Archive for February 10th, 2016

Are India’s quacks the answer to its shortage of doctors?

February 10, 2016

Priyanka Pulla asks this interesting question. India has a huge shortage of doctors and quacks proliferate wherever they can. 

What is the solution? Ban quacks or train them?:

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Occam’s razor of public policy

February 10, 2016

Ajay Shah has a food for thought post on public policy:

Occam’s razor is the idea that when two rival theories explain a phenomenon, the simpler theory is to be preferred. Aristotle’s epicycles fit the data as well as Kepler’s ellipses, and a pure empiricist could have been agnostic between the two. Occam’s razor guides us in preferring Kepler’s ellipses on the grounds that this is a simpler explanation.

In the world of public policy, a useful principle is: When two alternative tools yield the same outcome, we should prefer the one which uses the least coercion.

Gives a lot of examples where least coercion just works and even better than more coercion..

Will a free market in horns save the Rhino?

February 10, 2016

Prof. Tyler Cowen has a depressing post on state of rhinos in the world. From around 500,000 rhinos in 1900 we have reduced them to just 29,000. As one of the article in Cowen’s post says, at this pace, we can just painfully say – Rhinos, it’s been nice sharing the planet with you.

The bans have barely worked so there are talks of having a free market in rhinos as a solution:

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