Division of Labour: April 2013 Archives
April 29, 2013
I View This Glass as Half Full

Report: Obama Spent Twice as Much Time on Vacation/Golf as Economy

Please Mr. President, more golf and less economic tinkering.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 06:17 PM

April 26, 2013
Always Low Prices?

Police: Walmart Worker Turned Tricks In Store

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 02:23 PM

April 24, 2013
Green (Failure) Is Universal

Another Obama Green Project Folds after Getting Millions from Taxpayers

The title of the post is a take off of NBCUniversal's tag line for this week's programming.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 12:40 PM

Gay But Not Happy

I'm guessing this took a bite out of France's happiness-adjusted GDP:

Paris riots after gay marriage vote

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 12:11 PM

April 23, 2013
Where's the ACLU When You Need It?

I'm pleased the Boston bombers are no longer loose to harm people, but I found the search for them disturbing. That people who have no connection to the bombers but just happen to live within a few blocks of where one them fled from police could be ordered to let police search their houses is bothersome. I have not read the post carefully or viewed the embedded video, but this site makes the same point.

Of course Nanny Bloomberg is calling for the already loosy goosy interpretation of the Constitution to be changed. Maybe he thinks police should be able to search houses for Big Gulps.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 01:09 PM

Dancing for dollars

No, not that kind of dancing. Real dancing, done in corporate offices:

Most dance companies make money by selling tickets to their performances. Boise-based troupe Trey McIntyre Project [TMP] has a more expansive business model: "We've decided that we have a real asset, which is the creative process itself. We're selling that," says John Michael Schert, the company's co-founder and executive director.

HP is doing it: "working with the dancers 'pulls our staff out of the same way we do things so that we can better design solutions and solve problems.'"

I guess this story jumped out at me from the empirical perspective:

From there, a senior HP executive kicks off a broader discussion about a new product or problem facing the company. Together, TMP and the HP employees discuss how HP can hone its creative skills to solve the task at hand. Hansen says it's hard to point to any one specific breakthrough the TMP sessions have inspired, but he believes the creative vibe pays off. "They really create positive energy, and that translates into our engineers and scientists," he says. "It helps people open their minds."

They do this quarterly, yet can't "point to any one specific breakthrough." Well, I guess it's no worse than providing donuts in the break room.

Tracking the ROI on such ventures is tricky, researchers admit. There's very little hard data out there, says Barry Jaruzelski, a senior partner at Booz & Co. who conducts the firm's annual Global Innovation study. Still, he thinks the anecdotal evidence is strong: "Unconventional interactions can lower the barrier for people to posit novel things," he says.

Where would we be without anecdotal evidence? "I have lots of conjecture and hearsay; those are kinds of evidence."

Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 10:45 AM in Economics

April 09, 2013
International Aid Blunders

A student points me to this list of the "7 Worst International Aid Ideas." Nice list, but unfortunately there are probably even bigger aid blunders than some of these.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 05:07 PM

April 08, 2013
Margaret Thatcher

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Margaret Thatcher. She was one of the few politicians with a genuine commitment to liberty. Her influence is clearly visible in the UK's economic freedom ratings (up more than a point) and ranking (up some 15 places) over her time (1979-1990) in office. R.I.P.


Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 01:42 PM

April 05, 2013
How Mr. Selfridge Created the Modern Economy

That's the title of Virginia Postrel's column on department stores as entrepreurial innovations. Highly recommended.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 02:54 PM

CIA, Crony Capitalist

The abstract of a paper in the current edition of the AER (ungated version here):

We provide evidence that increased political influence, arising from CIA interventions during the Cold War, was used to create a larger foreign market for American products. Following CIA interventions, imports from the US increased dramatically, while total exports to the US were unaffected. The surge in imports was concentrated in industries in which the US had a omparative disadvantage, not a comparative advantage. Our analysis is able to rule out decreased trade costs, changing political ideology, and an increase in US loans and grants as alternative explanations. We provide evidence that the increased imports arose through direct purchases of American products by foreign governments.
Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 12:51 PM

April 04, 2013
Guns up for Free Markets!

Ben Powell has got the new Free Market Institute up and running at Texas Tech in Lubbock.

[Like the FMI on Facebook.]

I was pleased to help Ben kick off the Institute last month. He's also just hosted Pete Leesson and has Tom Woods coming in next. The great Walter Williams is coming this fall!

Aside from bringing in great speakers, Ben is looking for students to apply to Tech's Ph.D. program where he hopes to build up an Austrian economics field.

Good luck, Ben, and welcome to Texas! Like me, he wasn't born here but he got here as quick as he could. As Lyle Lovett says: You're not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway.

Posted by Robert Lawson at 11:51 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

Our Bloggers
Joshua Hall
Robert Lawson
E. Frank Stephenson
Michael C. Munger
Lawrence H. White
Craig Depken
Tim Shaughnessy
Edward J. Lopez
Brad Smith
Mike DeBow
Wilson Mixon
Art Carden
Noel Campbell


By Author:
Joshua Hall
Robert Lawson
E. Frank Stephenson
Michael C. Munger
Lawrence H. White
Edward Bierhanzl
Craig Depken
Ralph R. Frasca
Tim Shaughnessy
Edward J. Lopez
Brad Smith
Mike DeBow
Wilson Mixon
Art Carden
Noel Campbell

By Month:
February 2014
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004

Powered by
Movable Type 2.661

Site design by