Abigail R. Hall Archive

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

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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Free to Burn the Flag



My grandfather retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Air Force. As such, he was given a full military funeral upon his death. I remember that day better than most. It was bitterly cold and had rained non-stop for several days. I remember thinking that the men shooting during the “21 gun...
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Make No Mistake: Fidel Castro Was a Horrible Person



Cuba’s former dictator, Fidel Castro, has died at the age of 90. When I woke up on Saturday morning to see the news, I was surprised by the reaction of many friends on social media, as well as the national media. The New York Times headline read, “Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at...
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Perspectives on the President Elect



Like many Americans, I was surprised with the results of our recent presidential election. I had assumed, like so many others, that a Clinton presidency was inevitable. Obviously, I was wrong. Since the election, friends, students, and others have asked what I think of President-elect Trump. While I tend to shy away (especially with...
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The U.S. Military: The Cost of the Sacred Cow



Criticizing the U.S. Armed Forces is largely taboo. For many, U.S. military programs are a sacred cows, something to be shielded from criticism and any sort of objection. Even those who are usually critical of other forms of government spending and growth balk at the idea of cutting military spending or reducing the U.S....
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Cubs Fans Swing and Miss on Understanding Basic Economics



Cubs fans, rejoice! This may be the year you can finally stop blaming a goat for all your problems and win a World Series. Without a doubt, sports are a goldmine of economic topics. With the popularity of books and movies like Moneyball: The Art of Winning and Unfair Game, many people have been exposed...
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Easterly, Buchanan, Hayek, and Economic Development



When I was an undergraduate student, the vast majority of my readings came from textbooks. For several years I looked at supply and demand graphs, calculated unemployment rates and elasticities, and answered questions about how changes in particular variables would impact inflation and economic growth according to various models. During my senior year, however, our economic...
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When Government Fails, Papa John’s Delivers



Parts of the southern United States were hit particular hard by hurricane Matthew last week. Between the wind and the rain, flooding and power outages took place from Florida up through the Carolinas. For many of us, things like losing power are minor inconveniences. For others, however, this is not the case. Losing power...
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