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Iraq fact of the day

There are already more speakers of Aramaic in metropolitan Detroit (around a hundred thousand) than in Baghdad… That is from Christian Caryl in the 4 December 2014 New York Review of Books, reviewing Gerald Russell’s Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East.

Assorted links

1. Criticisms of Piketty on Sweden. 2. Against Title II.  And here is Larry Downes. 3. Dutchman has bitcoin wallet inserted in hands to ease transactions. 4. Data on how female CEOs actually get to the top. 5. Bryan Caplan on Gruber.  And Bryan on me and Gruber.  Arnold Kling on Gruber. 6. The productivity […]

Historic Milestone?

The press has been a buzz about the climate agreement between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping. The agreement commits the US to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025 (2005 baseline), well ahead of current projections. China has committed to stop growth in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at the latest, […]

How the Chinese view their own climate agreement

Both sides put out their joint statement, the U.S. issuing it via the White House and China releasing it through the official Xinhua News Agency. But whereas one side gave it a high gloss, the other seemed to be trying to bury it under the rug. The top story on the website affiliated with the […]

When will China reverse its carbon emissions?

No one knows for sure, you will find a brief survey of some estimates here.  Let’s start with a few simpler points, however. First, China is notorious for making announcements about air pollution and then not implementing them.  This is only partially a matter of lying, in part the government literally does not have the […]

Police Misconduct: The Worst Case in October

Tim Lynch Over at Cato’s Police Misconduct website we have identified the worst case for the month of October. The worst police misconduct of October goes to the officers who shot David Hooks in his own home during a drug raid based on an invalid warrant and the tip of an informant who was allegedly high on meth. Show More Summary

What’s up with GruberGate?

Is it up to three cynical tapes about Obamacare now?   I’ve lost track. I’m not so interested in pushing through the mud on this one.  It’s a healthy world where academics can speak their minds at conferences and the like without their words becoming political weapons in a bigger fight.  Or how about blogs?: do […]

Facts about Lords

The House of Lords, that is: One hundred and thirteen draw paychecks from financial-services firms. Twenty-six are paid by resource-extraction companies. Twenty work for foreign governments, in capacities that include advising officials on policy and consulting for government-controlled companies. Show More Summary

Assorted links

1. Is badminton the most corrupt sport? 2. Why do so many hipsters look alike? 3. How to disrupt bribes. 4. Habal-Habal in the Philippines (photo). 5. The secret (internet) life of plants? 6. Can computers write fiction?  (No, not yet)  Kill people?  (Yes) 7. 28 claims about Latin America. 8. Should German traffic lights […]

Labor Unions, Not the Tea Party, Are Leading the Fight against Obama’s Trade Agenda

K. William Watson This week is the #StopFastTrack Week of Action, an attempt by the anti-globalization movement to coordinate protests around the world against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential free trade agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Show More Summary

Administration Drastically Lowers the Bar for Second Year of Enrollment

Charles Hughes Broken promises and lowered expectations littered the first year of the Affordable Care Act. When the law was being debated, Obama promised the law would cut health care premiums for a typical family by $2,500. Instead, premiums everywhere continued to rise, in some places they skyrocketed. Show More Summary

Highway Bill: The Unmentionable Option

Chris Edwards In an article about federal highway legislation yesterday, the Washington Post illustrated the art of advocacy journalism cloaked as news reporting. The article explored different options for raising federal taxes $100 billion to fund state highways. Show More Summary

U.S. Should Talk to North Korea, Whoever Is in Charge

Doug Bandow Power is like quicksilver. It often slips through the fingers of those attempting to grasp it. Who is in power in North Korea? Maybe 31-year-old Kim Jong-un. Maybe not. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Kim disappeared from public view for 40 days. Show More Summary

The Reversal of the Latitude-Income Correlation

It’s well known that GDP per capita increases with distance from the equator and it does so moving both North and South. (I discuss this correlation at MRU in Geography and Development, Disease (video)). Dietz Vollrathat at the Growth...Show More Summary

Is the economics job market worth it?

There is a new NBER paper on this topic by McFall, Murray-Close, Willis, and Chen, gated copy here.  Here are some key takeaways from the paper: 1. One-third of the job candidates in the sample were women. 2. More than one quarter of all job candidates on the market come from top ten institutions, which […]

Learning the Wealth of Nations

This paper I had neglected, now it is time to remedy that.  The authors are Francisco J. Buera, Alexander Monge-Narajo, and Giorgio E. Primiceri, and it was published in Econometrica 2011: We study the evolution of market-oriented policies over time and across countries. We consider a model in which own and neighbors’ past experiences influence […]

This is what happens when you don’t proofread your academic paper.

Frankly, it’s shocking that I haven’t done this myself: Story from Slate. Hat tip to @MadihaAfzal. Thank goodness no one but my co-authors can read my LaTeX comment boxes.   The post This is what happens when you don’t proofread your academic paper. appeared first on Chris Blattman.

U.S. Actions Alienate China and Foster Chinese-Russian Cooperation

Ted Galen Carpenter Two countries that have the capacity to cause serious headaches for the United States are Russia and China. Yet Washington is committing a cardinal sin in foreign policy: getting on bad terms simultaneously with those two major powers. Show More Summary

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