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Abigail R. Hall Blanco Archive

Abigail R. Hall Blanco is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Tampa.

I’m Not a Pessimist. I’m an Economist.



I’ve been lucky, in my time as a graduate student and now as a professor, to give talks on a variety of subjects to many different groups. From business owners, to my undergraduate students, to MBA students, to high school students and more, I never get tired of talking about what I love. Unfortunately...
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How Many Americans Have Refugees Killed?



Last week President Trump issued an executive order that suspended new refugee admissions for the next 120 days. The order capped the total number of refugees allowed into the United States this year at 50,000, about half of what was allowed under Obama. Travelers from seven nations—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia—are...
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My Vagina Doesn’t Care for Your Identity Politics



A couple years ago I arrived in New Orleans for a small conference. Prior to the opening dinner and reception, I went to the hotel gym to exercise. There was a man on one of the other cardio machines, and a national news network was on the TV. I got on the treadmill and...
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Escaping Philly’s Soda Tax



On January 1, the city of Philadelphia enacted a soda tax, or a “Sweetened Beverage Tax ” (SBT). The new policy levies a tax of 1.5 cents per ounce on most drinks containing a sugar-based sweetener or artificial sugar substitute (e.g. high fructose corn syrup). The following infographics from the Philadelphia Inquirer show the...
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More Money, More Problems: Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Won’t Help Inflation



It seems like Venezuela always provides great classroom examples for all the wrong reasons. I’ve written on this blog multiple times about the government of Venezuela and the polices it has enacted. I’ve argued that falling oil prices aren’t to blame for the country’s troubles and that the once-high oil prices only masked the underlying...
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Sexism and Zombie Economics



A few weeks ago, a friend of mine linked to an article on Facebook titled, “Sexism in Hollywood is Rampant, and Emma Watson Says her Career Proves It.” The article was published in late 2015, but similar pieces pop up from time to time with similar themes. Despite my better judgment, I clicked on...
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William Easterly and the Pitfalls of Foreign Intervention



In one of my recent blog posts, I discussed the work of NYU economist William Easterly. In particular, I noted how his work on the pitfalls of modern economic development planning bear a striking resemblance to the work and ideas of F. A. Hayek and James M. Buchanan. Easterly makes a distinction between “planners”...
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Colombia Joins Argentina and Venezuela in Adopting Backward Economic Policies



The Colombian government recently “persuaded” food producers to agree to have the prices of some of their goods “frozen.” Soon the prices of products like red meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, and processed foods will be set by the Colombian government. Once imposed, producers of these goods will be unable to raise their prices. According...
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Russia’s Election Hacks Are Child’s Play



The FBI and CIA are in agreement that Russia in some way interfered in the U.S. election. What is known so far is that Russian hackers were able to access the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. Hackers also breached the Democratic National Committee (DNC). According to sources, the Russian government sought...
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Sorry, Vegan Eatery—Good Intentions Don’t Absolve Your Economic Sins



I frequently teach economics principles courses, offering many college students their first exposure to the subject. While we cover all the basics—supply and demand, elasticity (consumer and producer sensitivity to price changes), taxation, trade, and externalities—I’m under no illusion that most of them will remember a lot of the material come a year from...
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