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The expected value of potential lives lost during atomic testing

Rob Reid wrote a great explanation of the horrible risk taken during the Manhattan Project, when American nuclear scientists took a chance estimated at one-in-three million that the first atomic test would create a chain reaction that would ignite the

Posted in Globalization & International, Health, Managerial Micro, Violence & Peace

Good Guys with guns vs. Bad Guys with guns

I’m a pragmatic pacifist who wishes to minimize violence and I accept that some violence might be necessary to accomplish this. Of course, everyone says that they want to minimize violence, so how is a pacifist like me any different?

Posted in Violence & Peace

A public conspiracy to protect pharmaceutical profits at taxpayer expense

Every so often I get requests to sign a petition supporting various business interests. The petitions are promoted by fly-by-night “organizations” that are fronts for lobbyists like EconomistLetter.com.  Lately I’ve been getting emails from ConcernedEconomists.org that are worried about the pharmaceutical industry’s

Posted in Health, Public Finance

An airline “dent and scratch sale”

A classic story of price discrimination that textbooks tell is the appliance ‘dent and scratch’ sale in which an appliance store will deliberately create cosmetic damage on some of their washers and refrigerators so that they can sell them at

Posted in Managerial Micro

Is there a better way to educate smart people?

Alia Wong at The Atlantic reports about a new Harvard study that surveyed roughly 500 economics Ph.D. candidates at eight elite universities, and found that 18 percent of them experienced moderate or severe symptoms of depression and anxiety. That’s more than

Posted in Labor

VOX messed up: Amazon.com already has enormous monopoly power

Emily Stewart at Vox.com made a mistake about monopoly power in America. She wrote that Amazon… could eventually become so big that it can control what shipping companies such as FedEx and UPS charge it, and, in areas where it becomes

Posted in Managerial Micro, Public Finance

Can stadium owners increase profits by imposing a price ceiling on their hot dog vendors?

How about these prices for food at NFL games: “$35 for a (large) cocktail? $19 for cheese curds? $18 for essentially a Doritos taco?” Although it is tempting to blame stadium owners for the high prices and bad quality, the

Posted in Managerial Micro

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