Law Roundtable

Law Roundtable

Exploring the region between Law and Economics.

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Ideas (David Friedman)

"I am an academic economist who teaches at a law school and has never taken a course for credit in either field.”


March 17, 2017, 1:43 pm, 1729636
I recently came across a news story which struck me as a good example of how to mislead people, probably for political purposes, without saying anything that was not actually true. The title was "Watch out: Mammals shrink when Earth heats up, study says." The story reported ...


March 11, 2017, 3:43 pm, 1727818

Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation. Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in ...


March 10, 2017, 1:43 pm, 1727629
I just came across a letter I wrote to Edith Efron in 1978 on the anarchist/minarchist controversy. It occurred to me that others might find it interesting. I don't remember if she ever answered it. 
But then, I also don't remember writing it.


March 9, 2017, 11:43 pm, 1727410
One possible interpretation of Trump's actions is that he is ignorant, stupid, impulsive and thin skinned. During the campaign the obvious implication, which many drew, was that he had done and would continue doing stupid things that would lose him the nomination or, if he somehow got the ...


March 8, 2017, 7:43 pm, 1726961
 [Warning: This post assumes the reader understands the Principle of Comparative Advantage. Those who don't will find an explanation here.]
Assortative mating is the pattern of like partnering with like. A standard example is the tendency of men with college degrees ...


March 6, 2017, 3:43 pm, 1726114
It looks as though I will be giving a talk in Moscow on May 30th. If I am going to come that far, I might as well give more than one talk. Is anyone in that part of the world interested? Looking at flights to Moscow, they seem ...


March 4, 2017, 3:43 pm, 1725694
I recently gave and graded a midterm exam on the application of economics to law. On one problem a number of students made the same interesting mistake, interesting for two reasons. It illustrates one of the ways in which it is easy to misunderstand economic ideas. And it ...


March 3, 2017, 3:43 am, 1725340
After answering the exam questions you know the answers to you still have time left. You spend the rest of your time answering  questions you do not know the answers to, in the hope that something you write will fool the professor grading the exam into ...


February 18, 2017, 3:43 pm, 1721215
I have just read a fascinating article describing how political campaigns, most recently the Trump campaign, use the internet, social media, AI, and related technologies to target and influence voters. Assuming its account is accurate, what it is describing is what political campaigns have long done, just ...


February 18, 2017, 3:43 am, 1721155
My current nonfiction writing project, which I have been working on for some years, is pretty close to complete—with luck I will be sending it to my agent by the end of the semester. That raises the question of what I should do next. One possibility is ...