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The Threat of Poorly Performing Vacuum Cleaners

Simon Lester I don’t follow domestic regulation as closely as many people at Cato, but I keep an eye on it in relation to “regulatory trade barriers” that are being addressed in trade negotiations. In that context, I came accross this...Show More Summary

“Average is Over” will come last to New Zealand

I sometimes say it is coming first to Israel and Singapore (and England?), but the Kiwis are a different case.  Eric Crampton quotes from an NZ Ministry report: Overall, there is no evidence of any sustained rise or fall in inequality in the last two decades. The level of household disposable income inequality in New […]

How do trends and cycles interact?

In a piece I already have linked to, Binyamin Appelbaum makes a point in passing that I think deserves further comment: The new paper, like others of its genre, basically requires belief in a big coincidence: that a short-term catastrophe happened to coincide with the intensification of long-term trends — that the economy crashed at […]

How the British Burned Washington

David Boaz The British burned Washington 200 years ago today. In the Washington Post Joel Achenbach, with help from Steve Vogel, author of Through the Perilous Fight, tells how the day went, including this description of how thorough and careful the British were: The British knew how to build a bonfire. Show More Summary

Super Bowl markets in everything

…the NFL has reportedly requested its top three choices for the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show — Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay — to pay the league for the privilege of performing at halftime. There is more here, and here and here.  For the pointers I thank F.E. Guerra-Pujol and Sheel Mohnot.

Sunday assorted links

1. Infovores. 2. The spiciest noodles in the world? 3. Unlike at Hinds, MRUniversity is open to goats too. 4. New David Autor paper on information technology and job polarization (pdf). 5. I agree with Greg Mankiw about tax reform. 6. The North Pond hermit (good story).

My favorite things Bolivia

Yes, violinist Jaime Laredo is from Cochabamba, but that does not sum up what is special about Bolivia.  I’ve been to maybe ninety countries, and often I think Bolivia is the most exotic and wild of them all.  For a simple contrast, so many aspects of Yemen have fed into streams we are familiar with, […]

Bernard McGinn on St. Thomas and the Summa

The actual title is Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae: A Biography.  I enjoyed this book and learned a good deal from it, here is one excerpt: …understanding the Summa as based on the cycle of emanation and return helps tie much of Thomas’s theological work together, from the Writing on the Sentences to the Summa.  In […]

Congress Gets Unlimited Power Because...Slavery?

Ilya Shapiro After engaging in a racially motivated street fight with a black man, Charles Cannon found himself facing—as expected—assault charges and a sentencing enhancement to penalize him further under Texas’s hate crime law. ToShow More Summary

Let's Demilitarize the Regulatory Agencies, Too

Walter Olson [cross-posted from Overlawyered] One consequence of the events in Ferguson, Mo. is that people are talking with each other across ideological lines who usually don’t, a symbol being the attention paid on both left and right to Sen. Show More Summary

Saturday assorted links

1. Questions that are rarely asked: Do people really use hotel irons to cook food? 2. Using Twitter data to estimate unemployment. 3. Why does it take so long to wire money in the United States? 4. Literary solutions to the economy, a forthcoming BBC radio show. 5. How an extreme athlete discovered her own […]

Which economies are most likely to be shrinking?

Not just an economic slowdown, but actual, ongoing consistent negative economic growth.  In my latest NYT column at The Upshot, I argue for some economies it may happen that living standards fall over the course of a few decades: In 1750, India accounted for one-quarter of the world’s manufacturing output, but by 1900 that was […]

The loss of skill in the Industrial Revolution

From The Growth Economics Blog: There’s a recent working paper by Alexandra de Pleijt and Jacob Weisdorf that looks at skill composition of the English workforce from 1550 through 1850. They do this by looking at the occupational titles recorded in English parish records over that period, and code each observed worker by the skill […]

China blackmail markets in everything

In Beijing, I met Benjamin Liebman, a professor at Columbia Law School, who has published a study on “malpractice mobs” in China. He told me that protests consistently extract more money from hospitals than legal proceedings do. Family members can even hire professional protesters. One report in Shenzhen mentioned an average price of fifty yuan […]

The First Amendment Protects Random Ugly Rap Lyrics

Ilya Shapiro To ensure that public discussion remains “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open,” the First Amendment protects speech that is “vituperative, abusive, and inexact.” While nobody will argue that Anthony Elonis’s speech—the subject...Show More Summary

The Interventionist Bias (on Both the Left and Right)

Christopher A. Preble Over at Reason today, I have more to say (beyond here and here ) about recent goings on in Iraq and Syria, and the debate over what, if anything, the United States might have done, or might do now, to change things. As...Show More Summary

America’s economic problems predated the Great Recession

Here is a very good piece by Binyamin Appelbaum, focusing on the research of Davis and Haltiwanger, here is one excerpt: Employment losses during the Great Recession may have had more to do with factors like the rise of Walmart than with the recession itself, two economists say in a new academic paper. The paper, […]

Gaza: A History

That is the new book by Jean-Pierre Filiu, Oxford University Press.  It would not have come right now unless I were supposed to read it on the plane, so I will.

Assorted links

1. Exit interview with Eric Crampton. 2. How to be polite (good piece) 3. Reihan Salam interviews Lane Kenworthy. 4. Are American housing problems structural? 5. SWAT teams have their own lobbying organization. 6. Moose sex corridor expands with land donation.

Links I liked

The latest JEP has symposia on entrepreneurship, classic ideas in development economics, and academic production Predicting World Bank project outcomes Interview with a favorite author of mine, Norman Rush Back to the Future:” makeup versus reality How academics really use Twitter The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

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