Public Policy Reading List

Not our usual CSOC fare, but here’s the reading list for my upcoming Public Policy course at Grove City College.

Introduction to Public Policy        

The Economic Approach
Whaples: “Do Economists Agree on Anything? Yes!”  

Alston et al.: “Is There a Consensus Among Economists in the 1990’s?” (optional)  

Heyne: “Economics as a Way of Thinking”  

Peltzman: “Regulation and the Natural Progress of Opulence” (pp. 1-19)  

Sobel and Nesbit: “Automobile Safety Regulation and the Incentive to Drive Recklessly: Evidence from Nascar”    

Radford: “The Economic Organization of a POW Camp” (optional)
Austrian Political Economy              

Public Choice
Mises: “The Crisis of Interventionism” in Human Action (pp. 851-857)  

Higgs: “Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted so Long and Why Prosperity Resumed after the War” (pp. 561-579)  

Bastiat: “A Petition”  

Yandle: “Bootleggers and Baptists: The Education of a Regulatory Economist”  

Tullock: “The Transitional Gains Trap”  

Khan: “Airline Deregulation”  

Holcombe: “The Coase Theorem, Applied to Markets and Government”

Leeson and Sobel: “Weathering Corruption” (optional)  

Stigler: “The Theory of Economic Regulation” (optional)
Labor: Minimum Wage                        

Labor: Discrimination
Leonard: “Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era” (pp. 212-215)  

Neumark: “The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment”  

Bernstein and Schmitt: “The Impact of the Minimum Wage” (pp. 10-20)  

Rustici: “A Public Choice View of the Minimum Wage” (optional)  

Murphy: “Economists Debate the Minimum Wage” (optional)  

Doleac and Hansen: “The Unintended Consequences of ‘Ban the Box:’ Statistical Discrimination and Employment Outcomes when Criminal Histories are Hidden” (pp. 3-12, 16-30)  

Acemoglu and Angrist: “Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act” (pp. 915-920, 948-950)  

de Jasay: “On the Economics of Protecting Employment”
Labor: Licensing          

Labor: Sweatshops
Kleiner: “Occupational Licensing”  

Carroll and Gaston: “Occupational Restrictions and the Quality of Service Received: Some Evidence” (optional)  

Svorny: “Physician Licensure: A New Approach to Examining the Role of Professional Interests” (optional)  

Powell and Zwolinksi: “The Ethical and Economic Case Against Sweatshop Labor: A Critical Assessment”  

Powell: “Meet the Old Sweatshops: Same as the New”
Market Failure: Education        

Market Failure: Healthcare        
Caplan and Glaeser debate “The Government Should Cut off all Funding to Colleges and Universities” (watch) 

Tooley: “Education without the State” (pp. 11-29)  

Epple et al.: “School Vouchers: A Survey of the Economic Literature” (optional)  

Akerlof: “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism”  

Hemenway: “Propitious Selection in Insurance”  

Bond: “A Direct Test of the ‘Lemons’ Model: The Market for Used Pickup Trucks” (optional)
Firms: AntitrustFriedman: “Monopoly I: How to Lose Your Shirt” and “Monopoly II: “State Monopoly for Fun and Profit”  

Shenoy: “The Sources of Monopoly”  

Baker: “The Case for Antitrust Enforcement”  

Alchian and Kessel: “Competition, Monopoly, and the Pursuit of Money” (optional)    

Crandall and Winston: “Does Antitrust Policy Improve Consumer Welfare? Assessing the Evidence” (optional)  

Khan: “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” (optional)  

McAfee: “The Strategic Abuse of the Antitrust Laws”        

Henderson: “Why Predatory Pricing is Highly Unlikely”  

Boudreaux and DiLorenzo: “The Protectionist Roots of Antitrust” (optional)  

Armentano: “Antitrust Reform: Predatory Practices and the Competitive Process” (optional)
Firms: Entrepreneurship PolicyLerner: “The Future of Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital”    

Lucas et al.: “Visions of Entrepreneurship Policy”    
Paternalism: Nudging    

Paternalism: Price Ceilings      
Thaler and Sunstein: “Libertarian Paternalism”  

Thaler and Rizzo: “Should Policies Nudge People?”      

Tabarrok: “Life-Saving Incentives: Consequences, Costs, and Solutions to the Organ Shortage”  

Stigler and Friedman: “Roofs or Ceilings?” (pp. 87-103)
Paternalism: Product and Safety Regulation        

Paternalism: Privacy       
Higgs: “Banning a Risky Product Cannot Improve Any Consumer’s Welfare”  

Leeson et al.: “Regulating Quack Medicine” (optional)  

Lenard and Rubin: “In Defense of Data: Information and the Costs of Privacy” (pp. 5-51)     

Tabarrok and Cowen: “The End of Asymmetric Information”  

Acquisti et al.: “The Economics of Privacy” (pp. 478-485)                    
Paternalism: Prohibition      

Paternalism: Welfare              
Wilson: “Against the Legalization of Drugs”  

Miron and Zwiebel: “The Economic Case Against Drug Prohibition”  

Thornton: “Alcohol Prohibition was a Failure” (optional)  

Tabarrok and Cowen: “Good Grapes and Bad Lobsters” (optional)  

Greene: “Naloxone ‘Moral Hazard’ Debate Pits Economists Against Physicians” (optional)

Porter: “The Myth of Welfare’s Corrupting Influence on the Poor”  

Buchanan: “The Samaritan’s Dilemma” (on mygcc)  

Pasour: “The Samaritan’s Dilemma and the Welfare State” 
International: Trade

International: Aid                
Irwin: “A Brief History of International Trade Policy”  

Krugman: “What do Undergrads Need to Know about Trade?”  

Leeson: “Two Cheers for Capitalism?”  

Sachs: “The Case for Aid”  

Leeson and Skarbek: “What Can Aid Do?”  

Leeson and Skarbek: “What Aid Can’t Do: Reply to Ranis”    
International: Immigration    

Innovation Policy        
Leeson and Gochenour: “The Economic Effects of International Labor Mobility” (on mygcc)

Borjas: “Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers”  

Moser: “Patents and Innovation in Economic History”  

Olhausen: “The Case for a Strong Patent System”

Boldrin and Levine: “The Case Against Patents” (optional)
Social Issues: Family, Marriage, Adoption     Frankel and Miller: “The Inapplicability of Market Theory to Adoptions”    

Boudreaux: “A Modest Proposal to Deregulate Infant Adoptions” 
Social Issues: Crime, Punishment, Prisons, and Guns     Freeman: “Why do so Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?”  

D’Amico: “The Prison in Economics: Private and Public Incarceration in Ancient Greece”  

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