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How collecting takes on its own life

Collecting, [Howard] Hodgkin insists, is a form of shopping.  But it also takes on its own life.  Once the ‘design’ of the collection has formed in the collector’s mind, according to Hodgkin, then things have to be bought out of ‘necessity as well as passion.’  That, he believes, is the most dangerous, but also the […]

Do No Harm

I loved this book, which is written by a neurosurgeon with a knowledge of behavioral economics (he even has designed a given a talk  “All My Worst Mistakes,” based on Daniel Kahneman’s work).  The subtitle is Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery and the author is Henry Marsh.  Here is one bit: …as the […]


David Keith, a climate scientist at Harvard University, and author of  A Case for Climate Engineering, is interviewed at re/code. There’s no question it reduces the global average temperatures; even the people who hate it agree you could reduce average global temperatures. The question is: How does it do on a regional basis? By far the […]

Future Taxi Deregulation Will Not Look Familiar

Matthew Feeney Those who have argued for the deregulation of the taxi industry will be familiar with the claim that taxi deregulation was tried in the U.S. and that the results were so undesirable that regulation was introduced. In a...Show More Summary

Conversations with openly gay canvassers about gay equality changes people’s opinions. Contagiously.

A close family member, who shall remain nameless, supports gay rights because he had a great gay hairdresser for 10 years. Turns out, all he needed was one haircut. From Michael LaCour and Don Green in Science, a nice example … Continue reading ? The post Conversations with openly gay canvassers about gay equality changes people’s opinions. Show More Summary

Finding good Medicaid treatment remains difficult

Large numbers of doctors who are listed as serving Medicaid patients are not available to treat them, federal investigators said in a new report. “Half of providers could not offer appointments to enrollees,” the investigators said in the report, which will be issued on Tuesday. Many of the doctors were not accepting new Medicaid patients […]

Thursday assorted links

1. Jeff VanderMeer has a very interesting and smart favorite fiction of 2014 list. 2. Does the Super Bowl require subsidized insurance? 3. There is no great sports stagnation (short video). 4. Economic divergence of China and Japan? 5. Cataloging various development successes and failures. 6. Is YouTube becoming the dominant media source? 7. 1972 […]

Applying behavioral economics to development professionals

Timothy Taylor has a superb blog post on that topic, here is one choice passage out of many: A final example looks at mental models that development experts have of the poor. What do development experts think that the poor believe, and how does it compare to what the poor actually believe? For example, development […]

Trade leads to development: The experiment

Is there learning by exporting? Can preferential trade agreements or aid for trade promote development? Atkin, Khandelwal and Osman provided a random group of small rug producers the opportunity to export handmade carpets to high-income markets. Show More Summary

A Far-Out Cato Unbound

Jason Kuznicki This month at Cato Unbound, we’re talking about the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, or SETI. Why’s that, you ask? Several reasons, really. First, although it’s not exactly a hot public policy topic, it will certainly become one if we ever actually find anything. Show More Summary

KGB’s Old Lubyanka Headquarters Glowers at New Russia

Doug Bandow MOSCOW—Red Square is one of the world’s most iconic locales. Even during the worst of the U.S.S.R. the square was more symbolic than threatening. Very different, however, is Lubyanka, just a short walk away. In the late 19 th century 15 insurance companies congregated on Great Lubyanka Street. Show More Summary

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Falling Gas Prices

Randal O'Toole A left-coast writer named Mark Morford thinks that gas prices falling to $2 a gallon would be the worst thing to happen to America. After all, he says, the wrong people would profit: oil companies (why would oil companies...Show More Summary

Bitcoin Might Not Be Money, but Cryptocurrencies are the Way of the Future

Steve H. Hanke Kevin Dowd, a long-time friend and eminent free-banking authority, set his sights on Bitcoin in the book he published this summer: New Private Monies: A Bit Part Player?. His work delivers a refreshingly accurate and straightforward...Show More Summary

Are anthropologists better than you think?

Many economists like to dump on their fellow social scientists, and personally I find that reading anthropology is often quite uninspiring.  That said, I would like to say a small bit on the superiority of anthropologists.  I view the “products” of anthropology as the experiences, world views, and conversations of the anthropologists themselves.  Those products […]

Comparing living standards over time

Scott Sumner writes: Here’s one thought experiment. Get a department store catalog from today, and compare it to a catalog from 1964. (I recently saw Don Boudreaux do something similar at a conference.) Almost any millennial would rather shop out of the modern catalog, even with the same nominal amount of money to spend. Of […]

Police Misconduct -- The Worst Case in November

Tim Lynch Over at Cato’s Police Misconduct web site, we have identified the worst case for the month of November. It turns out to be the Cleveland Police Department. To begin with, in late November, a Cleveland police officer shot and...Show More Summary

Jeb Bush and Lyndon Johnson

David Boaz Former Florida governor – but Texas native – Jeb Bush told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council: Republicans need to show they’re not just against things, that they’re for a bunch of things. Which reminds me of a quotation from Lyndon B. Show More Summary

Social network Swedish markets in everything

You need only 2,000 Facebook friends: You’ve heard of internet celebrities getting paid to mention a product in a tweet or shoot out an Instagram with a brand in the shot. Now a hotel in Sweden is taking social media marketing to a new level by offering a free stay to anyone with a serious […]

GOP Blocks Marijuana Reform in DC

Tim Lynch Last November, voters in Washington, DC overwhelmingly approved a referendum that would have legalized marijuana in the city. Now that measure has been stymied by House Republicans–led by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD). From today’s...Show More Summary

Neogotiating your first academic job

You’re finishing a PhD and you’ve just gotten a phone call with a verbal job offer. Congratulations! And welcome to the bottom of a whole new pyramid. But before you get to the new pyramid, you need to do something … Continue reading ? The post Neogotiating your first academic job appeared first on Chris Blattman.

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