Alex Tabarrok reviews Al Roth‘s new book, Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design, in the Wall Street Journal. An excerpt: Most economic theory focuses on commodity markets, in which anyone willing to pay the price gets the good and anyone not willing to pay the price doesn’t. In … More Al Roth’s new book on matchmaking and market design
With Independence Day upon us, my bedtime reading for the past couple of weeks has become timely. Pauline Maier, the MIT historian who unfortunately passed away last year, published From Resistance to Revolution in 1972. It’s a carefully researched and well-written account, weaving together reports from contemporaneous sources, of the increasing radicalization of American colonists … More Pauline Maier on colonial radicalism
Paul Sabin’s The Bet offers perhaps the best-researched, best-written and most thorough account of the history and meaning of the famous 1980 bet between population pessimist Paul Ehrlich and resource optimist Julian Simon. Sabin is unceasingly fair in his treatment of the antagonists, a tough trick to pull off when working with such charged material. … More Take a gamble on “The Bet”: It is a balanced history of the Simon-Ehrlich conflict on population and scarcity
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
Lynne Kiesling Well, this winter’s been more hectic than I anticipated! Teaching three classes with two new course preps, a paper at the Public Choice Society meetings, helping coordinate our search for two new members of our department’s teaching/lecturer faculty … and I haven’t been here in a while! One fun thing I did in … More Reason book review, Silver and Weatherall
Lynne Kiesling I hope you are enjoying a fun and relaxing holiday weekend! I’ve been using it, among other things, to catch up on my reading, made more enjoyable by two new additions to the rotation: askblog: Arnold Kling has started blogging again, this time at his own new site. Given that his tagline is … More Two new blogs of note
Lynne Kiesling Actually it’s over 350 years old, but as the Economist points out this week, there’s a new critical edition of Leviathan for the first time in 350 years. The Economist article is a good reminder that what was shocking about Hobbes in the 17th century — his mechanistic materialism — isn’t quite as … More Hobbes’ Leviathan is 350 years old!