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Join Me for a Very Special Conversation in NYC March 5 with Joan Biskupic on Justice Scalia’s Legacy and the Future of the Supreme Court

Joan Biskupic’s 2009 biography of Justice Scalia, American Original, is really one of the best and she is one of the most thoughtful students of the Supreme Court and the Justices. I am very excited to be in conversation with … Continue reading ?

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Third Parties’ Case Against Presidential Debates Commission

#SCOTUS won’t hear No 17-916 Johnson v Comm’n on Presidential Debates dismissing libertarian and green party candidates’ antitrust and First Amendment claims re: attendance at presidential debate — Kimberly Robinson (@KimberlyRobinsn) February 20, 2018

“Subversive gerrymandering reform in Pennsylvania”

Derek Muller: Let me offer the outset that I am not doubting the sincerity or well-intentioned motives of the justices on the court or those involved in drawing maps. Partisan fairness is, in my view, as legitimate a political criterion … Continue reading ?

“How Democrats use ‘dark money’ — and win elections”

CPI: Democrats love decrying “dark money” — political contributions for which the source of funds is a mystery. But that isn’t stopping them from accepting “dark money” themselves or making it difficult to determine the original underwriter of a political … Continue reading ?

“Attacking the ‘Woke’ Black Vote”

Charles Blow NYT column: One thing that is clear to me following the special counsel’s indictment of 13 Russians and three companies for interfering with our election is that the black vote was specifically under attack, from sources foreign and domestic. And … Continue reading ?

Do low-turnout elections make the electorate more conservative? Not that much.

Everyone knows that far fewer people vote in midterm congressional elections than in presidential elections, and that even fewer participate in state, local or special elections that aren’t timed with either of the national ballots. In the past two years, both California and Iowa passed laws requiring those lower-level elections (a different kind in each case) […]

Locals call Boko Haram ‘slave raiders.’ Here’s what that means, and why it matters.

Although widely understood as the Islamist terrorists that they are, Boko Haram insurgents in the borderlands between Cameroon and Nigeria are also slave raiders — at least that’s what many local residents call them. And there’s good reason to use that term. In many striking ways, Boko Haram’s raids for “wives” parallel the slave raids […]

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader died. Here’s what you need to know.

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai died Feb. 14, after a long battle with cancer. Together with other working-class Zimbabweans, Tsvangirai founded Zimbabwe’s largest opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Show More Summary

The Pennsylvania Remedy

According to PlanScore’s basic model, the remedial plan adopted today by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is impressively symmetric—both in absolute terms and compared to its predecessor. Its likely efficiency gap is -2% (versus its predecessor’s -10%), its likely partisan bias … Continue reading ?

How Building Regulations Subsidize Mansions

Regulations that prevent land from being fully developed raise the price of housing. That’s true but land use regulations can also make some types of housing less expensive. In particular, Jaap Weel has a good post explaining how land regulations subsidize mansions. Show More Summary

Skin in the Game, the new Nassim Taleb book

By some mysterious mechanism, people fail to realize that the principal thing you can learn from a professor is how to be a professor… And: …the deep message of this book is the danger of universalism taken two or three steps too far — conflating the micro and the macro. Show More Summary

Why are U.S. firms holding more cash?

Somehow I missed this 2014 paper when it came out: This paper explores the hypothesis that the rise in intangible capital is a fundamental driver of the secular trend in US corporate cash holdings over the last decades. Using a new measure, we...Show More Summary

NYT’s The Upshot: New PA Districts Achieve “Partisan Balance”

NYT: In general, partisan balance is not usually a goal when redistricting. You could certainly argue that partisan balance and maximizing the number of competitive districts should be among the criteria, but, in general, they are not. Instead, a nonpartisan … Continue reading ?

Monday assorted links

1. Is econ STEM? 2. Raj Chetty’s Facebook project. 3. The Korean baseball bunt contest. 4. In human genetics, indirect effects significantly outnumber direct effects. 5. Post-Damore, 46% of self-identified moderates feel less comfortable expressing their views in Silicon Valley. Show More Summary

Pa Republicans Going to Fed Court

AP: “Top Senate Republican lawyer Drew Crompton said Monday a separation of powers case will form the essence of the GOP’s argument. Crompton won’t say whether Republicans will go to a district court or the U.S. Supreme Court or what type … Continue reading ?

Tulip mania wasn’t

Tulip mania wasn’t irrational. Tulips were a newish luxury product in a country rapidly expanding its wealth and trade networks. Many more people could afford luxuries – and tulips were seen as beautiful, exotic, and redolent of the good taste and learning displayed by well-educated members of the merchant class. Show More Summary

Pa Supreme Court on 4-3 Vote Adopts Advisor Nate Persily’s Maps for Pennsylvania Congressional Redistricting; GOP’s Litigation Options Do Not Look Good

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court (with three dissents) [links below] has adopted  Nate Persily’s maps for redrawing congressional districts. (One of the districts–18—looks surprisingly like Penn State’s Nittany Lion.) Philly Inquirer: Its plan splits only 13 counties. Of those, four counties are … Continue reading ?

Sunday assorted links

1. Male and female economists have different political opinions (The Economist). 2. The French fertility rate has begun to slide (The Economist). 3. Profile of the still-underrated Jean Drèze. 4. Is learning to program getting harder? 5. Top5itis? The post Sunday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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