Starch granules can be recovered from a variety of archaeological contexts and have been used to interpret plant utilization, cooking technologies, and activity areas. This experiment assessed the distance maize starch granules travelled from an outdoor and indoor stone grinding station.
This paper explores the question of whether the market process is capable of bringing about a spontaneous monetary switch to a new currency in the presence of strong network effects of the incumbent currency as well as the absence of contingencies such as extreme inflation or political instability. It does so by examining current happenings around Bitcoin. It finds that two mechanisms stand out: the coordinating efforts of the profit-maximizing entrepreneur as well as the ability to use the old and the new currency simultaneously. Specifically, it finds that marginal decisions made by rational agents merely seeking to maximize net private benefit irrespective of the network effect, be it entrepreneurs or users of the new currency, are capable of setting in motion a switch to a new currency. Whether or not these mechanisms play out fully in the case of Bitcoin still remains to be seen.
We find that union political contributions and collective bargaining are associated with higher incomes for state and local employees and with higher public employment, both across state and local governments overall as well as within the education sector. We also find relatively little evidence that union activity influences total spending.
Austrian macroeconomists of the interwar period saw the economy as a complex adaptive system, in which macroeconomic variables emerge from the interaction between millions of purposefully acting agents. Recent advances in computation technology allow us to build empirically salient synthetic economies in silico, and thereby formalize many Austrian insights. We present a workhorse model with firms on an input-output network.
Ludwig von Mises called gratuitous credit, the ability banks have to create new credit, the chief problem in a theory of banking. This paper traces how Mises and succeeding generations of Austrian-school economists have grappled with this problem, but have failed to find resolution.
In the 1990s, several liberal welfare regimes (LWRs) introduced child tax credits (CTCs) aimed at reducing child poverty. While in other countries these tax credits were refundable, the United States alone introduced a nonrefundable CTC. As a result, the United States was the only country in which poor and working-class families were paradoxically excluded from these new benefits. A comparative analysis of Canada and the United States shows that American exceptionalism resulted from the cultural legacy of distinct public policies. We argue that policy changes in the 1940s institutionalized different "logics of appropriateness" that later constrained policymakers in the 1990s.
Sanford Schram's The Return of Ordinary Capitalism: Neoliberalism, Precarity, Occupy (Oxford University Press, 2015) is an ambitious effort to link together three important political realities of our time: the rise of new forms of neoliberal governance, the associated rise of new forms of social and economic insecurity, and the recent development of organized forms of political resistance symbolized by the figure of "Occupy."
This article explores the theoretical roots of Easterly's critiques and relates them to the work of two Nobel prize-winning economists, F.A. Hayek and James M. Buchanan. It explores the broader applicability of Easterly's criticisms by applying a similar framework to military activity.
Information, investment and innovation are the engines of economic growth in the 21st century. Yet regulatory accumulation and outdated regulatory processes are preventing both the private and public sectors from effectively using the three “I’s” to solve problems and grow the economy.
Mercatus PhD Fellow Vipin Veetil, along with Akshaya Vijayalakshmi and Srikanth Viswanathan, address Amartya Sen's criticism of cash-transfer programs such as education vouchers in the Wall Street Journal.
Elinor Ostrom was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in economics. She has been at the forefront of New Institutional Economics and Public Choice revolutions, discovering surprising ways in which communities around the world have succeed in solving difficult collective problems.