Yes, Coase reformulated the problems of social cost and public goods. No, he did not make them go away.
Archive for the ‘Microeconomics and policy analysis’ Category
Applying behavioral insights to choice architecture is an obviously good idea; the only question is how big the effects can be in various domains. But the obscurantism and unreasoning government-hatred on the Right blinds even libertarians to the virtues of an approach they ought to love.
An angry young man on a Friday night may want a bottle of whiskey. But does it maximize public happiness to give him one with maximum efficiency?
In which Schelling, Rawls, Kant, and Jesus of Nazareth gang up on John Stuart Mill.
I can’t agree with Matt Kahn’s snark at Santa Monica for its attempt to measure some indicators of quality of life. What economists know how to measure is interesting. But it’s not exhaustive. Real estate prices can provide some sort of measure of quality-of-life as evaluated by people with money. But of course someone looking […]
When someone makes an argument or does a study that has a policy implication you dislike, it’s natural to attack the argument or the study to show either that it’s wrong on its own terms or that it doesn’t support the policy inference. (Of course, the argument might be right and the inference valid so […]
Keyword: “integrity.” But why should public service be a financial sacrifice?
The more ignorance, the more confidence.
Kevin Drum responds to comments: the evidence is solid, but we need more science and a real benefit-cost analysis.