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The cult of community development

In the conventional story, development is a field dominated by “modernizers,” whose hubristic efforts result in catastrophic consequences for those they were designed to benefit: think everything from hydraulic dams that displace thousands...Show More Summary

Price Ceilings

This week we released two new sections of our principles of economics class, price ceilings and trade. Most textbooks discuss how price ceilings create shortages and deadweight loss. Modern Principles delves much deeper to explain how...Show More Summary

Does using Facebook make you happier?

I’ve long suggested that those worried about inequality, envy, and relative deprivation should tax Facebook rather than the private fortune of Bill Gates.  Most envy is local, and connected to people you know and whose lives you are in touch with.  Along these lines, here is some recent research by Verduyn, et.al.: Prior research indicates […]

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis

That is the new Robert D. Putnam book and it focuses on the widening opportunity gap among America’s young.  Much of the work is narrative and case studies, starting with Port Clinton, Ohio but not stopping there.  Any Putnam book is an event, and this one is the natural sequel to Charles Murray’s Coming Apart.  […]

Hold Politicians Accountable for Debacle in Libya

Doug Bandow Will America ever again be at peace? Pressure is building for the U.S. again to intervene in Libya. Less than three years after Libya’s civil war the country has ceased to exist. This debacle offers a clear lesson for American policymakers. Show More Summary

Assorted links

1. Fritz is long land. 2. Dynamic pricing for ski lifts. 3. Can demographics affect inflation and monetary policy? 4. Bank of England says high-frequency trading is OK. 5. John Lanchester reviews Average is Over and Second Machine Age. 6. Strange lights on dwarf planet Ceres have scientists perplexed.

I am Marianne Bertrand?

Or so I am told by WhichFamousEconomistAreYouMostSimilarTo.com, which scores you using the same questions asked to the minds interviewed by the IGM Economic Experts Panel. A caveat: I’m guessing that Marianne did not select “neutral” half the time because she had … Continue reading ? The post I am Marianne Bertrand? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Fifth Time's a Charm? Why the Court Should Strike Down the Armed Career Criminal Act as Unconstitutionally Vague

Trevor Burrus The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) increases the minimum criminal penalty for defendants convicted of illegal firearm possession who also have three prior violent crime convictions. While the Act lists many crimes asShow More Summary

Repeating News Story: Eroding Shorelines and Imperiled Coastal Villages in Alaska

Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell was in Alaska last week at the invite of the Alaska Federation of Natives to discuss climate change and other issues. During her visit,Show More Summary

New York Proposes Special Bitcoin Regulation, But Won't Say Why

Jim Harper Yesterday, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued the second draft of its “BitLicense” proposal, a special, technology-specific regulation for digital currencies like Bitcoin. For a second time, the NYDFS...Show More Summary

New Coke and the Iraq War

David Boaz Donald Keough, who was president of Coca-Cola, has died at age 88. All the obituaries lead with his role in the New Coke debacle. On April 23, 1985, Coca-Cola replaced its amazingly successful product with a new formula, called New Coke. Show More Summary

Sesame Street does ‘House of Cards’

Retold as the story of the three little pigs. Says the perfect Spacey-sounding wolf: “Some people say there’s too much pork in this town — I could not agree more.” Hat tip to Vox. The post Sesame Street does ‘House of Cards’ appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Hyperbole Aside, Elizabeth Warren is Right About the Risk of Investor-State

Daniel J. Ikenson Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes to the Washington Post op-ed pages today to warn about the dangers of the so-called Investor-State Dispute Mechanism, which is likely to be a part of the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Show More Summary

Psychology journal bans significance testing

This is perhaps the first real crack in the wall for the almost-universal use of the null hypothesis significance testing procedure (NHSTP). The journal, Basic and Applied Social Psychology (BASP), has banned the use of NHSTP and related statistical procedures from their journal. They previously had stated that use of these statistical methods was no […]

Smile! The Dentists Lose a Monopoly

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled (6:3) in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC that the attempt of the state board of dental examiners to exclude nondentists from the practice of teeth whitening violated the Sherman antitrust act. The opinion, written by Justice Kennedy, is especially lucid. Here, from Kennedy, are the key […]

Totally conventional views I hold about Hillary Clinton

I’ve been receiving numerous requests for more of my “totally conventional views,” and someone asked me about HRC.  We’ve never covered her in the past, so why not?  But by construction of this series, none of what follows is at all new and probably there won’t be any discussion in the comments.  But with that […]

Missouri Bill Would Keep Most Police Camera Footage From Public View

Matthew Feeney One week after it was reported that Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing of Michael Brown, President Obama announced that the federal government would spend $75 million on police body cameras. Show More Summary

Quiet Change Expands ATF Power to Seize Property

Adam Bates A quick glance at the Federal Register (Vol. 80, No. 37, p. 9987-88) today reveals that Attorney General Eric Holder, who earned cautious praise last month for a small reform to the federal equitable sharing program, has now...Show More Summary

The wisdom that is Japanese

Funerals are being held for ROBOTIC dogs in Japan because owners believe they have souls… It is a funeral like any other in Japan. Except that those being honoured are robot dogs, lined up on the altar, each wearing a tag to show where they came from and which family they belonged to. The devices […]

Federal Workers: Performance, Pay, and Firing

Chris Edwards Americans are concerned about the performance of the federal bureaucracy. Many people think that federal workers are overpaid and underworked. Some recent news stories provide fresh input to the debate. A story yesterday at GovExec.com regards pay and performance. Show More Summary

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