Pencil or peach, either way, a marvel of decentralized coordination

Many of you are probably already familiar with Leonard Read’s famous 1958 story I, Pencil. Told through the eyes of a pencil, it describes the process of producing a pencil and how many people are involved in doing so, but without ever having met or consciously, deliberately set out a plan under the control of… More Pencil or peach, either way, a marvel of decentralized coordination

My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering

Institutional persistence creates some of the thorniest problems in public policy, including electricity policy. Institutions change more slowly than technology and markets, because of both  design and status quo bias, which means that dynamic processes of economic and technological change can make regulatory institutions outdated. This mismatch is showing up right now in the electricity… More My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering

Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution

The Adam Smith Institute has published a research report I wrote for them, Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution. From the press release: The report … argues that new technologies such as smart grids and distributed energy production can revolutionise old models of energy distribution and pricing, in the… More Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution

2015 Nobel laureate Angus Deaton

Angus Deaton is the worthy and deserving winner of this year’s economics Nobel. The arc of his work, from theory to data to empirical application, has been consumption, measuring consumption, and consumption as an indicator of well-being, poverty, and inequality. His analyses also incorporate political economy as a factor influencing those relationships and incentives. If… More 2015 Nobel laureate Angus Deaton

Technological change, culture, and a “social license to operate”

Technological change is disruptive, and in the long sweep of human history, that disruption is one of the fundamental sources of economic growth and what Deirdre McCloskey calls the Great Enrichment: In 1800 the average income per person…all over the planet was…an average of $3 a day. Imagine living in present-day Rio or Athens or… More Technological change, culture, and a “social license to operate”