Economic Inquiry

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 3, July

An Econometric Analysis of Charitable Giving with Interdependent Preferences
"In practice we are in a situation ... where one's own [contribution] is expected to influence the [contributions] of others. ... A will expect that B and C may also be induced by his gifts to the same or similar objectives." - Vickrey [1962, p. 40]...
Behavioral Foundations of Reciprocity: Experimental Economics and Evolutionary Psychology
I. INTRODUCTION Theorists have long studied the fundamental problem that cooperative, socially efficient outcomes generally cannot be supported as equilibria in finite games. The puzzle is the occurrence of cooperative behavior in the absence of immediate...
Crossing the Line
It seems appropriate on this occasion to honor both Gary Becker and James Coleman by conveying a little of the flavor of the interdisciplinary workshop they jointly ran at the University of Chicago on Rational Choice Models in the Social Sciences. This...
Gary Becker Expanding the Scope of Economics
When I arrived at the University of Chicago in September, 1954, the new assistant professors in the department included Gary Becker, Bob Gustafson, and Roy Radner. The Cowles Commission was leaving for Yale, and there was no introductory course in mathematical...
Health and Amenity Effects of Global Warming
I. INTRODUCTION Many researchers, environmentalists, and politicians are forecasting that rising world temperatures in the next century will have devastating effects on humans.(1) Although the calamities are barely spelled out, some scholars and writers...
Incentives, Predestination and Free Will
I. INTRODUCTION Max Weber's [1930] "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" argues that the Protestant reformation set the stage for post-Medieval economic growth. Using an occupational study of Germans from 1895, Weber shows that Protestants...
Is the Time-Series Evidence on Minimum Wage Effects Contaminated by Publication Bias?
I. INTRODUCTION Economists often express concern that the journal review process has the unintended effect of biasing published empirical results towards the rejection of economic null hypotheses, in favor of statistically significant results that are...
Monetary Policy, Banking, and Growth
I. INTRODUCTION Fischer and Modigliani [1978] exhaustively list the costs associated with inflation. In recent years, a growing body of evidence is consistent with the notion that slower output growth may be added to the Fischer-Modigliani list. Specifically,...
Posted Prices versus Bargaining in Markets with Asymmetric Information
I. INTRODUCTION The spirited bargaining of the bazaar has been the predominant price setting mechanism in most producer and consumer markets in the Western world for many centuries whereas the use of posted prices to optimize profits is a relatively...
Rationality and the "Religious Mind."
I. INTRODUCTION Since the mid-1800s, religion has been a subject of sustained research within every social science except economics.(1) In the past two decades, however, widespread evidence of religion's durability, including numerous instances for...
The Effects of Business Cycles on Growth: Keynes vs. Schumpeter
I. INTRODUCTION Do business cycles matter? The question would have seemed recherche a scant decade ago, when understanding and explaining business cycle phenomena were the bread-and-butter of macroeconomics. But recently, with the revival of interest...
Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?
I. INTRODUCTION Beginning with the seminal work of Becker [1968], an extensive economic literature has analyzed criminal behavior and issues of criminal justice.(1) The linchpin of the economic model of crime is the concept of deterrence: rational agents,...