Archive for June, 2008

Do voters know enough economics for democracy to work?

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

A good summary article by George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan of his “The Myth of the Rational Voter” thesis. (Thanks to Frank for the link.) The full book was published in 2007 by Princeton University Press.

What Schumpeter missed

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Growthology‘s Tim Kane wonders what Schumpeter would think about the changing face of innovation promotion: “If Schumpeter had lived to see the development of the IT revolution, the Internet, and google, what would he have thought? He probably would be incredibly encouraged to see the acceleration of innovation and the constant re-spawning of innovative small firms. This is the start-up culture, and my sense is that it is the one big idea Schumpeter missed.”

Entrepreneurs talk: Google’s founders

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page offer an inside look into Google search patterns and their strategies to motivate employees and increase innovation.

FEE essay contest on globalization

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is sponsoring an essay contest on the topic of globalization. The winning essay will receive $2,000 and be published in FEE’s publication The Freeman. The submission deadline is August 15, 2008.

Entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe

Monday, June 16th, 2008

In the journal Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, an essay by R. Duane Ireland, Laszlo Tihanyi, and Justin W. Webb examines the continuing challenges of developing an entrepreneurial culture in Central and Eastern Europe. Here is the abstract:

“Following the collapse of socialism in the late 1980s, Central and Eastern European countries initiated attempts to adopt capitalist economic frameworks and promote entrepreneurship. However, persistent economic difficulties and high levels of unemployment have led to dissatisfaction with political parties favoring capitalism. We integrate identity, institutional, and social movement theories to describe the emergence of four competing social movements (capitalist democracy, socialist command, social democracy, and populist command) that are undertaken to pursue politico-economic reforms. We discuss the implications for developing an entrepreneurial culture in Central and Eastern Europe.”

The innovator’s struggle: Dr. Harold Ridley

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Blake Shaw has a post on innovator Harold Ridley’s desperate battle: “A brilliant eye surgeon performs a revolutionary operation in secret, implanting a new device, the intraocular lens, which replaces the cloudy cataract. Word leaks out two years later, and the world’s most prominent ophthalmologist vilifies and ostracizes him. He suffers from depression, an outcast in his profession. …”

Canadian innovation problems

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Donald McFetridge, in an April 2008 report (PDF) for Canada’s Institute for Research on Public Policy, offers a series of analyses and reflections upon Canada’s relative sluggishness in innovation.

Rapidly falling prices for technology

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Anita Campbell writes at Open Forum about how technology prices have kept dropping.

On a similar note, at Cafe Hayek Russell Roberts pointed out in late 2006 that “When [the iPod] first came out, it held 1000 songs and cost $399. Today, for $349, you get 20,000 songs. It can also display videos and photos. It’s smaller, too. So it’s $50 cheaper and more than 20 times better.”

In 2008, you can choose from many more iPod models but you can also get that classic 20,000 song version for $249, and a 40,000 song version for $349.

Marketing through social networking?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

The increasing popularity of social media such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter sparks an interesting discussion at Small Business Trends over whether businesses should take advantage of them for marketing purposes or whether their use would do more harm than good. And over at Fast Company, Stanford professor B.J. Fogg explains why Facebook is “the most powerful tool in human history.”