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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    Giving and Getting Gifts

    Nov 29, 10 • 282 Views • No Comments

    With the holiday season beginning, we should consider the economics of gift giving. Let’s start with University of Pennsylvania Professor Joel Waldfogel who focused on receiving gifts. Then, through Duke’s Dan Ariely, we can look at how to give...  [read more]

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    Creatively Destroying Pontiac

    Nov 7, 10 • 272 Views • No Comments

    At some point, sooner or later, people get tired of black. During the 1920s, Henry Ford realized that the Model T, so very practical and affordable because it only came in black, needed some vitality. What forced him to recognize that the Model T was becoming...  [read more]

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    Trash and Trade

    Nov 5, 10 • 252 Views • No Comments

    A WSJ article tells us “Memo to All Staff: Dump Your Trash.” But should they?According to the article, Texas state workers, Phoenix city workers, and Dartmouth college professors have all been told to take out the trash. Texas, as a result, is...  [read more]

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    Why Was Malthus a Reverend?

    Nov 1, 10 • 230 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 • 259 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]