Course Video: Alfred Marshall and the Neoclassical Synthesis

Here’s the next video from my history of economic thought course, on Alfred Marshall. Alfred Marshall and the Neoclassical Synthesis from Lynne Kiesling on Vimeo. Alfred Marshall was one of the most important economists shaping the field as we practice it today. By synthesizing the classical economics focus on production and costs with the new … More Course Video: Alfred Marshall and the Neoclassical Synthesis

Tacit Privilege and Social Order

Nathan Goodman, at the Liberty Minded blog, pulls the Hayekian knowledge problem out of the pricing field and applies it in the field of social relations. Well, technically speaking, Goodman employs just the tacit knowledge elements of Hayek’s “The Use of Knowledge in Society” article, but he uses it to make a good point: some … More Tacit Privilege and Social Order

Nsa Surveillance Imperils the Internet As an Economic Platform

Today’s new revelations from Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing show that the NSA can, and does, use a program that surveils our Internet behavior in a general, blanket way (much in the nature of the “general warrants” that were the whole reason the authors of the Bill of Rights put the Fourth Amendment in there in the … More Nsa Surveillance Imperils the Internet As an Economic Platform

Joel Mokyr: Technopessimism is Bunk

My department is currently a focal point in the debates over the future of innovation and economic growth. Technopessimist arguments from my colleague Bob Gordon (as profiled in this New York Magazine article from the weekend) join those in Tyler Cowen’s The Great Stagnation to suggest that the increase in living standards and the growth … More Joel Mokyr: Technopessimism is Bunk

Disruptive Innovation and the Regulated Utility

Over the weekend the New York Times ran a good story about how rooftop solar and regulatory rules allowing net metering are putting pressure on the regulated distribution utility business model: The struggle over the California incentives is only the most recent and visible dust-up as many utilities cling to their established business, and its … More Disruptive Innovation and the Regulated Utility

Michael Chwe’s Jane Austen, Game Theorist

As trenchant observers of human nature, great fiction writers are often very good social scientists. Jane Austen, one of my favorite authors, was a writer with great analytical depth and insight. In addition to the irony and wit for which she is famous, Austen’s writing reflects the philosophical and cultural mindset of the “long 18th … More Michael Chwe’s Jane Austen, Game Theorist

A “Stop Watching Us” Smorgasbord

If you follow Knowledge Problem on Twitter, you’ve noticed that I’ve been continuing to comment on and re-tweet various of the developments in the federal government’s surveillance of individuals without obtaining warrants, the Star Chamber-like super-secret FISA courts and our inability to oversee and monitor the lawfulness of their rulings, and this week’s House of … More A “Stop Watching Us” Smorgasbord

Honey, Someone Hacked Our Smart Home

Ever since the first “vision” meeting I attended at the Department of Energy in 2003 about the technologically advanced electric power grid of the future, digital network security in a smart grid has been a paramount concern. Much of the concern emphasizes hardening the electrical and communication networks against nefarious attempts to access control rooms … More Honey, Someone Hacked Our Smart Home

New Ideas for Combating Price Gouging

At the Harvard Business Review Blog Rafi Mohammed offers a new proposal to combat price gouging. I don’t like it. First, of course, the title “The Problem with Price Gouging Laws” is exactly the title of my Regulation magazine piece on price gouging laws, and so it dilutes the amazing notoriety I gain from association … More New Ideas for Combating Price Gouging

How Did an Oil and Gas State Come to Lead in Wind Power?

Kate Galbraith, a reporter for the Texas Tribune, and Asher Price, a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, have written a great historical review of the development of wind power in Texas. Recommended reading if you are interested in the development of wind power. … More How Did an Oil and Gas State Come to Lead in Wind Power?