Tag Archives: comparative advantage

That trading thing people do

Canadian economist Nick Rowe made a comment on a blog post on comparative advantage that bugged me: The way I teach it, all gains from trade come either from differences between people, like comparative advantage, or else from economies of scale. So I think gains from trade is not more basic than comparative advantage. Gains […]

A fight over money

Over the last twelve months or so, the blogosphere saw another round of a long-standing fight over money. Not over getting more money (though that is an element too), but its nature and history. A story about debt The aforementioned tussle has been provoked by the publication of David Graeber’s intriguing, but seriously flawed, book Debt: The […]

What is this thing called property?

My nomination for the most misleading metaphor in modern philosophy is John Locke’s notion that, in a state of nature, one mixes one’s labour with something to rreate property. In John Locke’s words: The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out […]

Journalists are Luddites #groggate

No-one likes being made surplus to requirements, but being made surplus to requirements is at the heart of capitalism and ‘creative destruction’. In the ongoing fooferaw over Grog’s Gamut’s outing (and Jacques Chester is right, the Australian has trolled the progressive blogosphere with some skill), I’ve detected a distinct whiff of the Luddites or ‘Frame […]

‘Who is in charge of bread supply in London?’

Sometime before 1989, a Soviet official asked economist Paul Seabright who was in charge of London’s bread supply. Seabright gave him an answer that is comical but also true: ‘nobody’. The bread we eat turns up on our tables thanks to an incredible team effort (bakers, machinists, electricity suppliers, distributors etc etc). And even more […]