Art Carden Archive

Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, Associate Professor of Economics and Business at Rhodes College.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

Objectivity, Probability, and Scholarship



I’m pausing from completing a faculty survey to offer a couple of quick thoughts on the following directive. I’m to register the degree to which I agree with the statement “Private funding sources often prevent researchers from being completely objective in the conduct of their work.” My options are “Agree Strongly, Agree Somewhat, Disagree...
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Arnold Harberger on the Chicago Boys



In my Econ 100 class, we discussed Milton Friedman and monetarism on Thursday. Some of my students mentioned Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, and I emailed everyone links to Robert Lawson’s and my paper “Human Rights and Economic Liberalization” and my review essay on Klein’s book. After I distributed the published version of my...
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Human Rights and Economic Liberalization



Robert A. Lawson and I just published our paper “Human Rights and Economic Liberalization” in Business and Politics. The paper can be downloaded here. Here’s the abstract: Using several case studies and data from the Economic Freedom of the World annual report and from the CIRI Human Rights Data Project, we estimate the effect...
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Monopoly and the Memphis Riot of 1866



Christopher Coyne and I are working on a couple of papers and a short book about the Memphis riot of 1866. The first paper appeared in the Mercatus Center’s Working Papers Series today and is available here; the second paper and the book manuscript will be available...sometime. One of the general themes that’s emerging...
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Markets Turn the Miraculous Into the Mundane



Jeff Tucker points out how truly astounding internet language translation technology is. This is how truly unbelievable our world is: we can get automatic translations via the Google Labs “translate this message” command, and people barely notice. In her ongoing series of books on the Bourgeois Era, Deirdre McCloskey argues that one of the...
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“Tough on Immigrants” Is Not Good Policy



This recent article on Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidates’ battle to see who can be toughest on undocumented immigrants shows politics at its ugliest: there’s a clearly-defined set of enemies (immigrants!), a clearly-defined and unpopular set of scapegoats (employers!), and a clearly-defined and resonant morality tale (they took our jobs!). It’s a classic example of...
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Viva Las Vegas!



Jeffrey Tucker reports from FreedomFest. I’m not there, but Vegas is one of my favorite cities. It’s a place that’s coursing with energy. A couple of quick thoughts: 1. Market forces aren’t doing anything about the weather outdoors, but they’re helping alleviate it. My guess is that there’s someone on every street corner who...
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Can Markets Provide Police Services?



While Americans spend a lot of money on private security, we generally associate police services with a local government monopoly. And indeed, government is where the buck stops. One of the conventional rationales for government provision of police services is that the market will under-provide it. After all, if I subscribe to a protection...
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Should We Subsidize Media?



There has been much hand-wringing over the decline of traditional media. Katherine Mangu-Ward consoles those who fear a post-paper media environment and offers some helpful suggestions; in The Freeman Online, Ed Lopez asks whether the decline of newspapers is a market failure and explains why it isn’t. He shows that this is a case...
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Economics in the Blogosphere, or, “OK, I’ll Help This Go Viral”



The Richmond Fed’s Kartik Athreya takes the commentariat to task for its habit of making pronouncements on economics that they (we) aren’t qualified to make (HT: Greg Mankiw). Athreya makes several interesting comparisons of economics to oncology, seismology, and cell biology. People who have little or no training in these fields usually refrain from...
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