Luis Pablo de la Horra

August 7, 2017

Do Patients a Favor and Legalize Kidney Sales

Spain is one of the leading countries in kidney transplants. In 2016, near 3,000 transplants were carried out in Spanish hospitals, of which 11% came from living donors. Yet the number of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients awaiting a kidney still amounts to 4,300 or around 140% of the number of transplanted patients last year. Those CKD patients that have not received a transplant yet (80% of them never will due to medical reasons) have no choice but to undergo a time-consuming (4 hours) medical procedure called dialysis (more specifically hemodialysis, the most common type of dialysis) three times a week in order to have their blood filtered from waste and excess water. In addition, although dialysis is painless, patients often feel dizzy and extremely […]
July 14, 2017

The American Anarcho-Individualist Tradition

Despite its strong association with Spanish anarchism during the 1930s, collectivism was not a hallmark of anarchism everywhere. In the US, for example, anarchism went hand in hand with certain Lockean-rooted individualism (developed by nineteenth-century thinker and father of liberalism John Locke and based on a deontological defense of property rights, individual sovereignty, and the non-aggression principle)that permeated the works of most nineteenth-century anarchist authors on the other side of the Atlantic. The figure who best embodied the ideas of individualist anarchism in America was, without doubt, Lysander Spooner. Monetary Theory and Property Rights Spooner proposed reforms to the national banking system of the United States, which he believed would prevent future crises. This proposal was based on two main ideas: first, Spooner intended to […]
May 9, 2017

The Economics of Immigration (II): Empirical Evidence

In a previous article, I analyzed the economics of immigration from a theoretical perspective. I concluded that economic theory clearly supports immigration-friendly policies since they overall benefit all parties involved. In this article, I aim to examine the empirical evidence on the effects of immigration on host countries and immigrants themselves. Effects on Employment, Wages and Public Finances High immigration rates are often associated with rises in unemployment. The logic behind this (flawed) reasoning is straightforward: if an economy can only absorb a fixed number of jobs and the labor force increases, the unemployment rate will inevitably rise. What’s wrong about this statement? Simple: the economy is not a zero-sum game. In other words, the number of jobs available increases as the economy grows. After […]
May 5, 2017

The Economics of Immigration (I): What Does Economic Theory Tell Us?

In his now-classic work The Myth of the Rational Voter, Bryan Caplan identifies four systematic biases about economics held by the average citizen: make-work bias (an inclination to overestimate the disadvantages of temporary job destruction due to productivity increases), anti-market bias (a tendency to overlook the benefits of the market as a coordination mechanism), pessimistic bias (an inclination to underestimate the present and future performance of the economy), and anti-foreign bias (a tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of interaction with foreigners). Widespread biases on economics are far from being harmless. Wrong ideas held by voters usually lead to catastrophic policies due to the inherent nature of the democratic process. In other words, in most cases, politicians undertake those policies that they deem popular among voters […]
March 26, 2017

The Evidence Does Not Lie: Prosperity is Conquering the World by Leaps and Bounds

In a 2015 poll carried out by YouGov, an international market research firm, on the state of the world, 71 percent of the respondents were convinced that the world was becoming a worse place, whereas only 5 percent thought that living standards were improving across the world. Similarly, in an interview for the newspaper La Stampa, Pope Francis gave a pessimistic account of the situation of the world by claiming that “in absolute terms the world’s wealth has grown, but inequality and poverty have arisen.” Both testimonies are included in Johan Norberg’s new book Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future. In Progress, Norberg, a Swedish economist and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, tries to debunk a widely-accepted myth of our days, […]
January 30, 2017

Labor Flexibility Beats Unemployment: A Closer Look at the Labor Market in Denmark

Picture source: Susan Yin Labor Flexibility Beats Unemployment: A Closer Look at the Labor Market in Denmark Despite Bernie Sanders’ efforts to identify Denmark with some sort of democratic socialist utopia where a highly-interventionist government regulates all the nooks and crannies of the economy, it is well known nowadays that the success of this Scandinavian country is closely linked to its high degree of economic freedom. We just need to look at the latest Index of Economic Freedom, published every year by the Heritage Foundation, to state the obvious: Denmark ranks in the top 15 worldwide. When looking more closely, Denmark excels at two specific economic indicators: business freedom and labor freedom. Business freedom measures the impact of government regulation on businesses. This indicator places Denmark at the top of the […]
January 2, 2017

The Beautiful Tree: How Low-cost Private Schools are Filling the Literacy Gap in Developing Countries

Education is a basic pillar for any society. It is the bedrock upon which a country builds its present and future prosperity; hence the importance that governments in developing countries provide free, basic education so that children do not fall behind due to lack of economic resources and see their opportunities to thrive expand, thereby abandoning the vicious circle of poverty. As obvious as this may sound, there is quite an unjustifiable logical jump between the undeniably-true premises and the questionable conclusion. Economic growth has been historically accompanied by increasing literacy rates long before compulsory education was introduced by the public sector. For instance, by the time free, public education was established in England in 1870, the literacy rate was already greater than 70% thanks […]