Category archives: Economics

On scientific co-authorship (2): An economic diversion, Ronald Coase’s theory of the firm

On scientific co-authorship (2): An economic diversion, Ronald Coase’s theory of the firm

EconomicsPhilosophy of science

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

Let me leave aside for a moment our talk about scientists and papers, and bring up a topic that, at first sight, might seem totally unconnected: Ronald Coase’s economic theory about the firm and the allocation of property rights. As in the case of the problem we mentioned in our last entry (why scientists share […]

What motivates effort?

What motivates effort?

Economics

By José Luis Ferreira

One of the topics of discussion within behavioral economics is the motivation of effort. Although the typical economic model usually assumes monetary incentives, they do not preclude the existence of other factors, like preferences for being first or psychological and economical benefits from reputation. The growing experimental literature on this area will help to determine […]

The Enlightenment wars (& 3): but…what kind of humanism do we need?

The Enlightenment wars (& 3): but…what kind of humanism do we need?

AnthropologyEconomicsHistory

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

In the two previous entries (1, 2) of this series I described the different diagnoses that Marina Garcés and Steven Pinker make of humanity’s current predicament, without concealing my sympathies for the latter’s: with up and downs, with unequal division of the benefits, without bringing us a literal paradise, with lots of problems still to […]

The Enlightenment wars (1): progress or decline?

The Enlightenment wars (1): progress or decline?

AnthropologyEconomicsHistory

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

Keep in mind the word Enlightenment, because it’s very likely that it will be one of the most fashionable concepts within the next months. At a global level, Steven Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment now, will probably carry the lead in terms of sellings, comments and criticisms. But by a fortunate coincidence, its publication has been […]

School vouchers

School vouchers

Economics

By José Luis Ferreira

The most used mechanism to guarantee universal education in a country is by providing free public education, where public means both publicly financing and public provision. Milton Friedman (1962) made the case to keep the public funding but make the provision private through a system of school vouchers. Say that the State spends 100 per […]

How to scale up a pilot program

How to scale up a pilot program

Economics

By José Luis Ferreira

Economics needs theory, lab experiments, historical data and field evidence. Pilot programs and randomized controlled trials are particularly credible from the point of view of internal validity. However, the results of these “proof-of-concept” studies do not necessarily extend beyond the context in which they where implemented or scale up if they are generalized. Banerjee et […]