August 31st, 2001 - Open Knowledge
Aug. 31st, 2001
Via Robert Hettinga via Edward Feser of the Hayek-L mailing list:
I thought Hayek-L members mind find of interest a recent interview with Robert Nozick (at the Laissez Faire Books website) concerning his
forthcoming book _Invariance_. Among other things, it touches on the relevance of evolutionary theory to ethics, a new criticism developed by Nozick of Popper's views on induction, and some remarks on Ayn Rand and on Nozick's early days as a libertarian philosopher at Harvard. Nozick also says that his alleged apostasy from libertarianism has been "greatly exaggerated," and that the new book's chapter on ethics indicates the extent (apparently still considerable) to which he still falls within the libertarian camp.
The interview can be found at:
From the Economics and The Pursuit of Happiness conference held at Nuffield College, Oxford:
Wellbeing over Time in Britain and The US
D.G. Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald
The standard of lviing in the industrialized nations has been steadily increasing over the last few decades. Yet some observers wonder whether we are really getting any happier. This paper addresses that question by examining well-being data on 100,000 randomly sampled Americans and Britons from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. Reported levels of happiness have declined over the period in the United States. Life satisfaction has been approximately flat through time in Great Britains. Counter to the general U.S. trend, the happiness of blacks in that nation has risen since the early 1970s. The black-white happiness differential has diminished. The happiness of American men has grown. Despite legislation aimed to reduce gender discrimination, the well-being of women has fallen noticeably.
Well-being equations have a stable structure: the British equations look almost identical to the U.S. ones. Money does buy happiness. The paper also calculates the dollar values of life events like unemployment and divorce. They are large. A lasting marriage, for example, is calculated to be worth $100,000 a year.
I haven't read the full paper yet, but how can marriage be worth over $100 K/year? Roughly half the individuals in the U.S. make less than a third that amount.
08:15 pm - Clarence Bass is my hero!
10:28 pm - Behavioral finance
Historically, economists have modelled the economiy based on an idealized version of human behavior, the so-called "rational man".
Richard Thaler, an economist at the University of Chicago, is one of pioneers of behavioral finance, the study of the economy based on a more realistic model of human psychology. Thaler has put his (and others) money where his mouth is and started an investment management firm, Fuller and Thaler, based on his theories. So far it appears to be doing pretty well.
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