A Book Recommendation

My dissertation advisor and long-time friend, Joel Mokyr, has written a new book that will be published in December. Titled Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy, it is an historical analysis of the relationship between economic growth and access to information on technological change and new ideas more broadly construed. From the … More A Book RecommendationMore A Book Recommendation

Catching Up On My Reading

Okay, I’m way behind in many things because so much is happening in electricity. In catching up on my reading I found some great comments by Will Wilkinson, whom I had the good fortune of meeting recently. Note especially his posts on Steven Pinker’s new book and why he is a Whig. In fact, my … More Catching Up On My ReadingMore Catching Up On My Reading

Economic History And The Rate Of Change

Brad DeLong has an article in the November issue of Wired that puts our rates of technological change in historical perspective. An excerpt: Past industrial revolutions steel, for example, or the coming of mass production to the automobile had seen explosions of technology that drove the prices of key commodities (train rails, the … More Economic History And The Rate Of ChangeMore Economic History And The Rate Of Change

How Appalling Is This?

According to John Fund’s Political Diary on Opinionjournal.com today, California Governor Gray Davis showed his temper in a most appalling and embarrassing way on Friday 18 October. His outburst was prompted by a professor’s attempt to initiate a conversation about an editorial about electricity pricing in California written two days earlier by Vernon Smith, recent … More How Appalling Is This?More How Appalling Is This?

California Iso Finding Against California Puc’s Finding

According to Energy Online Daily News article, the California Independent System Operator found that Duke Energy did not withold energy and cause a blackout on 8 May 2001. This ISO investigation was in response to an earlier California PUC report, on which I commented extensively (and critically) in this post. … More California Iso Finding Against California Puc’s Finding

More On Oil And Iraq

Some more good articles have come out in the past couple of days on the prospects for the oil industry of regime change in Iraq, including this LA Times article exploring whether regime change would weaken OPEC. The experts interviewed have mixed opinions on whether Iraq would leave OPEC under a new regime, but all … More More On Oil And IraqMore More On Oil And Iraq

Turmoil In The British Electricity Industry

Here and here are a couple of articles, from different perspectives, analyzing the decline in profitability in the British electricity industry over the past year. The past year has seen both a regulatory change in Britain and a decline in electricity prices, and several companies are not faring well in this economic environment. The credit … More Turmoil In The British Electricity IndustryMore Turmoil In The British Electricity Industry

Co2 Emissions Trading, The Coase Theorem, And Creating New Markets

In many ways the jury is still out on the science of climate change, from clouds to carbon sinks to the magnitude and geographic incidence of likely effects. Notwithstanding those uncertainties, the political reality is that controlling greenhouse gases is getting more and more attention, and the possibility of government regulation at several levels looms. … More Co2 Emissions Trading, The Coase Theorem, And Creating New MarketsMore Co2 Emissions Trading, The Coase Theorem, And Creating New Markets

Competition As A Discovery Process Holds For Cell Phones, Too

I love this Tech Central Station article by Steven Den Beste. He describes in great detail the evolution of competing standards for cellular phones in the US, versus the “harmonization” and settling on GSM as THE standard in the EU. Punch line: North American cellular networks and phones are more technically sound, and are updating … More Competition As A Discovery Process Holds For Cell Phones, TooMore Competition As A Discovery Process Holds For Cell Phones, Too

Consumer Awareness Of Energy

According to the most recent annual survey of electric deregulation by Deloitte and Touche, consumers are at a six-year low in their awareness of energy issues. The study correctly draws the conclusion that this lack of awareness in electricity stems from the stagnation of restructuring in the post-California, post-Enron environment of political and financial uncertainty. … More Consumer Awareness Of EnergyMore Consumer Awareness Of Energy