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What is the cheapest form of green power? (let’s ask Petr Beckmann)

From Free Exchange: …levelised costs do not take account of the costs of intermittency… Seven solar plants or four wind farms would thus be needed to produce the same amount of electricity over time as a similar-sized coal-fired plant. And all that extra solar and wind capacity is expensive. If all the costs and benefits […]

Assorted links

1. There is no great stagnation, water balloon edition. 2. Using a nanoprinter to make a Monet. 3. How conductors deal with aging. 4. Is Russia pregnant with Ukraine? 5. How good is the marginal, subsidy-encouraged Austrian marriage?  How much would the Paul Ryan anti-poverty plan, as written, cost? 6. Preference-eliciting statutory default rules (pdf).

Sentences about Israel

SES [socio-economic status] correlates to willingness to use military force, but not one’s assessment of the need for it. That is from a fascinating and just-released book I have been reading from Jonathan D. Caverly, A Theory of Democratic Militarism: Voting, Wealth, and War.

The real import of the Jon Gruber fracas

It would be much easier if (some) people would simply say “Of course this normally should be kicked back into the legislature for clarification.  But I don’t want to do that because I don’t regard Republican control of the House, and how that control is used, as a legitimate form of rule.”  One may agree, […]

Insurance markets in everything

But there is one type of insurance that people buy to protect them from the consequences of unusually good luck: In Japan, the U.K., and, to a lesser extent, around the world, golfers buy insurance to protect themselves from the potentially bankrupting consequences of sinking a hole in one. The concept of hole in one […]

What countries are the most hypocritical on human rights?

Courtesy of Kate at Wronging Rights, here is Wednesday’s UN Human Rights Council vote on investigating Israel for war crimes in Gaza: And here is the vote four months ago to investigate Sri Lanka: Most flip. From Kate: This is interesting (or depressing, … Continue reading ? The post What countries are the most hypocritical on human rights? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Krugman’s 'Gotcha' Moment Leaves Something to Be Desired

Daniel J. Mitchell I’ve had some fun over the years by pointing out that Paul Krugman has butchered numbers when writing about fiscal policy in nations such as France, Estonia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. So I shouldn’t be surprised that he wants to catch me making an error. Show More Summary

ALEC Report on State Tax Expenditures

Nicole Kaeding State policymakers often look for ways to attract investment, companies, talent, and residents to their states. Sometimes they do it with sensible and broad-based reforms, such as reducing business regulations, increasing school quality, or making taxes lower and simpler. Show More Summary

“Africans in America”

Some fascinating facts from a new paper by Elo, Frankenberg, Gansey, and Thomas: The number of migrants to the U.S. from Africa has exploded in recent years, and for the first time in America’s history Africans are the most rapidly growing group of foreign-born migrants. … Continue reading ? The post “Africans in America” appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Papers I liked

Am at the NBER development summer institute. Some interesting papers: Providing farmers with rainfall insurance makes them take more risks, and do better, but there’s a downside: much more risk for landless laborers. So what happens when you insure landless laborers? Reforming … Continue reading ? The post Papers I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Sheila Bair is worried about reverse repo

Like much of her commentary, I find this considerably overstated.  Still, it suggests a few points of interest and also concern: The mere existence of this facility could exacerbate liquidity runs during times of market stress. Borrowers in the short-term debt markets will have to compete with it for investment dollars and all, to varying […]

Assorted links

1. The London pheromone party. 2. Get paid (a little) for Facebook posts. 3. “Both studies revealed similar patterns of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality: trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, using both enjoyment ratings and identity scores. Show More Summary

Does Sweden's Voucher Program Need Stricter Regulation?

Andrew J. Coulson Slate recently published a badly misinformed piece about Sweden’s voucher program, which I addressed here. One of the other responses to the Slate piece was written by Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji for NRO. Sanandaji...Show More Summary

The Idea of Congressional Intent is Incoherent

Now seems like an apposite time to remember, Congress intends no more than Congress smiles. As Ken Shepsle put it in his classic paper Congress is a “They,” not an “It”: Legislative intent is an internally inconsistent, self-contradictory expression. Therefore, it has no meaning. To claim otherwise is to entertain a myth (the existence of a Rousseauian great […]

The Paul Ryan anti-poverty plan

The Ryan plan is here (pdf), an NYT summary is here. Overall it’s pretty good.  It attacks excess incarceration and occupational licensing and regressive regulations, three issues where a serious dialogue is badly needed.  It makes a good attempt to limit the incentives for lower-income people not to work.  It’s better than what the Left […]

How to get paid to drop out of races (markets in everything)

…they all had help in the early going from Matt Scherer. Scherer is, or was up until about a week ago, a professional track pacer, one of only a handful of people worldwide who used his speed and finely honed sense of time to help other people run fast. Though he started out as a […]

Jonathan Gruber describes Obamacare, circa 2012

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to […]

Who Is Transit for?

Randal O'Toole Rail advocates often call me “anti-transit,” probably because it is easier to call people names than to answer rational arguments. I’ve always responded that I’m just against wasteful transit. But looking at the finances...Show More Summary

Expanding Educational Opportunity in the Bay State

Jason Bedrick One of the central promises of educational choice is expanding equality of opportunity. When students are assigned to schools based on where they live, access to higher-performing schools depends on a family’s ability to afford a home in a more expensive community. Show More Summary

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