kottke.org posts about Alex Tabarrok

Introducing Marginal Revolution University

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 06, 2012

Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution are starting an online education platform.

We think education should be better, cheaper, and easier to access. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and create a new online education platform toward those ends. We have decided to do more to communicate our personal vision of economics to you and to the broader world.

The first course is Development Economics.

Development Economics will cover the sources of economic growth including geography, education, finance, and institutions. We will cover theories like the Solow and O-ring models and we will cover the empirical data on development and trade, foreign aid, industrial policy, and corruption. Development Economics will include not just theory but a wealth of historical and factual information on specific countries and topics, everything from watermelon scale economies and the clove monopoly to water privatization in Buenos Aires and cholera in Haiti.

A piece of unsolicited advice: change the name to Revolution University.

The Buffalo Commons

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 13, 2008

Alex Tabarrok proposes that now is a good time for the US government to form the Buffalo Commons, a huge nature preserve in the western US.

The western Great Plains are emptying of people. Some 322 of the 443 Plains counties have lost population since 1930 and a majority have lost population since 1990. Now is the time for the Federal government to sell high-priced land in the West, use some of the proceeds to deal with current problems and use some of the proceeds to buy low-priced land in the Plains creating the world’s largest nature park, The Buffalo Commons.

According to this map, the US government owns more than 50% of the land in some western states (Nevada 84.5%, Utah 57.4%, Oregon 53.1%, Arizona 48.1%, California 45.3%).

Over at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok is

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 11, 2007

Over at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok is advocating a game show called So You Think You Can Be President? instead of debates to better educate voters about presidential candidates. “Presidential candidates have 12 hours to get a bitterly divorcing couple to divide their assets in a mutually agreeable manner. (Bonus points are awarded if the candidate convinces the couple to stay together.)” Awesome.