The Institute of Economic Affairs just published a new monograph – From Crisis to Confidence: Macroeconomics after the Crash - by my friend and former classmate Roger Koppl; Pete Boettke sings its praises here.  And here’s a slice from Roger’s own description of his tract:

A healthy economy recovers relatively quickly from a recession. This time, however, the recovery was slow. We have had a series of policy innovations and interventions intended to bolster the economy’s health. But the patient languished under the doctors’ care and we got the long slump, with employment low and growth slow.

The problem has been a series of policy innovations, which created economic policy uncertainty. Careening from one improvised policy to the next created uncertainty and knocked confidence out of the system. Mainstream macroeconomics today has been able to spot the empirical connection between an anaemic economy and economic policy uncertainty. But it has no solid theoretical explanation. In From Crisis to Confidence I outline a theory of confidence that helps to explain why recovery from the Great Recession has been so slow and painful.

The ideas I discuss in the monograph are rooted in an economic theory that rejects the mechanistic models of recent mainstream macroeconomics in favour of a more human vision of the economy and of economic theory. If people and particles are different, we need a theory about people to avoid the tragic policy errors that gave us the Great Recession and the long slump.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown argues that entrepreneurship in America isn’t declining; it’s changing.

Kris James Mitchener and Kirsten Wandschneider explain that during the Great Depression,

[c]apital controls appear not to have been successfully used as tools for rescuing banking systems, stimulating domestic output, or for raising prices. Rather they appear to have been maintained as a means for restricting trade (working alongside or in lieu of restrictions on imports) and repayment of foreign debts.

(HT Tyler Cowen)

Dietz Vollrath offers interesting remarks about the relative decline, from 1550 through 1850, in skilled labor in Great Britain.

David Friedman wonders why legal standards applied to rulers (and to rulers’ armed agents) are in America today worse than they were in some 14th-century sultanates.

Speaking of which, here’s Daniel Bier:

But has policing really become so dangerous that we need to arm peace officers like an invading army? The answer is no. It’s never been safer to be a cop.

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