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Peer review, the experiment

We evaluate policies to increase prosocial behavior using a field experiment with 1,500 referees at the Journal of Public Economics. We randomly assign referees to four groups: a control group with a six-week deadline to submit a referee report; a group … Continue reading ? The post Peer review, the experiment appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Of Cupcakes and Progressivism’s Ratchet

George Will (Washington Post) has an interesting essay on “progressivism’s ratchet.” His “Cupcake Postulate” illustrates the dynamic: federal school lunch subsidies lead to regulation of food content,which justifies the regulation of competing foods from vending machines, and—finally—whether cupcakes sold at bake sales meet federal standards. Show More Summary

Ferguson and the Debtor’s Prison

How does a stop for jaywalking turn into a homicide and how does that turn into an American town essentially coming under military control with snipers, tear gas, and a no-fly zone? We don’t yet know exactly what happened between the two individuals on the day in question but events like this don’t happen without a deeper […]

When do economists matter?

Christopher D. Johnston and Andrew Ballard have a new paper on this neglected topic, the abstract is this: Given an increasing presence in the public sphere, what role do economic experts play in shaping public opinion on economic issues? In this paper, we examine the responsiveness of American public opinion on five economic policy issues […]

Acemoglu and Robinson on Piketty

There is a new paper out by them: Thomas Piketty’s recent book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, follows in the tradition of the great classical economists, Malthus, Ricardo and Marx, in formulating “general” laws to diagnose and predict the dynamics of inequality. We argue that all of these general laws are unhelpful as a […]

Is Europe’s problem not enough government spending? (EU fact of the day)

Here is an update from Leonid Bershidsky: Among the 28 EU members, public spending reached 49 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, 3.5 percentage points more than in 2007. There is more detail at the link, via Garett Jones, Humanist by way of Walt Whitman, Civilizationist by way of Jane Jacobs.

Petty Offenses and Police-Community Relations in Ferguson

Walter Olson Reading through this Newsweek article on the troubled relations between police and residents in Ferguson, Mo. before this month’s blowup, this passage jumped out at me: “Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court...Show More Summary

What If We Applied the IRS's Reasoning in Halbig & King to the Patriot Act or RFRA, Instead of the ACA?

Michael F. Cannon Over at Darwin’s Fool, I posted a critique of the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in King v. Burwell. Unlike the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in Halbig v. Burwell, the Fourth Circuit held that the IRS has the authority to issue subsidies...Show More Summary

Assorted links

1. Ferguson on Facebook vs. Ferguson on Twitter. 2. Brief survey of the literature on police brutality and use of excessive force. 3. Obamacare attacks are losing potency as a campaign weapon. 4. The advantages of dyslexia (very good). 5. “RegData is an innovative new way of measuring the size and scope of US federal […]

IPAB Case Coons v. Geithner Dismissed, for Now

Michael F. Cannon Jonathan Adler has a summary at the Volokh Conspiracy. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Independent Payment Advisory Board has been called a “death panel,” though I’ve argued one could just as legitimately...Show More Summary

Should Only Winners Get Trophies?

A Reason-Rupee poll asked Do you think all kids who play sports should receive a trophy for their participation, or should only the winning players be awarded trophies? Overall, an estimated 57% Americans said that only the winning players should be awarded trophies but there were big differences according to gender, race, politics, education and […]

Do readers absorb less from a Kindle than from paper?

From Alison Flood at The Guardian: A new study which found that readers using a Kindle were “significantly” worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a mystery story is part of major new Europe-wide research looking at the impact of digitisation on the reading experience. The study, presented in Italy at a […]

From the comments, on Bob Shiller and CAPE

For context, CAPE is the cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio.  On that topic, 3rdMoment writes: While I have great respect for Shiller, I don’t understand his confidence that the CAPE is likely to return to it’s historical average of around 16. There are several reasons why we might expect the average CAPE going forward to be […]

The Size and Scope of Fraud in Medicare

Nicole Kaeding Medicare spends more than $600 billion annually, but not all of that money is spent wisely. Yesterday, I wrote about the Washington Post’s expose on motorized wheelchair fraud. Records suggest that 80 percent of motorized wheelchair claims are “improper,” amounting to billions in waste. Show More Summary

Clay Shirkey on the economics of the demise of print

He brings new life to a much-covered topic, here is one good bit of many: Inserts are one of the last sources of advertising to resist digitization. They are also the next to go. Businesses like Cellfire and Find & Save are working on digital coupons; stores like Kroger’s and Safeway already offer online coupons […]

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

Stephen Williamson on secular stagnation

Well, Eggertsson and Mehrotra have fleshed out a theory that they think captures what Summers and Krugman are trying to get at. The Eggertsson and Mehrotra chapter in this volume is a summary of a formal academic paper that I discussed in this post. The gist of that blog post is that Eggertsson and Mehrotra […]

Assorted links

1. David Zetland’s economics of water book is now free. 2. How Ira Glass works. 3. Did Medicare Advantage get better?  And where is “the pizza belt”?  Is this the most important theory about pizza?  I agree with the claims in that article. 4. Claims about deception detection. 5. Should robots have diverse personalities? 6. […]

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