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“Why Are Corruption Cases Crumbling? Some Blame the Supreme Court”

NYT: The trend began in 1999 when a Supreme Court case called United States v. Sun Diamond Growers of California chipped away at the government’s ability to prosecute officials for taking what are known as gratuities — or minor gifts given to them … Continue reading ?

“The House Tax Bill Could Be the End of Charities as We Know Them”

Roger Colinvaux: If the tax bill passed by the House Ways and Means Committee becomes law, partisan politics would overtake the nonprofit world, casting institutions designed to promote the public good into the depraved den of identity politics and selfish … Continue reading ?

“‘Race-based redistricting’ imposed on NC ‘against its will,’ lawmakers say”

News and Observer: Lawmakers and the challengers of maps proposed for electing North Carolina’s General Assembly members waited until the 11th hour to respond to districts suggested by an unaffiliated mapmaker. Lawmakers were critical of the process, saying the federal … Continue reading ?

Sunday assorted links

1. On-line dating in China (NYT). 2. In economics, time demands are endogenous. 3. “If I told you that the painting was bought for 60,000 bitcoins, would that make it easier to stomach?” 4. TLS books of the year, always one of the best lists. Show More Summary

Thrasher and Gaus on the Calculus of Consent

Writing for the The Oxford Handbook of Classics in Contemporary Political Theory, political philosophers John Thrasher and Gerald Gaus review Buchanan and Tullock’s The Calculus of Consent: Calculus advances new methods in an attempt to solve an old problem: the problem of democratic justification. Show More Summary

How to fix racial bias in policing

We estimate the degree to which individual police officers practice racial discrimination. Traffic police regularly discount the charged speed on drivers’ tickets to avoid a discrete jump in the fine schedule. This behavior leads to an excess mass in the distribution of charged speeds just below the jump. Show More Summary

This seems whacky, yet I cannot refute it (from the comments), tax incidence department

Here is an unrelated topic, but part of the general topic of tax incidence. Do federal employees pay income tax on their wages? I know they do nominally, but that tax goes back to their employer, the federal government. So, doesn’t that...Show More Summary

Here’s the incredibly unpopular GOP tax reform plan — in one graph

A Republican tax plan has passed the House, but obstacles remain in the Senate. One of those obstacles: The plan appears to be not just unpopular, but also distinctively — almost historically — unpopular. My fellow George Washington University political scientist Chris Warshaw compiled public polls capturing support for major legislation dating back almost 30 years. […]

Saturday assorted links

1. Does grade inflation boost home prices?  I am pretty sure that is the wrong framing, but still a result of interest. 2. Are there momentum-based excess returns from monetary policy shocks? 3. Forty percent of the buildings in Manhattan could not be built today (NYT).  #zoning 4. Show More Summary

When does caste integration bring greater understanding?

It should be collaborative rather than adversarial: Integration is a common policy used to reduce discrimination, but different types of integration may have different effects. This paper estimates the effects of two types of integration: collaborative and adversarial. Show More Summary

Is Zimbabwe ready to move on without Mugabe?

Early Wednesday morning in Zimbabwe, Major General Moyo of the Zimbabwe Armed Forces announced on national television that President Robert Mugabe and his family were safe and that military would be “targeting criminals” … “that are causing social and economic suffering in the country.” Moyo took pains to clarify that this was “not a military […]

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. On Wednesday the Nigerian women’s bobsled team became the country’s first team to qualify for the winter Olympics, and will be the first African team to compete in the Olympic … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The gains from cutting corporate tax rates

Here is a recent paper by Stephen Bond and Jing Xing: We present new empirical evidence that sector-level capital–output ratios are strongly influenced by corporate tax incentives, as summarised by the tax component of a standard user cost of capital measure. Show More Summary

Friday assorted links

1. “…broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and collard greens are all technically the same species, Brassica oleracea.” Link here. 2. “Our bland, featureless Midwest—on some level, it is a fantasy.” 3. Does a study of Twitch.tv indicate net neutrality is a bad idea? 4. Show More Summary

Let them sell the Norman Rockwells

The Berkshire Museum, yes.  They were going to sell 40 paintings at Sotheby’s, including two very special Norman Rockwells, but at the last minute a court decision halted the sale, claiming (with only thin justification) that the sale...Show More Summary

Thursday assorted links

1. Eleven recommended documentaries from 2017. 2. The continuing presence of Elliott Carter, by Eric Lyon. 3. Can eggs pick sperm? 4. Longform podcast with me, Aaron Lammer is the interviewer. 5. How exactly dumping the mandate would play out. Show More Summary

And Five More Excellent SCOTUS Potentials Makes 25

In today’s Friday afternoon “news dump”—a tactic to either bury bad news or, as here, to get reporters scrambling to cover an important story despite weekend plans—President Trump added the following people to his list of potential Supreme Court nominees: Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant, D.C. Show More Summary

We have a Culture Problem

Part of the problem with sexual harassment in this country comes from the fact that we have a culture problem. Our culture tends to glorify, or at least condone, the sexual mistreatment of women. In the case of Al Franken, grabbing and kissing a woman without her permission, we have very iconic examples. Show More Summary

The Uber Tipping Equilibrium

What is the effect of tipping on the take-home pay of Uber drivers? Economic theory offers a clear answer. Tipping has no effect on take home pay. The supply of Uber driver-hours is very elastic. Drivers can easily work more hours when...Show More Summary

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