If communities are to recover after a disaster, community members must engender and engage in a process of social learning involving experimentation, communication, and imitation. This paper explores the post-disaster social learning process.
Can we model politics as exclusively based on self-interest, leaving virtue aside? How much romance is there in the study of politics? We show that James Buchanan, a founder of public choice and constitutional political economy, reintroduces a modicum of romance into politics, despite claiming that his work is the study of “politics without romance”: Buchanan’s model needs an ethical attitude to defend rules against rent-seeking.
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.
Although many of the links between Weber and the Austrian school have been explored, one area of agreement between Weber and Mises that is yet to be explored is their shared understanding of the nature of the market. This chapter attempts to close this gap by examining the pictures of the market in Weber’s Economy and Society and Mises’ Human Action.
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.
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.