Category Archives: Podcast

The German Economic Miracle with David Henderson

Returning to the podcast is David Henderson of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California.

Our topic for today is the German Economic Miracle. David wrote an article on it for the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. The article begins as follows:

“After World War II the German economy lay in shambles. The war, along with Hitler’s scorched-earth policy, had destroyed 20 percent of all housing. Food production per capita in 1947 was only 51 percent of its level in 1938, and the official food ration set by the occupying powers varied between 1,040 and 1,550 calories per day. Industrial output in 1947 was only one-third its 1938 level. Moreover, a large percentage of Germany’s working-age men were dead. At the time, observers thought that West Germany would have to be the biggest client of the U.S. welfare state; yet, twenty years later its economy was envied by most of the world. And less than ten years after the war people already were talking about the German economic miracle.What caused the so-called miracle? The two main factors were currency reform and the elimination of price controls, both of which happened over a period of weeks in 1948. A further factor was the reduction of marginal tax rates later in 1948 and in 1949.”

Continue reading The German Economic Miracle with David Henderson

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Corruption and Spatial Econometrics with Jamie Pavlik

My guest today is Jamie Pavlik of Texas Tech University.

Jamie has done a ton of research on corruption and development. She has examined corruption in the developing world, with multiple papers examining corruption in Brazil. She has also looked at international comparisons of corruption, and corruption in the United States specifically. Continue reading Corruption and Spatial Econometrics with Jamie Pavlik

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Brexit, Its Economic Impact, and International Disintegration with Thomas Sampson

My guest today is Thomas Sampson of the London School of Economics.

Our topic for today is the economic impact of Brexit. Long-time listeners will recall that I did an interview with Sam Bowman on Brexit immediately after the vote occurred. Think of this as a follow-up to that episode now that the dust has settled and we have a better idea of what Brexit is going to look like. Thomas has written multiple papers on the subject, including Brexit: The Economics of International Disintegration, which is forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Its abstract follows: Continue reading Brexit, Its Economic Impact, and International Disintegration with Thomas Sampson

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Markups, Market Concentration, and Monopolistic Competition with Karl Smith

My guest today is Karl Smith, he is the director of economic research at the Niskanen center.

Our topic for today will be market power. Karl has written a series of posts on the Niskanen center blog discussing markups and market power. The debate was sparked by a paper by Loecker and Eeckhout that claimed that average markups in the American economy had risen from 18 percent in 1980 to 67 percent today. Continue reading Markups, Market Concentration, and Monopolistic Competition with Karl Smith

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Sociology and Social Science with Fabio Rojas

My guest today is Fabio Rojas. He is professor of sociology at Indiana University Bloomington.

Fabio is the author of three books, the first is From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline, published in 2007. The second book, coauthored with Michael Heaney, is Party in the Street: The Antiwar Movement and the Democratic Party after 9/11, published in 2015. The third book, Theory for the Working Sociologist, was published just recently in 2017. Continue reading Sociology and Social Science with Fabio Rojas

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Compensating Blood, Fluid, and Organ Donors with Peter Jaworski

My guest is Peter Jaworski of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He is the author, along with Jason Brennan, of Markets Without Limits.

We recorded this on August 24th, 2017, the same day Peter published an op-ed in the National Post titled “Canada needs blood plasma. We should pay donors to get it.” The op-ed argues in favour of allowing people who donate blood plasma in Canada to be compensated in return: Continue reading Compensating Blood, Fluid, and Organ Donors with Peter Jaworski

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Pepsi, Niche Marketing, and Neoliberal Social Justice with Samuel Hammond

Samuel Hammond is returning to the podcast today to discuss the relationship between capitalism and social justice.

Sam was prompted to write about this by an insensitive Pepsi commercial that caused some controversy in April 2017.

The controversial ad featured generic protesters and Kendall Jenner sharing a Pepsi with police. While the ad was insensitive and more than a little absurd, Sam pointed out that Pepsi has a history of promoting social justice and racial harmony through its marketing. Continue reading Pepsi, Niche Marketing, and Neoliberal Social Justice with Samuel Hammond

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The French Revolution, Property Rights, and the Coase Theorem with Noel Johnson

My guest for this episode is Noel Johnson of George Mason University, and if that name sounds familiar, it’s because he was the coauthor on the paper I discussed with Mark Koyama last month.

Noel recently released a working paper titled “The Effects of Land Redistribution: Evidence from the French Revolution.” It is co-authored with Theresa Finley and Raphael Franck. The paper examines the consequences of the land auctions held by the Revolutionary government in France. The abstract reads as follows:

This study exploits the confiscation and auctioning off of Church property that occurred during the French Revolution to assess the role played by transaction costs in delaying the reallocation of property rights in the aftermath of fundamental institutional reform. French districts with a greater proportion of land redistributed during the Revolution experienced higher levels of agricultural productivity in 1841 and 1852 as well as more investment in irrigation and more efficient land use. We trace these increases in productivity to an increase in land inequality associated with the Revolutionary auction process. We also show how the benefits associated with the head-start given to districts with more Church land initially, and thus greater land redistribution by auction during the Revolution, dissipated over the course of the nineteenth century as other districts gradually overcame the transaction costs associated with reallocating the property rights associated with the feudal system.

Continue reading The French Revolution, Property Rights, and the Coase Theorem with Noel Johnson

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The Seattle Minimum Wage Study with Ekaterina Jardim

My guest for this episode is Ekaterina Jardim of the University of Washington. Ekaterina is one of the authors of the new minimum wage study that has been making headlines recently, “Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle.” One reason this study is so interesting is that it was funded by the City of Seattle, which is something that governments aren’t obligated or expected to do when they enact major policy changes like these minimum wage hikes.

There was a broad theoretical and empirical consensus in the 1980s that higher minimum wages have disemployment effects on the low skilled, and then Card and Krueger (1994) started a new empirical literature that found no evidence of disemployment effects. Continue reading The Seattle Minimum Wage Study with Ekaterina Jardim

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