I love economics. I know, it’s a little weird, but it’s the truth. Turns out I will be going to the Austrian Scholars Conference 2009 at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. (If you’re unfamiliar with the Austrian School, click here.) Moreover, I will be presenting a paper again. Last time, my talk was in the Environmental Economics Panel, and it was title “Can the Government Solve Transportation Pollution?” I’d post a link to the recorded video of the talk, but it hasn’t been uploaded yet (see the current videos).
My paper this year has to do with science and economics again. The talk will be called “Science and the Free Market: How the Government Distorts Scientific Research Through Public Funding.” Here’s the abstract:
Scientific advancement is said to be limited in the free market because no incentives exist to encourage fundamental research, and therefore the government should intervene by funding worthy scientific endeavors at national laboratories and universities through taxation of individuals and businesses. This assumption is not only based upon a flawed understanding of economics, but also introduces numerous problems in the production of scientific knowledge. As with all socialistic means of production, publicly-funded scientific research is subject to the Misesian calculation problem, the Hayekian knowledge problem, and perverse incentives, as well as other problems unique to scientific research such as ownership of knowledge and profits, political agendas masquerading as good science, and moral hazards and ambiguities. The conclusion is that publicly-funded research should be eliminated in favor of free market-sponsored research, and in this paper a model is proposed to answer objections to free market sponsorship.
Tune in on March 14th to the Mises Institute’s webpage and you will be able to see me give the talk live. I’ll remind you again as the time draws near.