Embedded Economics


[These will be replaced by much longer comments in the final version]

Solomon’s Judgement:

Compounded Interest: What things are wrong with this story?


Portrait of an Economist

Imitations of Horace

An Imperial Rescript: Kipling offers one reason why the Kaiser’s plan won’t work. Are there others that would be more likely to occur to a modern economist? If so, any guess as to why Kipling doesn’t mention them?

The Baldness of Chewed Ear: Consider the risks of betting on an event that both parties to the bet both can influence. You might also view the final outcome as a case of insider trading.

A !Tangled Web: The behavior, including the approach to trade, of the aliens seems very odd. Is it consistent with economics? Would it work?

Frosk: A nice illustration of the principle of revealed preference

And Then There Were None:
Would the Gand monetary system, based on obs, work? If not, why--what problems would it encounter?

The Broken Window Fallacy:
The latest version of the argument that all four of these deal with is that all human jobs will be taken over by robots, producing a dystopia of mass unemployment.

Utopia Unlimited

The Petition of the Candlemakers

The Man who Asked Embarrassing Questions:
Bastiat was writing in the mid-19th century, before the marginal revolution in economics. Can you translate his arguments into modern terminology? Do they still hold?

Business as Usual During Alterations

War and Peace

The Peace of Dives: Written in 1903. Do events since then provide evidence for or against the argument of the poem?

Arithmetic on the Frontier:
Adam Smith offered a similar analysis in the context of classical antiquity but argued that under modern circumstances the economics of warfare favored the more civilized over the less. Do modern wars provide evidence for either his position or Kipling's?