Showing 9 of 87 Publications in Energy & Environment

Update: Vandy’s PhD in Law and Economics

TOTM A few months ago, Keith posted regarding the announcement of Vanderbilt’s new PhD program in Law and Economics. The post generated a lively discussion in . . .

A few months ago, Keith posted regarding the announcement of Vanderbilt’s new PhD program in Law and Economics. The post generated a lively discussion in the comments (and a follow up post here on GMU’s own Law and Econ program). Much of the discussion focused on the following questions: what would such a program should look like? What classes would be taught? And by whom? Well, Vandy has answers! The new (to me at least) website contains a program announcement, information on curriculum design, and a roster of what looks like a truly top notch faculty (which is apparently looking to expand).

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The Perils of Paternalism

TOTM According to Bar None, an op-ed by Jack Turner in today’s NYT, “history shows that, however commendable the reasoning, efforts to control how people drink . . .

According to Bar None, an op-ed by Jack Turner in today’s NYT, “history shows that, however commendable the reasoning, efforts to control how people drink — or eat, or smoke — tend to backfire.” I’ve made a similar argument in discussing smoking bans.

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Innovation & the New Economy

Saving Tigers (and Other Endangered Species)

TOTM Want to save endangered species? Turn them into private assets. So argues Barun Mitra in today’s NYT. In Sell the Tiger to Save It, Mitra . . .

Want to save endangered species? Turn them into private assets. So argues Barun Mitra in today’s NYT.

In Sell the Tiger to Save It, Mitra observes that our thirty year-old conservation policy, which prohibits harm to individual tigers and the trading of tiger products, has failed to increase the tiger population. The problem, Mitra argues, is that the prevailing prohibitionist approach fights markets rather than harnesses them…

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National Review on Judicial Ethics and GMU’s Law and Econ Center

TOTM This National Review editorial defends George Mason’s Law and Economics Center from what it describes as “junk ethics” charges.  My colleague Ilya Somin has picked up . . .

This National Review editorial defends George Mason’s Law and Economics Center from what it describes as “junk ethics” charges.  My colleague Ilya Somin has picked up the story at Volokh.  In the comments to Ilya’s post, GMU Foundation Professor and Associate Dean Frank Buckley, Director of the LEC, responds to some of the charges that have been directed at the LEC (i.e. corporate donations are buying judges votes, anonymous donors allow corporations to do so freely, the lectures are part of a right-wing conspiracy, etc.)…

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The NYT on SCOTUSs Wetlands Decision

TOTM Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a fractured decision in consolidated appeals raising the issue of which wetlands come within the ambit of the federal . . .

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a fractured decision in consolidated appeals raising the issue of which wetlands come within the ambit of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The wetlands at issue were next to drainage ditches that, when full of water, would eventually flow into navigable waters. The record did not establish whether the connections between the wetlands and the drainage ditches were continuous or intermittent, or whether the ditches contained continuous or merely occasional flows of water.

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Do Positive Externalities Always Justify Government Subsidies? Some Insights From the Austrians and Public Choice

TOTM The folks over at Lawyers, Gun$, and Money are chiding me for ignoring (or, as they say, never having heard of) positive externalities. A couple . . .

The folks over at Lawyers, Gun$, and Money are chiding me for ignoring (or, as they say, never having heard of) positive externalities. A couple of days ago, I criticized a NYT editorial calling for the federal government to “throw its weight behind” private efforts to develop alternative fuels. My main point was that the best thing the government could do would be to let energy prices rise in response to forces of supply and demand. High prices, I argued, have spurred — and will continue to spur — private investment in alternative technologies.

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Alternative Fuels: Let Markets, Not Government, Decide.

TOTM It’s a strange day when the New York Times advocates corporate tax breaks. It’s an even stranger day when I dissent from that recommendation. Well, . . .

It’s a strange day when the New York Times advocates corporate tax breaks. It’s an even stranger day when I dissent from that recommendation. Well, today must be a strange day indeed, for they did, and I must.

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Innovation & the New Economy

More on Wal-Mart and Organics

TOTM An article from yesterday’s W$J sheds some light on the organic community’s anger over Wal-Mart’s decision to begin selling organic products. A few weeks ago, . . .

An article from yesterday’s W$J sheds some light on the organic community’s anger over Wal-Mart’s decision to begin selling organic products. A few weeks ago, I accused Wal-Mart’s critics of wanting to keep price-sensitive consumers out of the organic “club.” The article in yesterday’s Journal suggests that that’s part of the story, but that the critics might also have a legitimate gripe. Examined closely, though, even that concern is unfounded.

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Intellectual Property & Licensing

Some Thoughts on Tradeable Gasoline Rights

TOTM Marty Feldstein has an interesting idea about how to reduce America’s oil consumption, but I’m not quite ready to sign on. In an op-ed in . . .

Marty Feldstein has an interesting idea about how to reduce America’s oil consumption, but I’m not quite ready to sign on.

In an op-ed in yesterday’s WSJ, Feldstein proposed a “cap and trade” system for gasoline. Under the proposed system, the government would set a limit on the amount of gasoline Americans could purchase annually and would then allocate rights to purchase that amount of gasoline.

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