Category Archives: applied price theory

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How I awoke from being a socialist to a sane person – A review of ‘The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality’, by Ludwig von Mises

The Ludwig von Mises Centre

By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

Back in 1998, I was working in the filthy world of trade. I’d received this book from Mises.org one morning and had to wait until lunchtime before I could read it. I then sat in my car in a dreary supermarket car park and opened it up. It took less than an hour to get through. However, the clarity, the penetration, the directness, the sheer thrill of all those dense scales falling from my eyes melted my mind. Who was this Mises? And why had he made me feel so very uncomfortable?

Via the pages of this book, Mises had told me the truth about life, the universe, and everything. He’d tumbled the monuments in my mind, to Marx, by taking a wrecking ball to them.

This book essentially details the societally destructive power of human envy. Like a fine Bossa Nova dancer…

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Paul Romer: The view from economic history

The Long Run

by Nuno Palma (University of Manchester and CEPR). Republished with minor adjustments from the blog “Economic Growth in History”

In this post I write about the connections between Paul Romer’s work, which is essentially applied theory, and the empirical work on long-run economic growth done by economic historians. How was Romer influenced by the work of economic historians? has he influenced economic history? and have his theories been confirmed by the recent work of economic historians? (preview: I will argue that the answers are: yes; not much; and no). Nevertheless, my point above is not that Romer is wrong in general; in fact some of his ideas *about ideas* are fundamental for us to think about growth in the past (read on if this isn’t clear yet.)

449px-Paul_Romer_in_2005 Paul Romer in 2005. Wikimedia Commons

Paul Romer’s was a well-deserved and long-anticipated prize. Many predicted he would eventually win, including myself in my very…

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The House of Commons and the Brexit deal: A veto player or a driver of policy?

The Constitution Unit Blog

pastedgraphic-1-e1494926560214With parliament set to vote on the government’s Brexit deal today, there is much speculation about what will happen if it is rejected. Here, former Clerk of Committees Andrew Kennon analyses the potential scenarios, including whether or not the House of Commons could end up running the country directly.

A key concern for the House of Commons when voting on the proposed deal with the European Union will be not only the merits of the agreement itself, but what happens if it is defeated. In theory, parliament – and in particular the House of Commons – is the ultimate source of constitutional authority within the UK system. But, in this particular circumstance, if MPs reject what is on offer, will they be able to take the initiative and impose a different course of action, or will they simply have to wait for the government to act?

The key problem for…

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The Price of the Poor’s Words: Social Relations and the Economics of Deposing for One’s “Betters” in Early Modern England

The Long Run

by Hillary Taylor (Jesus College, Cambridge)

This article is published by The Economic History Review, and it is available on the EHS website

File:William Powell Frith - Poverty and Wealth.JPG Poverty and Wealth. Available at Wikimedia Commons

Late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England was one of the most litigious societies on record. If much of this litigation was occasioned by debt disputes, a sizeable proportion involved gentlemen suing each other in an effort to secure claims to landed property. In this genre of suits, gentlemen not infrequently enlisted their social inferiors and subordinates to testify on their behalf.[1] These labouring witnesses were usually qualified to comment on the matter at hand a result of their employment histories. When they deposed, they might recount their knowledge of the boundaries of some land, of a deed or the like. In the course of doing so, they might also comment on all sorts of quotidian affairs. Because testifying…

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Most 21st century billionaire are self-made in their own lifetime business owners

And @Oxfam thinks inequality allows the rich to gobble up 88% of the gains from economic development in poor countries

The toll of a capital gains tax on entrepreneurship and innovation is far greater than previously thought @TaxpayersUnion

Review of “First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton” by David Maraniss

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

David Maraniss’s “First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton” was published in 1995 and remains one of the most popular biographies of Clinton. Maraniss is an author and journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1993; he was a Pulitzer finalist in 1996, 2002 and 2004. Among his other books are biographies of Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente and Vince Lombardi.

Written during the early years of the Clinton presidency, this 464-page biography covers his first forty-five years (to his announcement he was running for president). Coverage is generally vivid and thorough, but Maraniss warns readers to expect relatively little coverage of the Whitewater controversy and Clinton’s personal indiscretions. Nevertheless, one need not look very hard to see the shadows of his numerous former girlfriends and casual flings scattered throughout the narrative.

Much of the book is based on Maraniss’s reporting during…

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