Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan

Professor of Economics
George Mason University

Bryan Caplan is an economics professor at George Mason University, and a senior scholar at the Mercatus Center.  His writings have been published in the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post  and many other outlets.  Caplan has appeared on 20/20, C-SPAN, and the BBC.  He has also written two books, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, and The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, and is working on a third, The Case Against Education: A Professional Student Explains Why Our Education System Is a Big Waste of Time and Money.  He blogs at EconLog, named a top economics blog by The Wall Street Journal.

Blog Posts

Bryan Caplan: Is immigration a basic human right?

Editors Note: On March 16th George Mason University Professor of Economics Bryan Caplan debated Washington University Professor of Philosophy Christopher Wellman on the topic, “Is Immigration a Basic Human Right?” Below is…

Why libertarians should oppose the Universal Basic Income

Here’s my opening statement for my Students for Liberty debate with Will Wilkinson.  Enjoy. Libertarians have a standard set of fundamental criticisms of the welfare state. Forced charity is unjust. Individuals have…

Democracy rewards those who lust for power.

The incentives politicians face reward the concentration and consolidation of power.

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The many faces of means-testing

Isn’t a Universal Basic Income just another name for a negative income tax, such as Tax = -$10,000 + .3*Income? If so, isn’t a Universal Basic Income means-tested by definition?

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Better market-oriented proposals that reduce income inequality

I was initially excited to see that progressive Dean Baker has written a piece on “Eight Market-Oriented Proposals That Reduce Income Inequality” for AEI. It begins promisingly by criticizing overly…

The dumbest thing Batman ever said

Batman is wrong about Superman. Here’s why.

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How Castro Is Like The Minimum Wage

In my mind, then, Castro is a lot like the minimum wage: something we must stubbornly decry even though there are far greater ills in the world.

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The Dystopian Novel that Foresaw the Nightmares of Socialism

Decades before the socialists gained power, Eugene Richter saw the writing on the wall.

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Apolitical reasons to hate politics

Politics isn’t just bad; It’s the worst. It brings out the literal worst in people.

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Programs

The Immigration Debate

Rational Ignorance

Videos

What About Health Insurance for the Poor?

Bryan Caplan says we could get rid of 95% of government health care intervention, and STILL have subsidized health insurance for the poorest. Watch the full interview  

A Case Against Public Education

Prof. Bryan Caplan argues that public funding for education doesn’t make sense. Watch the full interview on the Rubin Report.  Caplan claims that educational degrees communicate a signal of worth rather…

Full Debate: Is Immigration a Human Right?

Bryan Caplan and Christopher Wellman debate immigration. Is there a human right to immigrate to any country in the world? Debate sponsored by IHS, the John Templeton Foundation, and University…

Bryan Caplan — What Is Anarcho-Capitalism?

Anarcho-Capitalism. Prof. Bryan Caplan admits it “sounds really crazy.” Could we actually privatize law, courts, and all of government? Full interview here

Bryan Caplan — An Argument for Pacifism

Prof. Bryan Caplan tells Dave Rubin why he supports pacifism: the only predictable thing about war is that innocent people will get hurt. Full interview here

4 Ways Economists Think We’re All Wrong | Econ Chronicles

How much does the average person know about economics? How about trade and immigration? Economists claim to know a great deal about these topics, and study them in depth. And…

Foreigners Are Our Friends | Econ Chronicles

Some people say technology is the driver of innovation, but society often takes great steps in prosperity by trading. Like technological shifts over history, trade is a powerful way of…

Can Capitalism Save Lives? | Econ Chronicles

Thousands of people die in the US every year because there’s a shortage of willing kidney donors. Some people are saved by the generosity of friends and family, but many…

Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy | Econ Chronicles

People tend to think the world is much worse off than it actually is. Bad news gets a lot more attention than good news. Professor Bryan Caplan calls this “Pessimistic…

Make Progress, Not Work | Econ Chronicles

As technological developments increased the US agricultural worker’s output tremendously over the last two centuries, the share of the population employed in agriculture fell from around 90 percent to around…

How Much Immigration Is Too Much Immigration?

The United States has laws in place to limit the number of immigrants granted entry. How many immigrants should be allowed to call America home? Bryan Caplan, professor of economics…

Debate – What Would Happen if America Opened its Borders?

The United States has laws in place to limit the number of immigrants granted entry. How many immigrants should be allowed to call America home? Bryan Caplan, professor of economics…

When Should the U.S. Invade Other Countries?

In this debate, Jan Ting, professor of law at Temple University, and Bryan Caplan, professor of economics at George Mason University, discuss whether war is ever justified. Prof. Ting argues…

Debate – Who Is Harmed Most by Immigration?

The United States has laws in place to limit the number of immigrants granted entry. How many immigrants should be allowed to call America home? Bryan Caplan, professor of economics…

Debate – What to Do about Immigration

The United States has laws in place to limit the number of immigrants granted entry. How many immigrants should be allowed to call America home? Bryan Caplan, professor of economics…

Debate: Is War Ever Justified?

In this debate, Jan Ting, professor of law at Temple University, and Bryan Caplan, professor of economics at George Mason University, discuss whether war is ever justified. Prof. Ting argues…

Debate: Does a Stronger Military Make Us Safer?

In this debate, Jan Ting, professor of law at Temple University, and Bryan Caplan, professor of economics at George Mason University, discuss whether war is ever justified. Prof. Ting argues…

Myth of the Rational Voter

Prof. Bryan Caplan discusses his controversial book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. His thesis is that a majority of voters err in their thinking…