Per Bylund

Per Bylund

Per Bylund, PhD, is a Fellow of the Mises Institute and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Records-Johnston Professor of Free Enterprise in the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, and an Associate Fellow of the Ratio Institute in Stockholm.

Articles by Per Bylund

When It Comes to Raw Power, Few Have More of It Than Central Bankers

A common retort to the claim that in voluntary exchange both parties expect to become better off (or they wouldn’t do it) is that exchanges are seldom, if ever, a matter of horizontal, equal exchange of values. Instead, any such interaction between people is ultimately a matter of their exercising power over one another. The implication, and often explicitly stated conclusion, is that there is no voluntariness, that exploitation is always present, that one party necessarily gains at the other’s expense.

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Is Free Market Economics Too “Ideological”?

Free market economics is often ignorantly dismissed for being “ideological” rather than scientific. It probably sounds smart to the economically illiterate, but it is decidedly not. It doesn’t mean nearly what most people assume it does. The word “free” in free market economics is not used as a normative value judgment but indicates an economy that is unaffected by exogenous (from the outside) factors.

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The Economy Is Not a Factory—Nor Should We Try to Make It One

A common issue with economists and political economists from left to right is that they misunderstand the market economy as simply being a set of production processes. We see this in Lenin’s statement that the Soviet Union should be run like one big factory. We see it in market socialists from Frederic Taylor to Oskar Lange attempting to respond to (and resolve) Mises’s argument that socialist economic calculation is impossible.

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Intellectual Property: Innovation Should Serve Consumers, Not Producers

Proponents of intellectual property rights often rely on one of two lines of reasoning. The first is based on the misunderstanding that the frequency or volume of innovations determine economic growth. The second is captured by the question, “So if I spend $1 billion on R&D (research and development) to bring a new drug to market, anyone should be able to copy my drug without compensation?”

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Consumer Preferences Are Harder to Measure than the Behavioral Economists Think

A recent paper in the Journal of Consumer Psychology (JCP) has started a debate on the accuracy of “loss aversion,” the idea that people are driven by fear of losses more than they are by the potential for gain. Core to behavioral economics, this idea has been rather universally accepted and been part of the awarding of two economics Nobel Prizes, in 2002 to Daniel Kahneman and in 2017 to Richard Thaler.

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