Video of George Selgin’s talk “Could deflation be salvation?”

George Selgin spoke the tuesday before last, 28th May, on the possibility some deflation—that coming from improvements in the supply side—is not harmful to the economy, but good. He made an extremely convincing case, pointing out that the so-called Long Depression of 1873-1896 was actually the site of a vast improvements in living standards and social welfare. And he pointed out that the problems attendant with deflation, that economists are fond of pointing out, only obtain when that deflation comes from a demand shock, not a change in supply.

Why is Adam Smith the greatest economist of all time?

George Mason University economists Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, who run Marginalrevolution, one of the most popular and—in my opinion—best blogs on the internet, have recently made forays into online education. Their latest is on the history of economic thought, looking at great economists from Galileo up until the marginal revolution of the 1870s, tackling questions including “Why is Adam Smith the greatest economist of all time?”

Here is the introduction to their course:


Happy 114th Birthday, Hayek

Here’s a video of Friedrich Hayek talking about his key contribution, on the economics of knowledge. For his work in this field, centring around his 1945 paper “The Use of Knowledge in Society”, cited 9391 times according to google scholar, he shared the 1973 Nobel (Memorial) Prize. Here, the specific (closely-linked) issue here is the economic calculation problem that Hayek and Ludwig von Mises argued hit socialist societies due to their lack of prices. This culminated in the socialist calculation debate, part of the way Hayek made his name, and a debate that such luminaries as G.A. Cohen later agreed Hayek and von Mises had won.