Category Archives: Perverse Incentives

Strategic Analysis of the Sequester

One of my Political Behavior students wrote a nice strategic analysis of the sequester and its failure. His theoretical basis was the concept of brinkmanship, originally devised by Thomas Schelling, and concludes that the sequester is a good example of … Continue reading

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The Subsidization of Rural Life

Wil Truman’s blog entry about rural medicine and Russell Saunders’ subsequent comment about “the need to subsidize medical care in rural and underserved communities” led me to wonder whether the U.S. has too large a rural population due to such … Continue reading

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Sign This Pledge

I’m calling on all political candidates to sign the following pledge (for the sake of their electoral careers, we will not call it the Bawdy House pledge): I pledge not to sign any interest group pledges. I understand the urge … Continue reading

Posted in Perverse Incentives, Politics in General | 1 Comment

Proud to Be an American

U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan admit to cutting off fingers for war trophies. Not that this is anything new.

Posted in Perverse Incentives | 9 Comments

Paul Krugman Is Right

Krugman hates the anti-science attitude of the Republican presidential candidates. Only Huntsman gets his approval, while Romney gets much scorn for pandering. Let’s not forget to notice, though, that Romney has a serious chance at the nomination, while Huntsman did … Continue reading

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Tax Expenditures as Indulgences?

Duke political scientist Michael Munger (an eminent public choice theorist), compares tax expenditures to the Catholic Church’s selling of indulgences. Indulgences were “get out of purgatory free!” cards. Of course, it was the church that had created the idea of … Continue reading

Posted in Perverse Incentives

Narcissism?

Over at Philip J. Berg’s birther website, obamacrimes.org, where the masthead proudly says “By the Law Offices of Philip J. Berg”, there is a post titled “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO PHILIP J. BERG, ESQUIRE.” My birthday’s coming up soon. Be on … Continue reading

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Paul Ryan–Half Right, Half Very Wrong

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has proposed major structural changes to Medicare and Medicaid. That’s good. Medicare in particular is one of the major drivers of increasing deficits, due to the unfunded prescription drug plan. But he only gets … Continue reading

Posted in Perverse Incentives | 16 Comments

NCLB and Critical Thinking

This is purely anecdotal evidence based on casual observation, but I’ve had a number of friends who teach college argue that they’ve seen a sharp downturn in student performance in the last few years, particularly in critical thinking skills. Simple … Continue reading

Posted in Perverse Incentives | 9 Comments

The Egyptian Military’s Incentives

Alex Tabarrok points out that the Egyptian military “is an oligarchy which controls huge swaths of the Egyptian economy.”* He quotes the San Francisco Chronicle reporting that: It owns companies that sell everything from fire extinguishers and medical equipment to … Continue reading

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