Economic freedom and human capital investment

HORST FELDMANN

JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS, Volume 13, Issue 2

Abstract: Using data from 1972 to 2011 on 109 countries, this paper empirically studies the impact of economic freedom on human capital investment. Enrollment in secondary education is used as a proxy for such investments. Controlling for a large number of other determinants of education, it finds that, over the sample period, economic freedom had a substantial positive effect. This is probably because more economic freedom increases the return on investing in human capital, enables people to keep a larger share of the return, and, by facilitating the operation of credit markets, makes it easier for them to undertake such investments in the first place.

Hume on Education

DAN O’BRIEN

PACIFIC PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY

Abstract: Hume claims that education is ‘disclaimed by philosophy, as a fallacious ground of assent to any opinion’ (T 1.3.10.1) and that it is ‘never . . . recogniz’d by philosophers’ (T 1.3.9.19). He is usually taken to be referring here to indoctrination. I argue, however, that his main concern is with association and those philosophers who emphasize the epistemic dangers of the imagination. These include Locke, Hutcheson and Descartes, but not Hume himself. Hume praises education, highlighting its role in the formation of general rules, and in fostering social conditions that encourage the growth of knowledge and moral virtue.

Against Democratic Education

MARK PENNINGTON
SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY AND POLICY 31.1 (2014): 1-35

Abstract: Critics of educational markets and parental choice argue that the social aspect of education is best reflected when citizens are able collectively to shape it provision though a process of public reasoning, and when instruction in the norms that sustain such reasoning are part of the curriculum. These requirements are thought to imply that the delivery, funding, and regulation of primary and secondary education should be subject to extensive democratic control. This essay takes issue with these claims. Continue reading

Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution

DAVIDE CANTONI, NOAM YUCHTMAN
THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS 129.2 (2014): 823-887

Abstract: We present new data documenting medieval Europe’s Commercial Revolution using information on the establishment of markets in Germany. We use these data to test whether medieval universities played a causal role in expanding economic activity, examining the foundation of Germany’s first universities after 1386 following the papal schism. Continue reading

What Should be Taught and Learned in Economics Classes (and Is It?)

JAMES D. GWARTNEY,  JANE S. SHAW
JOURNAL OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE 24.1 (2013): 73-86

This paper highlights five major deficiencies of the introductory economics courses typically taught in the United States: (1) inattention to the key role of private ownership, (2) neglect of the competitive process, (3) lack of coverage of entrepreneurship, (4) neglect of the insights of public choice economics, and (5) inaccurate portrayal of economic central planning.