Category Archives: Economics

The Long Divergence

I just finished The Long Divergence, by Timur Kuran, which tries to explain the Middle East’s economic backwardness. It’s a path-dependence argument: mistakes were made, and one thing led to another. His thesis is that particular features of local culture … Continue reading

Posted in Economics | 121 Comments

Economists and biology

Naturally, economists know a lot about human biology and evolution, just as civil engineers have to know about the properties of timber, concrete and steel. They have a good grounding in psychometrics, behavioral genetics, and quantitative genetics – how else … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Genetics | 134 Comments

Biology and Human Capital

I don’t pretend to be an economist.  If I had been, I’m sure that I too would have been unable to see the big real-estate bubble back in 2008, even though crazed Californians  were flipping houses all around my neighborhood. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education | 193 Comments

Diversity Galor

Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor argue that “the level of genetic diversity within a society is found to have a hump-shaped effect on development outcomes in both the pre-colonial and the modern era, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Genetics | 66 Comments

Talking to Economists

I gave a talk, back in April, at the University of Chicago.  We were trying to introduce some economists to genetics, which is relevant to some of the questions they work on.  Some already knew quite a bit – we … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Genetics | 90 Comments