Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

U.S. should invade Brazil because we can make better use of their resources than they can

What I've been reading by Tyler Cowen Marginal Revolution
1. Open Secrets of American Foreign Policy, by Gordon Tullock. A history of the bloopers and stupidities of American foreign policy, from virtually day one. If you think Gordon embraces a narrow, reductionist rational choice view of the world, here is the antidote. Gordon tells me that foreign policy has long been his number one interest, although he has written on the topic only now.
2. One Economics, Many Recipes, by Dani Rodrik. I agree with much of the substance of this book, namely that we know a lot less about the causes of economic growth than we like to think. I am less happy with the implied rhetorical choices; in particular I wish Rodrik were more consistently agnostic. For instance Rodrik defends industrial policy, but at times this just translates into lower (or no) taxes for export zones. So why frame it as a larger rather than a smaller claim?
3. The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by CrackpotEconomics , by Jonathan Chait. I've taught Ph.d. macroeconomics to some of the people referred to, either directly or indirectly, in this book. They didn't all get A pluses. So I see the talk of conspiracy as way, way overblown. This book catalogs many good criticisms of the Bush administration, and in that sense is valuable, but it does not raise the level of debate.
4. Do Economists Make Markets?, an edited collection of essays. How could they not cite Alex's Entrepreneurial Economics? Or pay homage to Robin Hanson and prediction markets? Still, this is a useful introduction to how economists have tried to shape real world markets, from spectrum auctions to options pricing.
Posted by Tyler Cowen on August 29, 2007 at 11:53 AM in Books Permalink Comments
What good timing for Mr. Chait's book, coming on the heels of the Scott Beauchamp triumph. Posted by: Rich Berger at Aug 29, 2007 2:04:17 PM
It's funny how I always used to be a strong Hayekian in the sence that humans couldn't possibly create synthetic markets anything like those born from slow evolution, but after reading Ken Binmore and Vernon Smith, I've changed my mind. Posted by: Toni Heinonen at Aug 29, 2007 2:12:58 PM
I once read an article about Tullock where he was quoted as saying something like the U.S. should invade Brazil because we can make better use of their resources than they can. That is not one bit funny. Posted by: David J. Balan at Aug 29, 2007 4:11:19 PM
Gordon often asks me the Brazil question. His point is not to advocate invasion, but rather to make it clear that it is hard to explain why the United States resists particular actions... Posted by: Tyler Cowen at Aug 29, 2007 10:27:39 PM

No comments:

Post a Comment