A Simple Way To Avoid The Job Losses From Obamacare

In general, Republicans have had two objections to Obamacare: (1) It will destroy jobs, and (2) it will create dependency and make people work less. The Congressional Budget Office has a new report with an appendix estimating the impact on the labor market of Obamacare. Although a lot of news media outlets covered this in […]

If economic efficiency doesn’t increase well-being, what is it good for?

Economists, after rejecting the idea that we could compare one person’s utility with another person’s utility, set out to find a value-neutral criteria of socially optimal arrangements. The phrase, ‘value-neutral criteria’ should have been their first clue that this would be a doomed quest, but instead they settled on Pareto optimality. In brief, a situation […]

Rational Fools: Amartya Sen’s Critique of Economic Theory

The formalizing of self-interest as an economic principle was largely the work of Francis Edgeworth. It is sometimes wrongly traced back to the work of Adam Smith. While Smith wrote about self-interest, he actually had a much, much more nuanced view of both when people would behave out of self-interest and when self-interested behavior could […]