Top Ten MR Posts of 2014

by on December 31, 2014 at 7:20 am in Economics | Permalink

Here is my annual rundown of the top MR posts of 2014 as measured by page views, tweets and shares.

1. Ferguson and the Debtor’s Prison–I’d been tracking the issue of predatory fining since my post on debtor’s prisons in 2012 so when the larger background of Ferguson came to light I was able to provide a new take on a timely topic, the blogging sweet spot.

2. Tyler’s post on Tirole’s win of the Nobel prize offered an authoritative overview of Tirole’s work just when people wanted it. Tyler’s summary, “many of his papers show “it’s complicated,” became the consensus.

3. Why I am not Persuaded by Thomas Piketty’s Argument, Tyler’s post which links to his longer review of the most talked about economics book of the year. Other Piketty posts were also highly linked including Tyler’s discussion of Rognlie and Piketty and my two posts, Piketty v. Solow and The Piketty Bubble?. Less linked but one of my personal favorites was Two Surefire Solutions to Inequality.

4. Tesla versus the Rent Seekers–a review of franchise theory applied to the timely issue of regulatory restrictions on Tesla, plus good guys and bad guys!

5. How much have whites benefited from slavery and its legacy–an excellent post from Tyler full of meaty economics and its consequences. Much to think about in this post. Read it (again).

6. Tyler’s post Keynes is slowly losing (winning?) drew attention as did my post The Austerity Flip Flop, Krugman critiques often do.

7. The SAT, Test Prep, Income and Race–some facts about SAT Test Prep that run contrary to conventional wisdom.

8. Average Stock Returns Aren’t Average–“Lady luck is a bitch, she takes from the many and gives to the few. Here is the histogram of payoffs.”

9. Tyler’s picks for Best non fiction books of 2014.

10. A simple rule for making every restaurant meal better. Tyler’s post. Disputed but clearly correct.

Some other 2014 posts worth revisiting; Tyler on Modeling Vladimir PutinWhat should a Bayesian infer from the Antikythera Mechanism?, and network neutrality and me on Inequality and Masters of Money.

Many posts from previous years continue to attract attention including my post from 2012, Firefighters don’t fight fires, which some newspapers covered again this year and Tyler’s 2013 post How and why Bitcoin will plummet in price which certainly hasn’t been falsified!

1 Ray Lopez December 31, 2014 at 8:38 am

And the #1 commentator is? By popular request…Ray Lopez!

2 Zack December 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Ray, yes but the vote was not unanimous. You did not receive Scott Sumner’s vote.

3 Daniel Klein December 31, 2014 at 8:55 am

Congratulations to you both. Thanks for another great year.

4 Joe In Morgantown December 31, 2014 at 9:04 am

I think the popular posts have lower quality comments.

5 J December 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Thank you both for all the time and effort in maintaining the blog. Happy new year to you and your families.

6 Enrique December 31, 2014 at 2:26 pm

The title is misleading, since there are links to over 20 other MR posts

7 Euripides December 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Good job, both of you!
#10 has got to be one of the top funniest posts as well, but Tyler will be Tyler.
No top-10 post from the two weeks of daily posts by Tyler from and about Bolivia?

8 chuck martel December 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm


Not going to re-read all the comments on this silly reparations idea but surely someone mentioned how ridiculous it is to consider reparations for individuals with slave ancestry while living on the land of exterminated or marginalized native Americans who are even today third-class citizens in their own country.

9 Careless January 1, 2015 at 10:45 pm

even today third-class citizens in their own country.


10 Steve Sailer December 31, 2014 at 9:31 pm

The Ferguson post seemed to rather badly miss the point of what Ferguson was about.

11 Andrew January 2, 2015 at 11:01 pm

Thanks for posting, I missed the one on SATs. I think a very important point is missing. On the whole, standardized tests almost certainly massively reduce inequality of educational attainment. It reduces the costs of applying to colleges and all the forms of financial aid. Does anyone wish to argue that access to test prep is a greater barrier than access to college admissions staff? Or do they just hate dedicated test prep at the margins, and would prefer all college hopefuls to be selected based on a combination of their natural intelligence, and how good a school district they live in? We may desire a marginally less biased test, but lets not loose sight of the big picture. Not every developed country has widely accepted standardized tests.

12 trip stories January 12, 2015 at 4:23 pm

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13 Winston January 22, 2015 at 11:37 pm

Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological globe the whole thing is
accessible on net?

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