The Meaning of the Arrow Theorem

Recently I finished reading the book Gaming the Vote by William Poundstone. I also assigned part of it to my Ethics & Economics Challenge students. It's a fun and informative read, draping heavy-duty political science in engaging story-telling. (My post at e3ne.org on the topic is here.) The book's central thesis is that the American … Continue reading The Meaning of the Arrow Theorem

Property Rights: Necessary but Not Sufficient for Prosperity

At e3ne.org, I have posted some reflections on my last discussion with the Ethics & Economics Challenge students, on the topic of private property rights. The work of Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson on how property rights support high levels of development plays a prominent role. Here's a scatter plot from their famous 2001 paper: Economies … Continue reading Property Rights: Necessary but Not Sufficient for Prosperity

The Miracle of the Price System

This week's post at e3ne.org is about the miracle of the price system: Natural disasters harm people‚Äôs standard of living by destroying resources, but in a free marketplace, rising prices and profits in scarce goods give both buyers and sellers an incentive to heal the economic wound. Drawn by the possibility of making good profits … Continue reading The Miracle of the Price System