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Bryan Caplan

American political scientist
Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan (born April 8, 1971) is a libertarian George Mason University professor of economics.


  • Wars fought exclusively on foreign soil do have marginally higher real output growth than peacetime periods, but real growth during all other wars is sharply below peacetime levels. Evidence for foreign and domestic wars is consistent with monetarist, fiscalist, and mixed theories of wartime booms.
  • In a modern democracy, not only can a libertarian be elitist; a libertarian has to be elitist. To be a libertarian in a modern democracy is to say that nearly 300 million Americans are wrong, and a handful of nay-sayers are right.

The Case against Education (2018)Edit

  • Personally, then I have no reason to lash out at the education system. Quite the contrary. Yet a lifetime of experience, plus a quarter century of reading and reflection, convince me that our education system is big waste of time and money. Almost every politician vows to spend more on education. As an insider, I can't help gasping, "Why? You want to waste even more?"
  • Magic isn't real. There has to be a logical reason explanation for the effect of Ivory Tower achievement on Real World success. And here it is: despite the chasm between what students learn and what workers do, academic success is a strong signal of worker productivity. The labor market doesn't pay you for the useless subjects you master; it pays for preexisting traits you reveal by mastering them.
  • Statistical discrimination may be unfair and ugly, but it's hardly weird or implausible. Why is it any more weird or implausible to claim employers statistically discriminate on the basis of educational credentials?

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