June 09, 2009
IHS Liberty & Society Links

I'm back from last week's IHS "Liberty and Society" Summer Seminar at Wake Forest. Josh Hall, Steve Davies, James Stacey Taylor, and Bob McNamara led a group of excellent students on a thrilling tour of classical liberal ideas. Over the course of the week, we added links to additional readings and resources to the group Facebook page. Most of these have links to full-text downloads and other zero-price resources. Those links are below the fold. Some of the students have also started a blog.

1. Josh's powerpoint slides. Here are Josh's research papers. His website is cooler than mine, and this might finally shame me into putting together a decent website.

2. Michael Munger's article on the success of governments trying to pick winners and losers.

3. Scott Beaulier's homepage, where you can find out everything you want to know about Botswana.

4. My SSRN research page, which has links to a couple of papers on economic freedom and all of my Walmart papers.
4a. Here's the new issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics, which contains the published version of my paper on Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine.

5. Here is the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World index (the one Josh works on). Here is the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom.

6. Here's a paper by Gary Becker and Julio Jorge Elias estimating what the price of kidneys would be in a free market.

7. Here's the Google Books entry for James's book Stakes and Kidneys. Sally Satel takes on altruism and argues that kidney donors should be compensated. Steven Pinker takes on "The Stupidity of Dignity" in the context of bioethics. Here is Kieran Healy's research website.
Finally, here is the JAMA study on kidney sales in India.

8. We talked a lot about the economics of prohibitions on certain kinds of transactions. Here's a volume on prohibitions edited by John Meadowcroft and published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. Here is Josh's review.

9. Wendy McElroy offers "a site for individualist feminism and individualist anarchism."

10. The ideological foundations of slavery make for tragic history and fascinating historiography. Here's an excellent recent treatment by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene D. Genovese. I'll be integrating their insights into a project I'm working on as soon as I'm finished with this post.

11. Lysander Spooner didn't agree to this.

12. John Allison on EconTalk.

13. We spoke briefly on the intellectual climate in Vienna in the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries. Here's a brief biography of F.A. Hayek. Jorg Guido Hulsmann has recently written a massive, authoritative, and fascinating biography of Ludwig von Mises. Here's the preface, and here's a PDF of the entire thing. Mises.org also has a series of video lectures from Hulsmann on the life and work of Mises.

14. Works by Herbert Spencer, Wordsworth Donisthorpe, and William Graham Sumner.

15. Repeat after Josh: education is not a public good. Newcastle University's E.G. West Centre promotes "Choice, Competition, and Entrepreneurship in Education." Here are my comments on a recent working paper by Lant Pritchett and Martina Varengo. They argue that the reason states supply education is to inculcate certain values that would be difficult to observe if they were provided privately. This is one of the reasons why the Alliance for the Separation of School and State exists. The market does not fail to finance higher education in efficient quantities (Cato Policy Analysis by Miguel Palacios). Here is Kerry A. King's paper arguing that all of the relevant externalities from K-12 education are internalized by the market, and here are Eric Hanushek's articles on education. Michele Boldrin and David Levine argue that we do not need patents. You can download their book Against Intellectual Monopoly here. Terence Kealey's The Economic Laws of Scientific Research makes similar points.

16. Here is an excellent EconTalk discussion with Mike Munger on the economics of recycling. This page includes a lot of great links on the economic way of thinking applied to environmental issues. Along the same lines, here is my Earth Day contribution to Forbes.com and the related academic paper. The takeaway point is that without private property, profits, and losses, we can't articulate what responsible environmental stewardship would mean.

17. Frederic Bastiat, Super-Genius. "That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen" explains what came to be known as "the broken-window fallacy." Here is a PDF of his rousing polemic The Law. In addition to the Henry Hazlitt and Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk t-shirts I was sporting last week, the Mises Institute also offers a variety of other shirts featuring Austrian economists and "Champions of Liberty." Or you could just read Economics in One Lesson (online, zero-price).

18. Robert Higgs, Depression, War, and Cold War (required for Econ 339!). Here is an EconTalk podcast with Amity Shlaes on the Great Depression.

19. F.A. Hayek on Spontaneous Order. Hayek offers examples from nature that show what we can know (general laws) and what we can't know (specific, minutely-detailed outcomes).

20. Amy Chua's World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. Since reading Lant Pritchett's Let Their People Come, free immigration has been my hammer that can drive all nails. If western countries were to open their borders instead of trying to export their institutions, would this lead to more peaceful marketization?

21. Angus Maddison has collected all sorts of data on global economic history, all of which can be downloaded here.

22. Google Books has selections from Natalie Stoljar's work on autonomy.

23. Do we need the FDA? Daniel Klein and Alexander Tabarrok say "no."

24. Here is Lant Pritchett's Let Their People Come: Breaking the Gridlock on Global Labor Mobility, downloadable for $0.00. Drop what you're doing and read this.

25. Courtesy of IJ, here is a report on the demographics of eminent domain abuse. Here's the Wikipedia page for Berman v. Parker, and here are articles and videos from the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (Hernando de Soto's organization).

26. Deirdre N. McCloskey is one of my intellectual heroes. You can download drafts of some of her current projects from her website. Here is a short summary of her book The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce. Here is a draft of the complete manuscript.

27. The Library of Economics and Liberty contains full-text, searchable versions of a lot of classic texts in economics and classical liberal thought. These include, for example, Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Leonard E. Read's classic "I, Pencil", and Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society." I also recommend Hayek's "Competition as a Discovery Procedure." Ludwig von Mises's "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth" is one of the most important pieces of social theory ever written.

28. For your must-read list, here is Murray N. Rothbard's The Ethics of Liberty (click here for PDF). He takes on all of the "but what about..." objections to classical liberalism.

29. And now for something completely different, here are our friends from Monty Python on Philosophy Football. As a bonus, here's Monty Python on argument. As an added bonus, should the government subsidize R&D, like (for example) the development of silly walks?

30. Here is Murray Rothbard's essay "Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution" in which he argues for strict liability in cases of pollution.

31. Glenn Greenwald offers a study of how drug decriminalization has worked out in Portugal.

32. Bryan Caplan's The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies explains why democracies choose bad economic policies. The Cato Institute published a short version as a Policy Analysis in 2007. Here's a debate in which I argued that your vote does not matter.

33. I put together pages of links and readings for my lectures a few weeks ago. Here are links on basic economics, unlimited growth, the Great Depression, and Walmart.

Posted by Art Carden at 11:30 AM in Economics

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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