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Blog Profile / Marginal Revolution

Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
Posts on Regator:6086
Posts / Week:36.9
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

Good news from India

U.S.-based economist Arvind Subramanian is poised to be named as chief economic adviser to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, two sources at the finance ministry said on Friday. There is more here, via David Wessel.  Here are previous MR posts on Subramanian.

How much does poverty drive crime?

Maybe less than you thought, at least after adjusting for other variables.  The Economist reports: In Sweden the age of criminal responsibility is 15, so Mr Sariaslan tracked his subjects from the dates of their 15th birthdays onwards, for an average of three-and-a-half years. He found, to no one’s surprise, that teenagers who had grown […]

The worst part of one of this year’s best pieces

I loved the Michael Hofman review of Stephen Parker’s Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life in the 15 August 2014 Times Literary Supplement.  Every paragraph of that review is a gem and Hofman calls the book perhaps the greatest literary biography he has read.  I’ve ordered my copy. Here is one part of that review, toward […]

Finland fact of the day

Finnish students stay in college longer than in any other developed country save Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark, getting their first university degree on average at 29, according to a 2013 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That compares with 24 years for Britons, 26 for Germans and the OECD average of […]

Department of Uh-Oh

When it opened in 1990, the McDonald’s on Moscow’s Pushkin Square was a symbol of thawing relations with the U.S., attracting long lines and later becoming the fast-food chain’s most visited outlet world-wide. On Wednesday evening, it stood empty, closed by Russia’s consumer-safety regulator amid the Kremlin’s most-serious confrontation with the West since the Cold […]

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 […]

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