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Markets in everything

It’s a nail polish that doubles as a way to thwart sexual assault – and it’s being developed at N.C. State University: Undercover Colors. The chemistry startup, developed by undergrads, is creating a nail polish that, when exposed to date rape drugs, changes color. The full story is here, via Catherine Rampell.

The Ford Foundation and the Virginia School of Political Economy

David M. Levy and Sandra J. Peart have unearthed some very valuable, hitherto undiscovered material in the history of economic and political thought, as well as the history of American philanthropy.  I have followed this paper through several drafts, with great enthusiasm, and am pleased to report it is now on-line.  The abstract is here: […]

When a Hamburger Becomes a Doughnut and Other Lessons About Tax Inversions and Globalization

Daniel J. Ikenson So Burger King plans to purchase Canadian doughnut icon Tim Hortons and move company headquarters north of the border, where corporate tax rates are as much as 15 percentage points lower than in the United States. Expect...Show More Summary

Assorted links

1. Several observations about the sleep of horses. 2. Interview with Craig Venter.  And the motivations of Kobe Bryant. 3. How the French protect real wages for some, and why it is not sustainable. 4. Laura Miller on Excellent Sheep, I wanted to like that critique of Ivies education more than I did, but I […]

Still the best thing I’ve read on Ferguson

A week later this is still it. Josh Keating asks how the American media would cover what happened if it were in another country. FERGUSON — Chinese and Russian officials are warning of a potential humanitarian crisis in the restive … Continue reading ? The post Still the best thing I’ve read on Ferguson appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Does industrialization de-skill workers?

From a paper de Pleijt and Weisdorf that looks at skill composition of the English workforce during industrialization: Dietz Vollrath (I really like his blog) has a great discussion: It’s a really interesting paper, and it’s neat to see how much information … Continue reading ? The post Does industrialization de-skill workers? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Coping with the Legacy of Arab Socialism

Dalibor Rohac Countries of the Arab Spring suffer from many economic, social, and political ills. At their center lies the unfortunate legacy of Arab Socialism, which established itself in the region during the 1950s and 1960s. One of...Show More Summary

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 […]

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