Reason Podcast

Is Alex Tabarrok the Most Honest Economist in Academia?: Podcast

The libertarian went looking for the reason for entrepreneurial decline. The answer he found went against everything he believed. He published the results anyway.


When George Mason University economist Alex Tabarrok went looking for the effect of regulation on declining rates of entrepreneurship, he had a pretty good idea of what he would find. A libertarian since his childhood in Canada, he figured that federal rules would be a major part of the explanation. To his surprise, that isn't what he and his co-author, Nathan Goldschlag, found. To his immense credit, he and Nathan Goldschlag published their paper, "Is regulation to blame for the decline in American entrepreneurship?"

Tabarrok, a co-founder of the immensely popular and influential economics blog Marginal Revolution, talks with Nick Gillespie about the thrill of being intellectually confounded and the importance of following data, not ideology, when it comes to academic research. He also talks about other possible reasons for the decline in entrepreneurship, what his recent stay in India taught him about real-world economics, and whether Donald Trump's presidency has been good for the economy.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

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