Wayne A. Leighton & Edward J. López

Madmen, Intellectuals, & Academic Scribblers

The Economic Engine of Political Change

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Past Events

November 11, 2016 , The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
Public Lecture, “Design Copyists: Are They Parasites or Innovators?”
Edward J. López
October 17, 2016 , St. John's University
Queens, NY
Public Lecture, “Design Copyists: Are They Parasites or Innovators?”
Edward J. López
October 17, 2016 , New York University Colloquium on Market Process
New York, NY
Research Presentation, “Deidre McCloskey on Institutions”
Edward J. López
September 19, 2016 , Mont Pelerin Society General Meetings
Miami, FL
Research Presentation, “The Roads to Success in the Academy for Think Tanks”
Edward J. López
September 06, 2016 , Christopher Newport University
Newport News, VA
Public Lecture, “Design Copyists: Are They Parasites or Innovators?”
Edward J. López
June 23, 2016 , Jekyll Island Club
Jekyll Island, GA
Colloquium Participant: An Inquiry on Sound Money and Trade in Ferdinando Galiani’s Works
Edward J. López
June 17, 2016 , Institute for Humane Studies
Arlington, VA
Research Presentation, “Exchange Opportunities Between Think Tanks and Academia: Symbiosis in the Intellectual Structure of Production”
Edward J. López
June 02, 2016 , Omni Mandalay
Irving, TX
Colloquium Participant: Entrepreneurship from Schumpeter to Manne
Edward J. López
April 05, 2016 , Association of Private Enterprise Education
Las Vegas, NV
Research Presentation, “Public Choice and Price Theory in Atlas Shrugged and The Grapes of Wrath”
Edward J. López
April 04, 2016 , Association of Private Enterprise Education
Las Vegas, NV
Research Presentation, “Adapting Liberty Fund’s Socratic Discussion for the University Classroom”
Edward J. López
March 12, 2016 , 53rd Annual Meetings of the Public Choice Society
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Research Discussant, Politics and Knowledge
Edward J. López
February 24, 2016 , The Bastiat Society of Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN
Public Lecture, “Prospects for Reform: A View from 1962″
Edward J. López
January 03, 2016 , American Economic Association / Allied Social Sciences Association
San Francisco, Calif.
Research Discussant, Session on History of Public Choice Thought
Edward J. López
November 22, 2015 , Southern Economic Association
New Orleans, LA
Research Presentation, “The Evolution of Federal Budget Rules and the Effects on Fiscal Policy: How Informal Norms Have Trumped Formal Constraints”
Edward J. López
November 22, 2015 , Southern Economic Association
New Orleans, LA
Research Presentation, “Routinized Innovation in Creative Goods”
Edward J. López
From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.189, ch.7)

The most successful entrepreneurs know what they do well, they know the market and the opportunities within it, and they choose those activities that create the most value. This is true in economic as well as political markets.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.178, ch.7)

[W]hen the right elements come together at the right time and place and overwhelm the status quo, it is because special people make it happen. We call them political entrepreneurs.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.176. ch.7)

While we started this book with Danny Biasone saving basketball, we end it with Norman Borlaug saving a billion lives. These stories are not that different. Both faced vested interests, which were reinforced by popular beliefs that things should be a certain way—that is, until a better idea came along.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.174, ch.6)

Because there was a general belief that homeownership was a good thing, politicians found the public with open arms.... Everybody was winning—except Alfred Marshall, whose supply and demand curves were difficult to see through the haze of excitement at the time, and except Friedrich Hayek, whose competition as a discovery procedure was befuddled... In short, once politicians started getting credit for homeownership rates, the housing market was doomed.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.166, ch.6)

Everyone responded rationally to the incentives before them. In short, the rules that guided homeownership changed over time, which in turn changed the incentives of these actors. And bad things happened.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.153, ch.6)

They understood the economics. The ideas had already won in ... the regulatory agency itself. All that remained to be overcome were some vested interests and a handful of madmen in authority.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.146, ch.6)

If the idea for auctions of spectrum use rights had been part of the public debate since at least 1959, why didn’t the relevant institutions change sooner? What interests stood in the way?

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.121, ch.5)

When an academic scribbler comes up with a new idea, it has to resonate well with widely shared beliefs, which in turn must overcome the vested interests at the table. Many forces come together to explain political change, even though it may seem like coincidence of time and place.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.120, ch.5)

It’s the rules of the political game that deserve our focus, not politicians’ personalities or party affiliations.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.119, ch.5)

In short, ideas are a type of higher-order capital in society. Like a society that is poor in capital and therefore produces little consumer value, a society that is poor in ideas and institutions will have bad incentives and therefore few of the desirable outcomes that people want.

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