Saturday, January 14, 2012

Romance is Costly?

Does the number of sex partners affect educational attainment? Evidence from female respondents to the Add Health (older version, ungated)

Joseph Sabia & Daniel Rees, Journal of Population Economics, December 2011, Pages 89-118

Abstract: We use data on young women from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to explore the relationship between number of sex partners and educational attainment. Using the average physical development of male schoolmates to generate plausibly exogenous variation in number of sex partners, instrumental variables estimates suggest that number of sex partners is negatively related to educational attainment. This result is consistent with the argument that romantic involvements are time consuming and can impose substantial emotional costs on young women.


Not sure this is right. Not directly a "cost," as much a correlate. Wasting time on promiscuity is dangerous and a sign of poor judgment, maybe also an artificially short time horizon. People with good decision making skills and a longer time horizon just aren't tempted to be promiscuous. This isn't sex, this is NUMBER of sex partners.

So, it's not, "Ya know, I could go to a bar, pick up a guy I've never met, and then do the bouncy-bouncy until daylight. But that would cost me too much time that I should spend studying for my PhD in physical chemistry. I would prefer to go out, of course, but I'll stay home." Rather, someone with ambition would just never consider doing those things. It's not appealing.

What I am trying to say is that the level of appeal of random hook-ups is the same for every woman, not that great. What differs is access to something else, an ambition for a career, which may come from having role models or parental encouragement from a young age. The hook-ups thing is just not that much fun.

Blogoverse needs Pritchett

Lant Pritchett is guestblogging up a storm about conditional cash transfers.

Check out these two excellent (albeit perhaps slightly contradictory) posts here and here.

Self-recommending.


Friday, January 13, 2012

A NOTY problem

Name of the Year. You can vote, America.

WARNING: NSFW. NSF anything, really. Utterly pointless. But if you read this blog, that must be attractive to you.

As our correspondent M-Ka notes, "I know from following your blogs every day, and listening to you on EconTalk, that you and Dr. Grier disdain both frivolity and low culture. But I do think you might like to promote this on KPC:

I voted for La'Peaches (check out the link to her), and Monsterville Horton IV (because of his obvious aristocratic status). And Vernon Lee Bad Marriage Jr. won his round!"


Thanks, M-Ka!

White Girl Problems

Okay, I'm not proud of this.

But if I need a pick me up, no more than twice a day or so (no, really), I just crank up Twitter and watch #whitegirlproblems . It's extremely rewarding. Some are likely serious, some are certainly not. But rewarding.

In five minutes, you will laugh out loud at least five or six times.

Things like:

I prayed for your forehead last night.

Pulled up to a stop light, blaring Lil' Wayne, & 2 black guys just broke up laughing.

If only I could unf**k you

So pale.... so pale

Kindle wouldn't connect to wi-fi, so I had to buy an actual book

Too busy to work on job applications


It's art, actually.

David Theroux: Secular Theocracy II


"Secular Theocracy: The Foundations and Folly of Modern Tyranny

As a reminder, here again is Part 1...


The full article with footnotes is here

Krueger on Inequality

This would be Alan ("Nominal") Krueger, not Anne ("Real") Krueger. The problem is that Alan is not adjusted for infliction (of nonsense).

His screed on inequality and its causes.

The slides for the speech.

The topic is an important one. Dr. K's presentation of the problem are interesting. Not sure why he decided to go all simplistic on the "causes," tho. This is complicated.

(Nod to E-Chris)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

There is no great stagnation II (DJ style)

Check out these amazing turntable decks made from LEGOS! This one came from Germany and has a construction manual available here along with more pics:


This one is from the good old USA (more info here):

There is no great stagnation

Every single day of my life I thank the universe with Tebow-ish fervor that I was not doomed to live in an age when THIS was considered entertainment:

Let us now praise famous men

My main man, co-blogger, and friend of over 30 years, Mungowitz really outdid himself by sending me this *awesome*, nearly life-sized, David Freese world series bobblehead. 

Feast your eyes, people. Feast your eyes.



(clic the pic for an even more glorious image)


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Che says, "Down with capitalist pigs! Buy my merchandise!"

umm....this kind of stuff happens all the time

Headline on Yahoo this morning condemning "human zoo" where indigenous people danced for tourists in exchange for food.

People, to different degrees, this happens all the time all over the world. Mrs. A and I have seen it advertised in Africa, Asia & Latin America. Heck it happens in Hawaii quite a bit!

I don't like it. We avoid such suggested outings, and have at times simply left our hotel when groups were brought in to perform. I feel like the people must hate doing it and that makes me embarrassed to watch/listen. (I have enjoyed gamalan concerts in Bali and traditional dance performances in Bali though (at places where you went and bought a ticket) so maybe I am a hypocrite here?) It is usually very hard to convince local people that you don't want to go to the "show".

But, food is good. Money is good. If the "performers" aren't slaves and choose to do their thing in exchange for the offered remuneration, how is it like a zoo? By my refusal to attend, am I sending people home to be hungry?

Every day, all over the world, millions of people voluntarily do things we generally consider unseemly or unsafe or undignified. This is one reason why, to me at least, global economic growth is still imperative.





Penn Jillette, Atheist

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I don't think you are TRYING hard enough

Fuel companies fined for their petty refusal to an additive in gasoline.

Look, the law says they have to do it. Stop fooling around, guys.

Of course, their lame excuse is that the additive does not actually exist.

The answer is that if your government is smart enough to imagine what it wants, the least you can do is actually make the stuff.

(Nod to Anonyman)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Hashtag of the day

People, check out the tweets at #ronpaultroofs

Here's one I especially liked:

"Ron Paul gave George Washington Carver his first peanut." 

and another:

"If you smoke like Ron Paul smokes, then you're high, like, every day."




Why Is This So Difficult?

Three suggestions about things you never say, or always say, or should say, to a potential mentor.

This week...THIS WEEK... I have gotten messages or had phone conversations that violated all three.

In particular, I suggested we meet at 10 am. Two different people wanting advice said, "No, that's too early for me. Can we do it some other time?"

Sure, we can do it during that time when I otherwise would have been writing you a pretty good letter of recommendation. Because now it is NOT going to be a good letter of recommendation.

Just read this. The guy has it right. And hopefully you are angling for being mentored by somebody WAY better than I am anyway, so it will actually matter!

Get your money out of PIMCO....

....because its CEO, the ubiquitous Mohamed El-Erian is a nincompoop!

Check out this gibberish in today's WSJ:

"Fat tails"—the technical term for the extremes of an outcome distribution—are risks for any global system that loses its anchors. Economies and markets function differently, companies and households feel unsettled, and policy measures become less effective.

Oh my. Where to begin.

First, "fat tails" is not a "technical term". The technical term is excess kurtosis. Fat tails is the colloquial, layman's term.

Second, fat tails is decidedly NOT a term for "the extremes of an outcome distribution"! The normal distribution is an outcome distribution. It does not have "fat tails". In fact it is the lack of fat tails in the normal distribution that lead so many models to go astray

How can this dude spew nonsense like this and get away with it? He's failing Stats 101.  It must be the 'stache.

Finally, the second sentence is even weirder than the first. I cannot make out what he is saying. Is he trying to say that recent events have changed the shape of the "outcome distribution"? Or that when we realized the outcome distribution had fatter tails than was previously thought, people changed their behaviors? The second interpretation at least makes some sense.