New issue of Econ Journal Watch

The link is here, here are the contents:

One Swallow Doesn’t Make a Summer: In a 2014 AER article, Zacharias Maniadis, Fabio Tufano, and John List grapple with the problem of the credibility of empirical results by presenting a framework for statistical inference. Here Mitesh Kataria discusses some of the assumptions and restrictions of their framework and simulation, suggesting that their results do not, in fact, allow for general recommendations about which inference approach is most appropriate. Maniadis, Tufano, and List reply to Kataria.

Should the modernization hypothesis survive the research of Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, James Robinson, and Pierre Yared? New evidence and analysis is provided by Hugo Faria, Hugo Montesinos-Yufa, and Daniel Morales, supporting the hypothesis that there is a long-run positive relation between socio-economic development and political democracy.

Ill-Conceived, Even If Competently Administered: In a 2013 JEP article, Stuart Graham and Saurabh Vishnubhakat argue that the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is doing a good job of interpreting patent law, and suggest that the “smart phone wars” and related disputes are not evidence that the patent system is broken. Here Shawn Miller and Alexander Tabarrok argue that the main problem is not with the PTO but with patent law as it has been applied, particularly to software, resulting in patents that are overly broad and ambiguous, and hence vexing and stifling.

Ragnar Frisch and NorwayArild Sæther and Ib Eriksen contend that for several decades bad policy derived in part from the climate of opinion among the country’s eminent economists.

The ideological evolution of Milton FriedmanLanny Ebenstein explores developments in Friedman’s thinking, particularly after the mid-1950s.

EJW AudioLanny Ebenstein on Milton Friedman’s Ideological Evolution


"in a 2013 JEP article, Stuart Graham and Saurabh Vishnubhakat argue that the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is doing a good job of interpreting patent law" - where's the paper? TC links to AlexT's paper instead. Bummer. And anyway both are wrong: the PTO is not competently examining patents in general (they spend more time on high profile cases, for favorable publicity, but on most patent applications their examination is perfunctory); AlexT is wrong by conceding this point, as well as the original authors on this point.

My Current Views are essentially Friedman's Views prior to San Francisco, I guess. The one exception might be that my views concerning Health Care come from a this 2001 post..'s later views don't bother me, since they are largely what I call Political Philosophy, a far less important subject to me than Politics, which, as Edmund Burke holds, is the Art of the Possible, involving compromise as an essential component. Politics and Political Economy are my main interests, while Economic Theory and Political Philosophy are far less important to me. Also, I prefer reading more libertarian political philosophy than less, although reading only what I tend to agree with is uninteresting.

Unlike Friedman, I consider the current GOP Faux Libertarians, chock full of people who would ban all sorts of things if they could. Possibly I'm odd, because paying taxes to help people doesn't bother me as much as other taxes, and if you tax my wealth, I still have some wealth, whereas if you forbid me from doing something, then I can't do it, period. As a Burkean, I consider many of Friedman's later views irrelevant, since they have zero chance of being enacted into law. Why many Conservatives support Friedman's more utopian views puzzles me.

Whatever his later views, no one has influenced my current views more than Milton Friedman.

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