Spring 2017 Class Notes Through 2/8/17

This article lists some notes based on my Spring 2017 class meetings and readings.

I’m taking Public Choice II with Caplan, Theory of the Market Process II with Wagner, and Non-Market Decision Making with Leeson as part of the GMU Economics Ph.D.

Caplan notes:

  1. Publishable paper: Does political knowledge demonstrate lagged political return to learning? Or institutional entrenchment etc. Is political return very long run and cumulative.
    1. Refer to the class notes on Information and Bargaining, week 3, and the regression in it, turn into panel data, look at growth rates and see women and blacks have higher growth rate, this means they have a lagged incentive and just haven’t caught up over time…will they ever catch up or will it get worse?
  2. A job market paper on interstate treaties would be an innocuous way to empirically explore anarcho-capitalism.
    1. Namely, can and/or in fact do states contract in such a way as to internalize externalities or implement cost savings uniformity in a manner superior to the national or superstructure legislative approach? Cost savings uniformity referring to the economic gains firms face with a single homogeneous legal, regulatory, or tax code in contrast to the costly situation of simultaneously complying with many diverse codes.

Wagner notes:

  1. Most notes are captured in recent articles. In particular, the discussion on rationality and radical subjectivism.
  2. Shackle’s work is no good.
  3. Morganstern’s Thirteen Critical Points in Contemporary Economic Theory was a good read. Not all the points are really great, but some are.

Leeson notes:

  1. Iannaccone, 2006, The Market for Martyrs overlooks the obvious marginal benefit vs marginal cost point. For a Muslim, the marginal benefit of martyrdom appears large, for a Christian it doesn’t.
  2. Iannaccone, 1989, Sacrifice and Stigma… runs contra empirical data. More here.
  3. Leeson, 2014, God Damn… Lol he totally just wanted to publish with that in the title. Does a good job of explaining fairy tale persistence. Malediction not to be confused with real Christianity.
    1. Leeson’s quiz question came from this article. The question was to name one of the three requirements of an effective malediction.
  4. Leeson, 2013, Vermin Trials. Wtf. Still hard to believe this happened.

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