Blog Profile / Marginal Revolution

Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
Posts on Regator:7210
Posts / Week:36.3
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Expectations and Investment

That is the Gennaioli, Ma, and Shleifer paper being presented at the NBER macro conference, pdf here.  There are two key points to this paper.  First, actual data on the expectations of corporate CFOs have predictive power for investment, even when Tobin’s Q is measured.  Second, expectations about future earnings are not rational in the […]

NBER Annual conference on macroeconomics

Today I am at the NBER annual macroeconomics conference as an observer.  The program and papers are here, and they look very interesting.  You may be hearing more about this later; I am allowed to blog the presentations but not attribute specific comments to individuals.  The Bernanke talk I cannot cover at all.

China tobacco facts of the day

A conglomerate on the order of the old Gulf + Western, China National runs more than 160 cigarette brands, manufactured in about 100 factories across the country, and uses its earnings to invest in banks, luxury hotels, a hydroelectric plant, a golf course, and even drugmakers. Most of its money goes to its owner, the Chinese government; […]

What I’ve been reading

1. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson.  My favorite of his books, fun and readable as you would expect, many interesting details including what happens to you in water at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Philip Glass, Words Without Music.  “A lot of Einstein on the Beach was written at night […]

The (tight money) culture that is Dutch

Just when it seemed the image of bankers couldn’t get any more battered or bizarre, the Dutch central bank has fired a 46-year-old female employee claimed to have been working after hours as a highly paid prostitute – specialising in sadomasochism. The Dutch central bank forbids “indecent behavior,” she had failed to register with the […]

Mark Zuckerberg chooses Michael Chwe’s Rational Ritual for his book club

I will second the recommendation.  Michael is a political scientist at Princeton, and this volume is one of the most important social books of the last fifteen years.  He shows the importance of “common knowledge” in explaining social phenomena, namely we create rational rituals so that others can see we are acting in concert with […]

Turkish economic myths

That is a new must-read post from Dani Rodrik.  Here is a pieced-together excerpt: …low domestic saving has been the perennial constraint on the Turkish economy…Under Erdogan, the constraint has become ever more binding, as the saving rate (and particularly, the private saving rate) has come down… So how has Turkey overcome this constraint over […]

Is Capitalism Making Us Stupid?

Joseph Heath’s Enlightenment 2.0 is one of the best books I have read in years. I offer an extensive review at the New Rambler. Here’s the opening: Joseph Heath is a Canadian philosopher who is unusually conversant with economics and also unusually capable of writing sparkling prose for a popular audience. His earlier book Economics Without […]

Jeff Ely on the end of asymmetric information

His comment is very good, here is his first major paragraph: There is no disputing the premise that technological advances are resulting in better information. But better information doesn’t imply more symmetric information. This is true even if the information is available to all parties. Consider genetic testing. A test that is highly predictive of […]

North Korea Confidential

That is the new book by Daniel Tudor and James Pearson, the subtitle is Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors.  The basic message is that North Korea is far more (black) marketized — and more corrupt — than most outsiders realize.  Here is one representative passage: Homes near the Sino-North Korean border […]

Wednesday assorted links

1. Hedonic adaptations to housing improvements.  And six rules for frugal dining. 2. Which NBA city has the greatest number of “fair weather ” fans? (hint: Toronto) 3. Do Mind-Set interventions work on students? 4. Are you smarter than a Singaporean fourteen-year-old? 5. Adam Minter’s Junkyard Planet is now out in paperback. 6. The business […]

Which buyers benefit the most from the Export-Import Bank?

Veronique de Rugy and Diane Katz have the scoop: …the primary beneficiaries on the buyer side of the transactions are also very large firms.  Among the top 10 buyers, 5 are state-controlled and rake in millions of dollars from their own governments in addition to Ex-Im Bank subsidies. Five of the top ten buyers are […]

Tyler Cowen’s three laws

Many of you have been asking for a canonical statement of what I sometimes refer to as Cowen’s Laws.  Here goes: 1. Cowen’s First Law: There is something wrong with everything (by which I mean there are few decisive or knockdown articles or arguments, and furthermore until you have found the major flaws in an […]

Is the Income Tax Legal? Voluntary?

Just in case you are tempted to go all Wesley Snipes and refuse to pay your taxes on “constitutional” grounds, the income tax is legal and mandatory. Sorry. Jonathan Siegel, professor of law at GWU has carefully examined all the primary tax protester arguments. All are wrong. Some are quite interesting Some tax protestors claim that [the […]

How meritocratic is meritocracy?

There is some new research by Castilla and Bernard: In this article, we develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that when an organizational culture promotes meritocracy (compared with when it does not), managers in that organization may ironically show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women in translating employee performance evaluations […]

Is globalization slowing down?

Probably so: For at least three decades before the 2008 financial crisis, global trade regularly grew at twice the rate of the global economy, leading some economists to hail an era of “hyperglobalisation”. According to the WTO, the annual average recorded since 1990 has been 5.1 per cent growth. With last year’s growth of 2.8 […]

Do government benefits for the poor subsidize large employers?

Adam Ozimek has a very good post on that topic, here is one of his final bits: …many of these programs, including Medicaid and food stamps, are means-tested. That means as you earn more the programs become less generous, and as a result can generate extremely high marginal tax rates for low-income workers. This will […]

Tuesday assorted links

1. How much will the demand for dilithium crystals go up?  And is there a free lunch after all?  (Isn’t the universe as a whole a large free lunch?)  Possibly speculative. 2. The new Jeff Sachs paper on robots.  And Moore’s Law at fifty.  Are routine jobs disappearing? (yes) 3. If a person buys insurance […]

Is GE getting out of commercial credit a sign of triumph for Dodd-Frank?

Rortybomb argued yes, Paul Krugman too, but I don’t see it.  A lot of the interest in the GE loan portfolio is coming from private equity groups such as Blackstone.  Is that asset redistribution a move toward greater safety for the system?  Maybe so, but it also might just be pushing the risk around into […]

The investment slowdown, by the way after the short run demand is endogenous…

…firms in sectors that rely more on external funds, such as pharmaceuticals, have seen a larger fall in investment than other firms since the crisis. This finding is consistent with the view that a weak financial system and weak firm balance sheets have constrained investment. That is Timothy Taylor, summarizing an IMF study, is an […]

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