascinating graph was posted We can see the advent of major industrialization in the US via the major uptake in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Energy, Science (general), Technology