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About Bryan Douglas Caplan
I blog for EconLog. I've published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Newsweek, Atlantic, American Economic Review, Economic Journal, Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and appeared on ABC, BBC, Fox News, MSNBC, and C-SPAN.
An openly nerdy man who loves role-playing games and graphic novels, I live in Oakton, Virginia, with my wife and four kids.
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Why we need to stop wasting public funds on education
Despite being immensely popular—and immensely lucrative—education is grossly overrated. Now with a new afterword by Bryan Caplan, this explosive book argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skills but to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As only to forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for average workers, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy. Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense—The Case against Education points the way.
An Economist “Our Books of the Year” Selection
Economist Bryan Caplan makes a bold case for unrestricted immigration in this fact-filled graphic nonfiction.
American policy-makers have long been locked in a heated battle over whether, how many, and what kind of immigrants to allow to live and work in the country. Those in favor of welcoming more immigrants often cite humanitarian reasons, while those in favor of more restrictive laws argue the need to protect native citizens.
But economist Bryan Caplan adds a new, compelling perspective to the immigration debate: He argues that opening all borders could eliminate absolute poverty worldwide and usher in a booming worldwide economy—greatly benefiting humanity.
With a clear and conversational tone, exhaustive research, and vibrant illustrations by Zach Weinersmith, Open Borders makes the case for unrestricted immigration easy to follow and hard to deny.
Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids is a book of practical big ideas. How can parents be happier? What can they change--and what do they need to just accept? Which of their worries can parents safely forget? Above all, what is the right number of kids for you to have? You'll never see kids or parenthood the same way again.
The greatest obstacle to sound economic policy is not entrenched special interests or rampant lobbying, but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases held by ordinary voters. This is economist Bryan Caplan's sobering assessment in this provocative and eye-opening book. Caplan argues that voters continually elect politicians who either share their biases or else pretend to, resulting in bad policies winning again and again by popular demand.
Boldly calling into question our most basic assumptions about American politics, Caplan contends that democracy fails precisely because it does what voters want. Through an analysis of Americans' voting behavior and opinions on a range of economic issues, he makes the convincing case that noneconomists suffer from four prevailing biases: they underestimate the wisdom of the market mechanism, distrust foreigners, undervalue the benefits of conserving labor, and pessimistically believe the economy is going from bad to worse. Caplan lays out several bold ways to make democratic government work better--for example, urging economic educators to focus on correcting popular misconceptions and recommending that democracies do less and let markets take up the slack.
The Myth of the Rational Voter takes an unflinching look at how people who vote under the influence of false beliefs ultimately end up with government that delivers lousy results. With the upcoming presidential election season drawing nearer, this thought-provoking book is sure to spark a long-overdue reappraisal of our elective system.