Monday, December 16, 2013

More open access

I just received an email from the British Journal of Economics, Management and Trade. They are currently offering to publish papers for only $100. Maybe I've missed the boat in the online journal business; competition appears to be heating up.
This journal claims that

In order to maintain highest level of transparency and high standard of review, this journal presently follows highly respected and toughest Advanced OPEN peer-review system (ExampleLink1, Link2, Link3, Link4, Link5, Link6, Link7, Link8, Link9, Link10, etc.). We hope that you will appreciate this Advanced OPEN peer-review system, which is expected to give doubtless scholarly benefit and impact to the authors in long run. Additionally we strongly encourage and promote “Post-publication Peer review” by our comment section.

Doubtless scholarly benefit and impact in long run for only $100. Sounds like a great deal.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Believe It Or Not: The Online Journal Business

This not a joke. I keep getting these emails, like the one below, encouraging me to publish in an online open access journal. This one comes from the Center for Promoting Ideas. Really, its named the Center for Promoting Ideas. They published 24 issues of this particular journal, the International Journal of Humanities and social Sciences, last year. I looked at one of the issues, and it appeared to contain about 40 articles. They charge authors $200 per article and publish six different journals. If you published 24 issues of 6 journals with 40 articles each, charging $200 to each author, you could bring in  $1,152,000. Maybe I should get into the online journal business. 
Their standards for peer review are clearly pretty rigorous. You have to submit by December 31 to get your paper in the January 31 issue.
Call for Papers

International Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IJHSS)

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221- 0989 (Online)

International Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IJHSS) is an open access, peer-reviewed and refereed international journal published by Center for Promoting Ideas, USA. The main objective of IJHSS is to provide an intellectual platform for the international scholars. IJHSS aims to promote interdisciplinary studies in humanities and social science and become the leading journal in humanities and social science in the world.

The journal publishes research papers in the fields of humanities and social science such as anthropology, business studies, communication studies, corporate governance ,criminology, cross-cultural studies ,demography, development studies, economics, education, ethics, geography, history, industrial relations, information science, international relations, law, linguistics, library science, media studies, methodology, philosophy, political science, population Studies, psychology, public administration, sociology, social welfare, linguistics ,literature, paralegal, performing arts (music, theatre & dance), religious studies ,visual arts, women studies and so on.

The journal is published in both print and online versions.

The journal is now indexed with and included in Cabell’s, Ulrich’s, DOAJ, Index Copernicus International, EBSCO and Gale. Moreover the journal is under the indexing process with ISI, ERIC, Econlit, Scopus and Journalseek.

IJHSS publishes original papers, review papers, conceptual framework, analytical and simulation models, case studies, empirical research, technical notes, and book reviews.

IJHSS is inviting papers for Vol. 4 No. 1 which is scheduled to be published on January 31, 2014. Last date of submission: December 31, 2013.However, an early submission will get preference in case of review and publication process.

Send your manuscript to the editor at, or

For more information, visit the official website of the journal

With thanks,

Dr. J. Sabrina Mims-Cox

The Chief Editor, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IJHSS)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

  1. Meera K.@MeeraKal3h
  2. can you take my econ final for me tomorrow? It's micro, so you should be okay :)
  1. Reply
  1. Details Expand Collapse
    1. set s=D for competitive mkts and MR=MC for monopolies and you should be fine
  • Monday, October 21, 2013

    Economics and Science

    In the New York times, Raj Chetty discusses the Nobel winners and economics as a science.  It is much better than this silly essay by Alex Rosenberg and Tyler Curtain, in which they argue that economics is not a science because it can't make predictions and then sugges that "an economic approach had much to contribute to the design and creative management of such institutions. Fixing bad economic and political institutions (concentrations of power, collusions and monopolies), improving good ones (like the Fed’s open-market operations), designing new ones (like electromagnetic bandwidth auctions), in the private and public sectors, are all attainable tasks of economic theory." How will economic theory help you to fix, improve or create institutions if it does not make predictions about the results of those changes?

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    Ronald Coase

    Coase passed away.

    Thanks to Doug North and Lee Benham, I was fortunate to see Ronald Coase in person on several occasions. I remember the first time someone asked him about the appropriate size of government. He said that it was a bit like the 400 pound man who asked his doctor how much he should way. The doctor responded “Well, less.”

    Monday, August 26, 2013

    Another Loss

    This has been a rough couple of months for Economic History and American History. I posted earlier this summer abou the death of Bob Fogel. Shortly after that, Edmund Morgan, author of American Slavery American Freedom: the Ordeal of Colonial Virginia and numerous other works, passed away. In July, Cynthia Taft Morris died. Along with Irma Adelman, Cynthia was a pioneer in the effort to measure institutions and institutional change.  Then Pauline Maier. Maier is probably best known for American Scripture: The Making of the Declaration of Independence, but her paper on "The Revolutionary Origins of the American Corporation," William and Mary Quarterly (1993) has been widely cited in American economic history. Today I read that David Landes has passed away.   

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    More New History of Capitalism (aka lets just make stuff up)

    Since the NY Times article on the New History of Captalism, I have been trying to catch up with the recent work in this field. Unfortunately, I was dissapointed by Jonathan Levy's Freaks of Fortune. I just started Julia Ott's When Wall Street Met Main Street. On the first page of the first chapter she declares that "Severe financial panics in 1873 and 1893 punctuated a prolonged economic depression, as prices, profits, per capita output and productivity growth fell steadily from 1873 to 1896." She does not provide the source for this statement. Most of it is not true. Prices fell, but real output per capita increased. Overall, the period was one of relatively rapid productivity growth.

    This is a graph of real gdp per capita during the period in question.

    Per capita output did not fall steadily; it rose unsteadily.
    This information is not hard to find.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Friday, May 31, 2013


    The Washington Post has an article based on research at the St. Louis Fed, showing that net worth has not recovered from the recession. The article is titled Americans have rebuilt less than half the wealth lost to recession.

    The article includes the following graph

    Its not clear, however, that comparing wealth to the 2007 peak makes sense. Consider the following graph of net worth from 1990 to 2012

    The two graphs are not directly comparable. The lower one shows net worth of all households and non-profit organizations in billions of dollars. It is not adjusted for inflation or the number of households. Nevertheless, it illustrates the problem with the first graph. The build up in wealth from 2002 to 2007 was clearly above the trend. why woulkd it be reasonable to expect a return to that lelvel of wealth rather than a return to the trend. The current levels of net worth appears consistent with the longer term trend.


    Monday, May 27, 2013

    Shame on the OAH: A Rant About Joanthan Levy's Freaks of Fortune

    The Organization of American Historians recently presented Jonathan Levy’s Freaks of Fortune with book three awards. If this is as good as it gets in American history, the field is in a sad state. The book is not great history; it is not even good history.

    The premise of the book is that the history of “risk” as we know it dates to the nineteenth century.  He explains that “at the end of the eighteenth century “risk” still simply referred to a commodity bought and sold in an insurance contract. Outside long distance maritime trade risk had very little meaning or use.”  And by the end of the nineteenth century “risk was in fact everywhere. Before that century of capitalist transformation, however, it was not.” Before this capitalist transformation risk did not mean “extreme peril, hazard or danger.” But the capitalist system that “thrives off radical uncertainty” brought “the insecurity of the sea to the land.” This is all fascinating. Unfortunately, it is also nonsense. The first American dictionary, Noah Webster’s 1806 Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, was much less extensive than his later works but still included the word risk:

    Risk, n. hazard, chance, danger

    Risk, v.t. to hazard, expose to chance, endanger

    A quick search of American Periodical Series Online can provide examples of the use of “risk” outside a maritime context:

    In 1789 and essay in Columbian Magazine notes that allowing hay to lie out for several days before it is collected”subjects it very much to the danger of getting rain, and thus runs a great risk of being made good for little.” (Columbian Magazine July 1789)

    Or, “The inconveniences of ridges high and crooked are so many, that one would be tempted to apply a remedy and any risk.” (Christian Scholar’s and Farmer’s Magazine July 1789)

    The whole book is based on a premise that is nonsense and easily shown to be so. Moreover, accepting the premise requires one to ignore considerable research about how people, especially farmers, dealt with risk before the nineteenth century.

    Levy goes onto talk about things like the Farmers’ Loan and Security Company, which did not exist. He may at least have been close this time; there was a Farmer’s Loan and Trust Company. Perhaps this is nitpicking, but how could someone study the history of capitalism and not know about the Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company, one of the named parties in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company, the 1895 case that ruled an income tax unconstitutional.

    I can’t say that there were not parts of the book that I found interesting and enjoyable, but, overall, I found it to be deeply flawed. It came nowhere near the standards that historians should aspire to. The members of the OAH should be the ones most concerned that American history be based on thorough, careful and critical consideration of the sources; they should be the ones shouting that the emperor has no clothes when it is not. Instead, they have granted the emperor three awards for the best robes.

    Correction August 31. 2019 Mike Konczal pointed out to me that Levy referred to the Farmers' Loan and Trust Company as the Farmers' Loan and Security Trust Company not the Farmers' Loan and Security Company.

    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Armen Alchian

    Marginal Revolution and Organizations and Markets are reporting that Arment Alchian passed away. I'll never understand why he did not receive the Nobel Prize.

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Financial Regulation and the Panic of 1907

    My paper "Financial Regulation and the Panic of 1907" will be in the Winter 2013 Business History Review.
    Here is the abstract

    Previous studies of the Panic of 1907 have argued that lax regulation enabled trust companies to take excessive risks, leading to a loss of confidence and massive runs. These studies have, however, given relatively little attention to the historical development of trust companies. This paper argues that a more historical perspective can lead to a better understanding of the institutional framework and the actions of trust companies. Depositors did not lose confidence because of inadequate regulation; depositors lost confidence in specific trust companies because of false rumors, and diversity among trust companies hindered cooperation to halt the Panic.

    And here is an earlier version on SSRN

    Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good Trust Companies: A Reexamination of the Trust Company Panic of 1907