Short list of work posted to the web, with abstracts. For complete list, see CV.
Homelessness and Inequality final draft published in The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, March 2020, pp 559-587. Homelessness and housing insecurity in the United States are not so much a housing problem or a poverty problem as a visible sign that growing wealth inequality has left millions of people unable to earn enough to afford adequate housing.
Putting Land and Power Back into Economics Review of Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing by Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd and Laurie MacFarlane, with the New Economics Foundation (Zed Books, 2017).
What's the Matter with Wisconsin? Review of The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, by Katherine J. Cramer (U. Chicago Press, 2016).
Time Traveling Back to Space Age Economics Chapter 3 in Rent Unmasked: How to Save the Global Economy and Build a Sustainable Future, Essays in Honour of Mason Gaffney, Fred Harrison, Ed. Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers, London, 2016.
"Sustainability Squared" How we can sustain both the environment and the people with existing technology that saves natural resources and creates more and better jobs. Published in Dollars & Sense: Real World Economics, January/February 2014.
Review of The Economics of Henry George: History's Rehabilitation of America's Greatest Early Economist by Phillip Bryson. Bryson highlights George's major achievements, explaining why academic economists have rejected or neglected him, and why nonetheless George has had a major but little-acknowledged impact on economic thought. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, April 2012.
"Restore the Original Wealth Tax" In the age of income and corporate tax loopholes, the property tax remains the only tax many rich people and corporations pay--even though they have already substantially crippled it by convincing ordinary folks it's a tax on the poor and middle class. Dollars & Sense Magazine, March/April 2011.
"George, Wicksell and Gaffney: A Three-Factor Model of the Boom and Bust Cycle." Presented at the History of Economics Society, June 2007. Published March 2009, International Journal of Social Economics. Henry George proposed that land speculation drives the boom and bust cycle by periodically squeezing labor and capital; he saw rapid economic growth, aggravated by inequality of landownership, as stimulating the underlying cycles of speculation. Knut Wicksell
proposed that the cycle arises when bank rates of interest lag the "natural" rate of interest; he attributed fluctuations in the "natural" rate to a Malthusian race between population and technology. Mason Gaffney has clarified and extended George’s model, and incorporated
elements of Wicksell’s "Austrian" model. In all three models, the cycle arises in the real economy, not the financial sector. In George and Gaffney, wealth inequality plays a major role.
"Economics of Illegal Drug Markets: What Happens if We Downsize the Drug War?" in Drugs and Society: U.S. Public Policy, Jefferson M. Fish, ed., Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005
If enforcement were cut back, the following would happen: 1. Prices would fall, marijuana especially, shifting consumption to marijuana and away from hard drugs and possibly alcohol. 2. Black market sales volume would increase, but the number of dealers would decrease. 3. The black market would become less dangerous, as stable adult dealers took over from violent teenage dealers. 4. The number of problem drug users would probably not increase, but their per capita consumption would increase.
"Mark Blaug: Edging Towards Full Appreciation," in Critics of Henry George, A Centenary Appraisal of Their Strictures on Progress and Poverty, Robert V. Andelson, ed., (Boston and London, Blackwell Publishers): 2003.
Historian of Economic Thought Mark Blaug treats George dismissively in his textbook, Economic Theory in Retrospect, but has since come to view George more positively. Discussion and interview with Blaug.
"So Why Don't You Go to Soros? That's what funders say about drug policy reform. Here's why more foundations should care about the war on drugs." Foundation News & Commentary, July/August 1999.
Consequences and Causes of Unequal Distribution of Wealth, PhD dissertation, 1984.
This is a trade theory model of wealth distribution. The "rich" have a high ratio of assets to labor; the "poor" have a low ratio. They trade across a barrier of transaction costs. The more unequal the distribution, or the higher the transaction costs, the lower economic productivity and growth. The model has many interesting implications, including an explanation of social class. For more detail see C&C Background.
"The Effect of Pricing of Local Services on Urban Spatial Structure" Local Service Pricing Policies and their Effect on Urban Spatial Structure, Paul B. Downing, Ed., U. of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, 1977
A simple model of a water distribution system shows how water (and other utilities) should be priced, and how incorrect pricing can distort the system--in most cases subsidizing urban sprawl.
"Making Dollars and Sense of Fiscal Impact Analysis", Planning, 1976. Why the local "fiscal impact" of a development is not a good guide to its desirability.
"Property Taxes and Land Value Taxes" The Real Estate Appraiser, September-October, 1975
Explanation and response to misconceptions about property taxes and land value taxes.
"Parks for Fun and Profit, The Story of Point Reyes", Not Man Apart, 1972. How land speculators made a fortune during the purchase of Point Reyes National Seashore.
Power and Land in California: A Summary, 1971. Primary findings of the Ralph Nader report on Power and Land in California, 1970.
"California Without the Milk Stabilization Act", Dairy Scope, 1976. Why California's milk regulation leads to higher prices for consumers while squeezing out small dairy farmers.