Avinash Dixit and Joseph Stiglitz once made a case for taxing American football and subsidising opera. (See p.307)
Paul Douglas of Cobb-Douglas fame was a remarkable man. (A Quaker, he nonetheless joined the Marines at the age of 50, earning two purple hearts, before serving three terms as Martin Luther King Jr's favourite senator. Most memorable, however, were his prewar tussles with his fellow Chicago aldermen, "the smartest bunch of bastards I ever saw grouped together").
Remarkable though Douglas was, he and Charles Cobb did not invent the Cobb-Douglas production function.
There's nothing new under the blistering sun. On p.48, Thomas Means, a former project engineer with Truckee-Carlson, anticipates Hernando de Soto by about 75 years. And onp.947/8 does Kenneth Arrow not anticipate John Rawls?
Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller thought whole milk was better than skimmed. (Seep.279)
The word "adverse" in the term "adverse selection" is an adjective not an adverb.* (Seep.964)
The average bill for surgery in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1953 was $99. (See p.963)
This I already knew: the third part of Friedrich Hayek's 1945 article, "The Use of Knowledge in Society", is one of the best intellectual tributes ever paid to society's chancers, opportunists and wheeler-dealers. Being in the right place at the right time, argues Hayek, is quite as socially useful as being the "right" man for the job in some abstract sense.
The 20 best papers in the AER's history average about 1.3 numbered equations per page