Erik Voeten

The Humanities and Teaching How to Write Well

Teaching students how to write well is a task that I am confronted with on a regular basis and for which I am hopelessly ill equipped. I have no training in the subject. I am not a native English speaker. I did not even attend high school or college in an English speaking country (at least not before… Read more »

Legalized Prostitution Increases Human Trafficking

One of the advertised advantages of legalizing prostitution is that it should reduce illegal human trafficking. The theory is that customers will favor legal over trafficked prostitutes, thus reducing demand for the latter. Yet, legalization may also raise overall demand for prostitution. This increase in the size of the market may lead to more trafficking… Read more »

IQ and the Nativist Movement

We welcome Diego von Vacano for a guest post on the purported low IQ of immigrants. ********************************************************** The academic and policy worlds have been roiled by last week’s announcement that a Heritage Foundation study on the cost of immigration reform was co-authored by Jason Richwine, who wrote a dissertation on the purported low IQ of… Read more »

Does Fossil Fuel Abundance Have Negative Political Consequences?

Charles Mann has an interesting article in the Atlantic about the potential deleterious consequences of finding large quantities of natural gas (methane hydrate) underneath the seafloor.  We may believe that fossil fuel scarcity is a major source for political instability. Yet, it is not at all clear that finding large new quantities of fossil fuels… Read more »

How China Gives Development Aid

China is often accused of using aid strategically to advance its own interests with little regard for the welfare of the developing countries in which it is investing. Axel Dreher and Andreas Fuchs have pointed out that all countries use aid to advance their strategic interests and that the pattern of aid giving from China does not look all… Read more »