Most Popular MR Posts from 2012

Here are some of the most popular MR posts as measured by page views from 2012:

1. Introducing Marginal Revolution University – we asked you to spread the word about MRUniversity and you did making this the most viewed page this year. Thanks!

2. Krugman’s Response to Alex and the original Krugman v. Krugman.

3. Racism by Political Party. This one showed up on television.

4. Robert Solow on Hayek and Friedman and MPS. Tyler should let loose more often.

5. Firefighters Don’t Fight Fires. A graph is worth a thousand words.

6. A Bet is a Tax on Bullshit. I don’t think the scheme I outlined is quite right but I worked for a long time on the final paragraph and I was pleased that it was widely quoted.

7. Why economic mobility measures are overrated. Lots of meat in this post and in Tyler’s related posts What does the inequality-immobility link mean? and Krugman on income mobility and my Stasis, Churn and Growth.

8. Debtor’s Prison for Failure to Pay for Your Own Trial. An issue that should be more widely reported.

9.  How savage has European austerity (spending cuts) been? Not that savage.

10. The Google Trolley Problem. A famous philosophical puzzle now must be answered in practice.

Among other meaty posts which were highly linked too were Tyler’s posts Why Old Keynesianism is looking worse these days; A simple theory for why so many smart young people go into finance, law and consulting and favorite non-fiction books of 2012. Also on the list were my posts Noble Matching and one of my favorites, Patent Theory on the Back of a Napkin.

A good year as we move towards MR’s tenth.


Why not bypass universities altogether?

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How did you pick these posts? Did you just take the top 10? Or your top 5 plus Tyler's top 5? Or the 10 that you personally liked the most? Or some hybrid ranking?

The top 10 by page views with slight adjustment because I didn't include posts that had a lot of links but not much content, e.g. this picture of the police pulling over the Google car got a lot of hits


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I am involved in local politics and really wish to do something about the whole debtors prison issue. I am looking for practical policy ideas that can be implemented to reform the fees and fines in the criminal justice system.

While we're addressing the debtors prison issue, let's go ahead and roll back child custody and alimony laws that are sending bankrupt men to the slammer.

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Re: 5. Firefighters don't fight fires and multiproduct use, the most noise that emergency services make is when the fire truck responds. Pulling the fire alarm might be an appropriate and useful response when there is a school or public shooting. As E. Volokh has pointed out, the shooter typically does not continue until physically incapacitated by others but rather until a loss of dominance which this might most quickly initiate. Also it alerts potential victims to break their return for safety reasons.

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