COSMOS + TAXIS Issue on Jane Jacobs

by Sandy Ikeda Jane Jacobs’ writings span several disciplines—including ethics and most especially economics—but she is best known for her contributions to and her critique of urban planning, design, and policy. Many of those whom she influenced in academia, policy, and activism took the occasion of her one-hundredth birthday in 2016 to celebrate those contributions … Continue reading COSMOS + TAXIS Issue on Jane Jacobs

Radical Ignorance in the Financial Crisis

by Sandy Ikeda Jeffrey Friedman and Wladimir Kraus have a new book out, Engineering the Financial Crisis, (Univ. Penn Press) that grew out of research that first appeared in Critical Review back in 2009 on the "Causes of the Crisis."  Friedman’s lead article in that issue did an excellent job of providing a detailed but readable description … Continue reading Radical Ignorance in the Financial Crisis

“Unintended consequences of ‘Smart Growth'”

by Sandy Ikeda That's the title of a video interview I did with the Mackinac Center that was posted on their website a few days ago. I did it last summer and it runs about twelve minutes. It's very hard to do justice to either the SG side or my critique in such a … Continue reading “Unintended consequences of ‘Smart Growth'”

Pigou is the new Keynes

by Sandy Ikeda A full-page article in today's Wall Street Jounal begins: At the Heavenly Models home for deceased economists, an award is being presented to the resident whose work best explains financial crises, global warming, and other pressing issues of today. The winner, according to author John Cassidy, is A.C. Pigou, the new flavor … Continue reading Pigou is the new Keynes

Don Boudreaux’s WSJ article on “insider trading”

by Sandy Ikeda Congratulations to Don Boudreaux for his article debunking insider-trading regulations, "Learning to love insider trading," which covers the entire front page of the Weekend Journal section of this morning's paper. Prohibitions on insider trading prevent the market from adjusting as quickly as possible to changes in the demand for, and supply of, … Continue reading Don Boudreaux’s WSJ article on “insider trading”

“Causes of the Crisis Blog”

by Sandy Ikeda Following up on its recent issue on the financial crisis, Critical Review has started a blog with contributors to that issue doing the posting.  So far they have "disputed the theory that bankers' bonuses, irrational exuberance, or capitalism caused the crisis. And four posts have debated the role of economic theory in … Continue reading “Causes of the Crisis Blog”

Look who’s bashing macroeconomics

by Sandy Ikeda "We think of experiments of particle physics and space explorers as being extraordinarily expensive, and so they are.  But the costs are as nothing compared with the incomprehensibly huge resources that banks, industries, governments and the international institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations have poured … Continue reading Look who’s bashing macroeconomics

Critical Review Explores The Causes Of The Financial Crisis

by Sandy Ikeda The most recent issue of Critical Review on the Causes of the Financial Crisis includes contributions from John B. Taylor, Daron Acemoglu, Steven Gjerstad and Vernon L. Smith, Lawrence J. White, and Joseph E. Stiglitz to name just few. I've not yet read the entire issue, but did have the opportunity to … Continue reading Critical Review Explores The Causes Of The Financial Crisis

Delirious New York: A reaction, not a review

by Sandy Ikeda I started reading Rem Koolhaas's insightful but seemingly endless Delirious New York a couple of years ago and just finished it this morning. Why so long? Well, it's partly because I don't read so fast, but mostly because it's maddeningly obscure, both its structure and prose. Although it has a lot of … Continue reading Delirious New York: A reaction, not a review

Got time? Track crime (and other stuff)

by Sandy Ikeda A while ago on another blog I wrote about a website called "" that reports on everything from neighborhood "restaurant inspections and building violations to missed connections posted on Craigslist and news mentions" in about a dozen major US cities. FYI, here are two similar and handy sites, which have an emphasis … Continue reading Got time? Track crime (and other stuff)

OK, it’s “later” now

by Sandy Ikeda MSNBC reports that "Evidence mounts that recession may be ending". At the same time, in the Wall Street Journal: [T]he central bank has been buying mortgage-backed securities and Treasurys. Through programs announced since last fall, it has bought more than $460 billion of mortgage-backed securities and more than $125 billion of Treasury … Continue reading OK, it’s “later” now

An Austrian spin on baseball?

by Sandy Ikeda Phil Hughes, the Yankees' up-and-coming ace, may be throwing batters curves but not the kind they think. Here we present an illusion that suggests that the perception of a “break” in the curveball’s path may be related to physiological differences between foveal and peripheral vision. We contend that the visual periphery frequently … Continue reading An Austrian spin on baseball?

Rising in Phoenix: Entrepreneurial responses to housing and health-care problems

by Sandy Ikeda The New York Times, in "Amid Housing Bust, Phoenix Begins a New Frenzy", reports that "Real estate got just about everyone into trouble in Phoenix, and the thinking seems to be that real estate is going to get everyone out." If the property looks promising, Mr. Jarvis puts in a bid on … Continue reading Rising in Phoenix: Entrepreneurial responses to housing and health-care problems

Airports: Coase, but no cigar

by Sandy Ikeda A year ago the Bush administration proposed auctioning landing slots at Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark airports in the New York region. Yesterday the Obama administration canceled these plans. From the NYT article: "In proposing to rescind the auctions, the department noted that the rule making was highly controversial and that most of … Continue reading Airports: Coase, but no cigar

In Vauban, no car AND no double-hyphen

by Sandy Ikeda In Germany, they're banning cars in the "green" village of Vauban, where you may still be permitted to pay $40,000 for a parking space in the outskirts but only if you also buy a home. Meanwhile, the other day Germany's Constitutional Court again upheld a ban on double-hyphenated names. So will Frieda … Continue reading In Vauban, no car AND no double-hyphen

Rothbard on sprawl and discrimination

by Sandy Ikeda Over at Market Urbanism they're discussing Murray Rothbard's analysis in For a New Liberty (1973) of how local public-school financing created incentives (1) for urban populations to move to the suburbs and (2) for suburbs to discriminate against low-income (re black) families via zoning and building regulations. So add public schools to … Continue reading Rothbard on sprawl and discrimination

Two interesting models of urban redevelopment

by Sandy Ikeda From the New York Times, “An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It”: Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods. The population would be condensed into a few viable areas. So would stores … Continue reading Two interesting models of urban redevelopment

“No one deserves their pay”

by Sandy Ikeda Megan McArdle, blogging about the issue of “fair pay” on Wall Street, in the context of the recent bailouts, makes the following provocative statement: No one deserves their pay, so I can hardly be angry at the folks on Wall Street for taking what they could get… Trying to make as much … Continue reading “No one deserves their pay”

The mirage of the efficient city

by Sandy Ikeda I'm honored to be contributing a short essay to a Festschrift for Jane Jacobs.  Recently, the editor asked me to write an abstract.  The following is the result, which I would like to share with you: A city is not a man-made thing.  Rather, it emerges from the actions of its inhabitants, … Continue reading The mirage of the efficient city