Automating activities helps us thrive: three examples

Lynne Kiesling [… and one of those examples is not using transactive technology to automate individual responses to energy-related variables like price or % renewable! Read on …] Digital technologies do more than reduce transaction costs. They open up new activities, new behaviors that were not imaginable before but are now valuable and contribute to … More Automating activities helps us thrive: three examples

Regulation: A Primer

Lynne Kiesling Susan Dudley of George Washington University and the Mercatus Center and Jerry Brito of the Mercatus Center have recently released an update of their useful analysis, Regulation: A Primer. Whether you are a student interested in learning more about the theory and practice of federal regulation, someone who works in an industry with … More Regulation: A Primer

Can we finally get the ethanol mandate monkey off of our backs?

Lynne Kiesling This summer, corn prices are high. Drought, extreme weather, and other factors combine to increase corn prices, and one of those factors is the federal ethanol mandate/renewable fuels requirement implemented over 20 years ago (as an oxygenate requirement) and extended in 2005. Roger Pielke Jr. points to a Purdue research paper that suggests … More Can we finally get the ethanol mandate monkey off of our backs?

Some Friday morning links

Lynne Kiesling Some arguments and ideas catching my eye this morning: At their Why Nations Fail blog this morning, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson point out that central planning predates Marxist ideology historically, and is an instrument that political elites use to control and “extract resources from society”. At the Huffington Post, economist Ben Powell … More Some Friday morning links

Did China cause North Dakota’s oil boom?

Michael Giberson News about the Chinese economy has become a bit worrisome, for instance from the New York Times earlier this week, “China Confronts Mounting Piles of Unsold Goods“: After three decades of torrid growth, China is encountering an unfamiliar problem with its newly struggling economy: a huge buildup of unsold goods that is cluttering … More Did China cause North Dakota’s oil boom?

Obsolete boutique fuels and failure to arbitrage

Lynne Kiesling Andy Morriss (Univ. of Alabama Law School) and Don Boudreaux (George Mason University) have an excellent op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, A Coca-Cola Solution to High Gas Prices. The punch line: environmental fuel formulation regulations balkanize wholesale fuel markets and make prices more volatile as a consequence. This is not a new … More Obsolete boutique fuels and failure to arbitrage

Bastiat, Hayek, Eurozone

Lynne Kiesling Steve Horwitz has a great post at the LSE blog that provides an introduction to and summary of the Austrian economic theory that’s relevant to macro policy questions, including the current Eurozone crisis. Most people know that Austrian economics provides a critique of the Keynesian policies emphasizing government stimulus spending, but what’s the … More Bastiat, Hayek, Eurozone

More on rebound, backlash, and the Jevons effect

Lynne Kiesling Back in July and also a couple of other times over the past two years, Mike has written here about the Jevons effect — when an increase in energy efficiency reduces the per-unit cost to the consumer of doing the energy-consuming action, moving her down along her energy demand curve and increasing her … More More on rebound, backlash, and the Jevons effect