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Economist Kevin Murphy Talks NBA Lockout Negotiations

We’ve written a lot about University of Chicago economist Kevin Murphy. He teaches at the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory, where Steve Levitt is the director. Murphy was a MacArthur Genius Fellow back in 2005, and Levitt readily admits that Murphy is the smartest person he knows.

This fall, Murphy has been working with the NBA players union in its negotiations with team owners over the NBA lockout. Steve Aschburner of NBA.com sat down with Murphy for a lengthy and very interesting Q&A on the tricky economics of the NBA, and what role Murphy is playing. Here are a few highlights: Read More »





Up close and personal with Genius economist Kevin Murphy

Back in September I blogged about my admiration for Kevin Murphy after he won a MacArthur Genius grant. Here are links to two interviews with Murphy that give you a real flavor of what he is like. The first interview is in the Chicago GSB magazine. Note the size of the truck he drives (it […] Read More »





True Genius: Kevin Murphy wins MacArthur "Genius" Award

I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of smart people in my life. Without question, Kevin Murphy is the smartest of them all. Not only is he smart, but he is also one of the kindest, most loyal, and most generous people I’ve known. So I could not be happier that the MacArthur Foundation […] Read More »





(Kevin) Murphy’s Law

Here’s a nice article on my friend and colleague at University of Chicago Kevin Murphy. He doesn’t look the part, but he is the smartest human I have ever met. You can also see my past blogs on him when he won the MacArthur Genius award and when he got some other nice magazine profiles. Read More »





Becker and Murphy on the Stimulus Package

Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy write today in The Wall Street Journal about their concerns regarding the stimulus package. There are no two economists in the world who I respect more than Becker and Murphy. Whatever your political bent, when these two write something, you should think hard about their arguments. Read More »





Are We Ready to Legalize Drugs? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions: Full Transcript

This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Are We Ready to Legalize Drugs? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions.“ [MUSIC: Tallboy 7, “Robot Lover”]   Stephen DUBNER: Steve Levitt is my Freakonomics friend and co-author. He’s an economist at the University of Chicago. One of the most unusual things about Levitt is that he doesn’t […] Read More »





A Quick Summary of the 21st Century So Far

From a reader named Kevin Murphy (alas, not the Kevin Murphy):

The Economist just reported on what you covered in the “The Downside of More Miles Per Gallon” podcast in February. It’s looking like Oregon is leading the way in possibly charging per mile: “A bill that would have applied a VMT fee to all new vehicles doing 55mpg and above died in the last legislative session; instead, 5,000 volunteers will join a new VMT scheme in July 2015. They will be charged at 1.5 cents per mile rather than paying the state petrol tax (30 cents per gallon).”

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Fewer Helmets, Higher Healthcare Costs

We’ve written before about an unintended consequences of state repeals of motorcycle helmet laws: more organs available for transplant.  Here’s one more consequence, from Michigan, which stopped requiring helmets last year:

State legislators changed the law last year so that only riders younger than 21 must wear helmets. The average insurance payment on a motorcycle injury claim was $5,410 in the two years before the law was changed, and $7,257 after it was changed – an increase of 34 percent, the study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found.

After adjusting for the age and type of motorcycle, rider age, gender, marital status, weather and other factors, the actual increase was about 22 percent relative to a group of four comparative states, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, the study found.

“The cost per injury claim is significantly higher after the law changed than before, which is consistent with other research that shows riding without a helmet leads to more head injuries,” David Zuby, chief research officer for the data institute and an affiliated organization, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said.

(HT: Kevin Murphy)