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 | 122 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 | 194 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