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Blog Profile / Marginal Revolution

Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
Posts on Regator:6322
Posts / Week:36.7
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

What I’ve been reading

1. David Sterling, Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition.  This cookbook is “too good” to actually cook from, but as account of food from Yucatán, along with history, photos, and recipes, it has to count as one of the year’s most notable publications. 2. Sebastian Edwards, Toxic Aid: Economic Collapse and Recovery in Tanzania.  He […]

The Manhattan apartment with the furthest distance from the subway

I Quant NY reports: …there on the map lies the farthest residential building from a subway entrance in Manhattan according to my analysis: 10 Gracie Square, located at the end of 84th street at the FDR Drive.  It is 0.7 miles from the subway station as the crow flies, or 0.8 miles using the grid. […]

Assorted links

1. The last one-sentence book review. 2. Lead role in Kafka’s Metamorphosis given to a robot. 3. Lev Grossman reviews Kerry Howley. 4. Jesse Rothstein revisits the value of a great teacher (pdf).  Maybe it’s not so high. 5. 5700 video games for $164k. 6. Claims about carbon capture (speculative). 7. America fights Chinese plan […]

The Thai Coasean anti-bribery campaign, moral hazard edition

From the headline it is easy to see what is going on here:  Thailand’s traffic policemen will get money in return for refusing bribes, police said on Thursday, part of the junta’s efforts to combat what it has called an ingrained culture of corruption within the force. …two policemen were recently awarded 10,000 baht ($310) […]

Online Education for Pre-School

Online education continues to expand rapidly: WASHINGTON—Saying the option is revolutionizing the way the nation’s 3- and 4-year-olds prepare for the grade school years ahead, a Department of Education report released Thursday confirmed that an increasing number of U.S. toddlers are now attending online preschool. “We found that a growing number of American toddlers are […]

Aromafork (there is no great stagnation)

Christopher Snow reports: What would you give to make all your veggies taste like chocolate? Would you give $60 to a Canadian molecular gastronomy company called Molecule-R? Because that’s how much it’s asking for the new “Aromafork.” Molecular gastronomy is a subset of modern cuisine that borrows many of its innovations from the scientific community, […]

Rich countries download music, poor countries download movies

Peer-to-peer file sharing of movies, television shows, music, books and other files over the Internet has grown rapidly worldwide as an alternative approach for people to get the digital content they want — often illicitly. But, unlike the users of Amazon, Netflix and other commercial providers, little is known about users of peer-to-peer (P2P) systems […]

Assorted links

1. The favorite books of fifty famous people, though not Ben Affleck. 2. Hong Kong people. 3. Peter Thiel on creativity.  And Virginia Postrel on Peter Thiel. 4. Do kids need simplified non-fiction? 5. Captive orcas speak dolphin. 6. It works best if all jurisdictions depenalize marijuana use (pdf), JPE gated version here.

Should everyone leave the elevator (subway car) before others try to enter?

I’ve noticed in Hong Kong that exiters are not accorded absolute priority.  That is, those entering the elevator can push their way through before the leavers have left, without being considered impolite, unlike in the United States.  In part, Hong Kongers are in a hurry, but that does not itself explain the difference in customs.  […]

From the comments, on infrastructure

David wrote: the point about unnecessarily fancy infrastructure with weak maintenance is endemic to all the corrupt east asian economies, really if you want to quickly assess a city’s transport infrastructure, look to see if all the roads have good sidewalks and all the streetlights have a number. the head honcho is only driven past, […]

Assorted links

1. Chinatown’s kitchen network. 2. David Leonhardt calls it “The Great Wage Slowdown.” 3. What the applied economists are up to at Microsoft. 4. Dating app average is over. 5. Some scholarly literature on Ebola outbreaks.  Jeff Sachs and others on how to control Ebola, in Lancet.

Sentences to ponder

On average, students in 2014 in every income bracket outscored students in a lower bracket on every section of the test, according to calculations from the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (also known as FairTest), using data provided by the College Board, which administers the test. Students from the wealthiest families outscored those […]

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Eric Betzig, one of today’s winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry is a team leader at Janelia Farms the stunning Howard Hughes Medical Institute campus located nearby in Ashburn, VA. I’ve been out to the labs at Janelia a number of times for public talks and seen how Betzig’s work creating much higher resolution microscopes […]

Using Big Data to Rank Universities by Field

The increase in the cost of college and university and the difficult job market have increased the demand for college rankings. College Scorecard, the U.S. Department of Education’s entry, includes information on tuition, graduate rate, loan default rate and by 2015 it is scheduled to have information on graduate earnings. The Washington Monthly has a best […]

How is IBM deploying Watson these days?

IBM on Tuesday revealed details of how several customers are putting Watson to work, showing that cognitive computing has garnered at least an initial interest among different sorts of businesses. Naming customers also helps other businesses feel more at ease about trying the new technology. In Australia, the ANZ bank will allow its financial planners […]

Convexifying the driverless car

Google’s driverless car may still be a work in progress, but the potential for semiautonomous vehicles on American roads is no longer the stuff of science fiction. By the end of the decade, a growing number of automakers aim to offer some form of hands-off-the-wheel, feet-off-the-pedals highway driving where a driver can sit back and […]

Assorted links

1. Why does Bangladesh have a much lower open defecation rate than India? 2. Why many Catalans wish to leave Spain. 3. The growth of interest in Mexican Coca-Cola. 4. Stephen Chow film retrospective opening at BAM. 5. How good are Senators at backward induction? 6. Geoffrey Holder has passed away.

Twitter’s science stars

Science picks a list of the top one hundred, I am flattered to have been selected.  Other designees from economics include Krugman (his bot actually), Sachs, Roubini, Florida, Goolsbee, Basu, Dambisa Moyo, Rodrik, Stiglitz, Wolfers, Jared Bernstein, Dean Baker, Mark Thoma, and Noah Smith.  “Science” is not quite the right word here, but “markers to […]

Shenzhen notes

Many parts of the city are indistinguishable from Hong Kong, and even China pessimists should find it easy to imagine Shenzhen gliding into fully developed status.  At times Shenzhen looks better than Hong Kong, but that is due to what I call the myth of infrastructure.  Shenzhen being poorer than Hong Kong, and having developed […]

The End of Normal

That is the new James K. Galbraith book, subtitled The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth.  It covers a lot of ground and everyone will find something to object to in here.  Still, I found it a good example of some fresh thinking, though it is not a tract which sees through its arguments […]

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