During the 16th century, Europe experienced a wave of witchcraft trials that has captured our imagination, and much scholarly attention, up until the present era. But the “wave” of witchcraft trials was not geographically uniform. Hayek Program Senior Fellow Peter Leeson focuses the lens of rational choice theory to explain the occurrence, duration, and geographic distribution of this seemingly irrational phenomenon.
In this Freakonomics Radio podcast, Peter Leeson discusses his research ("Ordeals") on how medieval trials by ordeal worked, and why it is that the majority of criminal suspects who were forced to grab a hot bar of iron were somehow not burned.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or "Drones" have been an increasingly contentious issue in American foreign policy. While their cost and ethical nature are relevant topics for debate, we focus instead on analyzing drone policy through an economic framework called Public Choice.
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.
This study represents a serious challenge to conventional thinking in contemporary comparative systems, and the economics of socialism. It disputes the commonly accepted view of both the nature of the 'socialist calculation debate' of the 1930s and the lessons to be derived from it.