Valuing ecosystem services is difficult and controversial

Lynne Kiesling I find two things especially intriguing about environmental economics. One is the pervasiveness of ill-defined property rights as causes of environmental issues, and how it opens up one’s thinking to look at environmental issues as challenges of ill-defined property rights. Another is the tension between the anthropocentric nature of environmental economics (and economics … More Valuing ecosystem services is difficult and controversial

Enlightened economic history: honoring Joel Mokyr

Lynne Kiesling Earlier this week on Twitter Tim Harford asked “Should economic students learn more econ history? … I learned none, feel poorer as a result.” Naturally, my immediate answer to that question was “Yes. Next question?” The cliché reason, avoiding the mistakes of the past, is only the first of the reasons to learn … More Enlightened economic history: honoring Joel Mokyr

Recommended in the comments: Ten Fracking Things Everyone Should Know

Michael Giberson Commenter “Fat Man” recommends Peter C. Glover’s essay in the Energy Tribune: “Ten Fracking Things Everyone Should Know.”  Number one on the list of things to know is “Hydraulic fracking has been around for 60 years. Developments made by U.S. engineers around 2008-9 have simply made the process much more commercially viable.” Relatedly, … More Recommended in the comments: Ten Fracking Things Everyone Should Know

Don’t bet against Netflix, at least not now

Michael Giberson Jonathan Knee argues that Netflix is succeeding the way big media companies always have succeeded, in a time where such opportunities are less frequent than before. From The Atlantic: The economic structure of the media business is not fundamentally different from that of business in general. The most-prevalent sources of industrial strength are … More Don’t bet against Netflix, at least not now

Science, law, and regulation of fracking for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale

Michael Giberson The current issue of the Energy Law Journal includes an article examining the public policy history surrounding the use of hydraulic fracturing to develop natural gas in Pennsylvania and New York. The article, “Science and the Reasonable Development of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Resources in Pennsylvania and New York,” is by attorneys Lynn Kerr McKay, Ralph … More Science, law, and regulation of fracking for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale

Horwitz, Henderson, Hayek on the police state

Lynne Kiesling On a subject too important to overlook … today Steve Horwitz wrote a short, clear argument providing evidence that we are indeed living in a police state. As evidence he offers 3 related phenomena: The immoral, ineffective, and financially irresponsible security theater we endure in the form of the Transportation Security Administration (as … More Horwitz, Henderson, Hayek on the police state

French fracking fracus

Michael Giberson There is oil in shale formations in France, possibly even shale oil under the Eiffel Tower, and at least for now it looks like that is where the oil will remain. According to a report by Bloomberg News, a parliamentary committee agreed on a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in the country, the full … More French fracking fracus

Economics of power market design compared unfavorably to climate science

Michael Giberson From the Harvard Electricity Policy Group meeting in February 2011. By convention the meetings are off-the-record, so the speaker’s name is not identified in the summary: I think the most important distinction between the fields of climate science and economics for me is the question of evidence. Science is characterized by a subtle … More Economics of power market design compared unfavorably to climate science