Is religious adherence bad for the economy?

I have a new post up at First Thoughts about religious adherence and economic performance. This one was prompted by a frustratingly shallow NPR story about Ramadan’s effect on GDP in majority-Muslim countries. Ramadan, it said, and (by implication) similar events in other religions steal from productivity as religious adherents divert energies toward something other than […]

Wage stagnation. Blame grad school?

The chart below from Kevin Drum at Mother Jones shows that median wage for 25-34 year olds have been stagnating or declining for more than a decade. Wages don’t include other benefits, of course, but similar wage stagnation hasn’t been seen among older Americans. Two things about this chart: First: I’m seeing anti-immigrant activists using data […]

Hyperfocusing on negative externalities

Mark Buchanan had an interesting article at Bloomberg View yesterday. He writes: Much of human activity is focused on the quest for efficiency — getting the most out of our resources so that we can improve our standard of living. Problem is, what we perceive as efficient is often making us worse off in ways […]

Boettke on the “economists’ conundrum”

From Chapter 1 of Peter Boettke’s Living Economics. I received the book as a gift on Monday and just started reading it. This is the economists’ age-old plight: what is fleeting in economics is politically popular, whereas what is enduring in economics is politically unpopular. Hayek describes the economists’ conundrum as consisting of being called upon to consult […]

No one actually reads Piketty’s book

Hardly anyone actually finishes Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. According to University of Wisconsin professor Jordan Ellenberg writing at last Thursday, only 2.4 percent of readers actually make it to the end of the book. Of course, we can’t know this for sure. Ellenberg admits this study is for “entertainment purposes only.” The number […]

Obamacare as jobs creator? Not so fast.

According to Thomas Black and Caelainn Barr writing at this morning, 2014’s surging hiring pace indicates broad economic recovery. Whether this is driven by stronger fundamentals or the illusions of easy money is yet to be seen. But my reason for highlighting this article is for one particular phrase near the end: Positions for software developers, computer systems analysts and financial […]