Economic Thinkers

Starting with Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations, continuing to Malthus, Ricardo, Keynes, Hayek, Friedman, Sen and others, the timeless ideas of economic thinkers provide understanding of the contemporary economy.

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    Why Was Malthus a Reverend?

    Nov 1, 10 • 218 Views • No Comments

    Have you ever wondered why Malthus was a reverend? The surprising answer is in Bill Bryson’s wonderful new book, At Home A Short History of Private Life (which I just started reading). 18th and 19th century rectors and vicars tended to be affluent and...  [read more]

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    Banana Machines

    Oct 30, 10 • 237 Views • No Comments

    It is tough to design a vending machine that will handle a banana gently. The temperature needs to be 57 degrees, a 4 foot fall to the consumer should be gentle, and they have to remain ripe for as long as possible. It gets even trickier when celery, which...  [read more]

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    Some Like It Hot?

    Oct 23, 10 • 210 Views • No Comments

    A warmer Detroit? A wetter New York? In the future world that UCLA professor Matthew Kahn describes, cities will adapt to climate change. Assuming that warming is gradual, populations will migrate and innovate. If San Diego becomes less habitable, people will...  [read more]

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    Nobel Cash

    Oct 15, 10 • 257 Views • No Comments

    If you win a Nobel Prize, you get a cash prize of approximately $1.5 million. The size of that prize relates to how well the foundation that manages Alfred Nobel’s endowment has fared.  According to the Financial Times, during the 1990s the payout...  [read more]

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    A Phone Call From Adam Smith

    Oct 14, 10 • 215 Views • No Comments

    The phone rings. The caller says he is Adam Smith and you have won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Your response? As you know, the 18th century author of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, is perhaps the greatest economic thinker. Seemingly chaotic, the market...  [read more]