Blog Profile / Worthwhile Canadian Initiative


URL :http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/
Filed Under:Business & Finance / Economics
Posts on Regator:1392
Posts / Week:4.9
Archived Since:April 1, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Alpha Banks, Beta Banks, and negative rates

This post is not as clear as it should be. Sorry. It's because my head is not very clear either. I wrote this to try to get my head clearer. An imaginary country uses 7 different media of exchange, issued...

Why are groceries more expensive in the bulk food section?

Many grocery stores have a bulk food section, where shoppers scoop flour or nuts or spices from big bins into little plastic bags, and then take them up to the cash, where each individual purchase is weighed and priced. There...

Could you pass O-level economics in Pakistan?

The question: What causes unemployment? The answer: Over the fold, taken from a textbook currently used for O-level (roughly grade 11) social studies in Pakistan. I don't know if I would have passed. What about you?

Do (local) housing demand curves slope up?

Take this post with a truckload of salt. This is a second in my series in which "Lost Macro Farmboy tries to get his head around Urban Economics". Think of it as sceptical pushback. I might easily be wrong, but...

Rethinking the traditional academic office

During my time as a professor, I've had a series of offices with a series of big, solid, 1970s oak desks. I have never worked at these desks. They're useless for computing, as they're the wrong height. They're useless for...

The economics of SSHRC research grants IV: A collective action problem

As irritating as it was, SSHRC's infatuation with Research in Buzzword Studies is not why Insight Grant (IG) success rates have stayed so low, even as the budget envelope has increased. The problem is the hard-won budgetary rigour that was...

The economics of SSHRC research grants III: Research in Buzzword Studies

When SSHRC replaced the old Standard Research Grant (SRG) program with the Insight Grant (IG) program, it did more than simply increase the budget for research grants. It also introduced "priority research areas" (see Frances on this here) that would...

Is Ontario Spending Too Little on Hospitals?

Earlier this month, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions issued a media release for their The Fewer Hands, Less Hospital Care report, that made the following statement: “Based on the latest figures from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI),...

The economics of SSHRC research grants II: Cutting and restoring budgets

In the first post of this series, I noted that much of the reduction in SSHRC research grant success rates during the transition from the old 3-year Standard Research Grants (SRG) to the new 5-year Insight Grants (IG) could be...

The economics of SSHRC research grants I: Why are success rates so low?

I've participated a few times in the adjudication process for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) research grant programs: twice as a reviewer, and three times as chair. (Chairs have to be bilingual, so Quebec profs are often...

Time use: what's the Big Question?

Whole academic publishing industries have been built around Big Questions. There's the Big Trust Question: “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you need to be very careful in dealing with people?” There's the...

That height study: bad science, bad reporting, both - or neither?

It's been reported on NPR: Americans are shrinking, while Chinese and Koreans sprout up. In the New York Times: Adults have become shorter in many countries. In the Guardian: Women and men have grown taller over last century. On Global...

Finite Horizon models of inflation as the horizon goes to infinity

You have an infinite horizon model of inflation. Your model tells you what happens to the time-path of the price level P(t) if the central bank changes monetary policy. Please do something: Convert your infinite horizon model into a finite...

Scarce versus Abundant TP Equilibria

Canada is in an abundant TP equilibrium. Washrooms in restaurants, shopping malls, museums, universities, and other public places are, generally speaking, well stocked with toilet paper (TP). Inner Mongolia is in a scarce TP equilibrium. With the exception of elite...

Some Simple Basic Money, for Finance People

Finance people are good people. Economics needs finance people. Some of my best friends are finance people. But (you heard that "but" coming), finance people (though there are of course honourable exceptions) just don't seem to get money. I can...

Can sex triumph over patriarchy?

The way women and men spend their time has changed profoundly over the past century. Women in the developed and, to some extent, the developing world are spending much less time in unpaid household work, especially in tasks like cooking,...

What's wrong with Airbnb?

Airbnb undermines the distinction between short-term, "hotel", accommodation and and long-term, "apartment" accommodation. Some people seem to figure this is a bad thing. New York State legislators, for example, have passed legislation imposing heavy fines on anyone listing their entire...

Central Bank Coordination as BS; Targets vs Instruments.

Imagine you are at an international policy conference. Someone says "Central Banks need to coordinate their monetary policies better". You nod your head wisely in agreement, along with everyone else. Because you know that what one central bank does affects...

Canada Pension Plan Memo

To: Generation X, Generation Y and Millennials From: The Baby Boomers Re: Pension Savings Date: June 21, 2016 It has come to our attention that you are not saving sufficiently for your retirement. This does not surprise us. We haven't...

Wage Norm Function vs Stock Price Belief Function

Roger Farmer always has done interesting and different stuff. We need economists like that. But it's risky of course. What I'm trying to do here is articulate something that makes me uneasy about his recent line of macro theorising. Like...

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