Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1. Now, okay, let me understand this. Who was teaching whom to drive? And what happened?

2. I'd like to teach the world to drink, with soft drinks full of dope. I'd like to buy the world a Coke, to keep it full of hope!

3.  Are capitalism and a clean environment mutually exclusive?

4.  Tomorrow 3.0: (a) Tech firms sell reductions in transaction costs, disrupt property market. (b) WeWork passes JP Morgan as largest Manhattan office space owner.

5.  Trump is very different from Obama. But in one way--destruction of party organization in favor of personality cult--Trump is Obama redux.

6. Henry Farrell on DIC. Jennifer Burns on DIC.

7.  Florida woman. And Florida man.

8.  One thing you have to give the Left: they actually believe their dogma.  This post aged like a fine bottle of milk left out in the sun.

9. Intergenerational mobility in India.

10.  Just. Give. Them. The. Money.

11.  A review of "Life After Google" by Gilder.

12.  A student in my undergrad class wrote this. Nice.

13. You're probably sick of these ubiquitous "College football mascot's t-shirt cannon misfires and smacks him in the groin" videos. But I'm not.

14.  We spent a lot of money rearranging lunch rooms based on junk science. And the kids just ate elsewhere.

15.  The always thoughtful Reihan Salam.

16. Your unicorn name.... Please share in comments. I am "Violet Moon Cover".

17. My colleague Richard Salsman on Venezuela: "Socialism worked, as advertised!"

18.  "Blueprint" The evolutionary origins of the good society.

19. Doing this is of no interest to me. But I'm glad the world allows capitalism to create such an experience for those who want it. And it's fun to read about.

20.  Florida: First in blue-hair percentage, first in being awful, and last in difference between highest and lowest points in elevation.  If you are wondering, the highest point in Florida is Britton Hill, with a commanding view of Lakewood. Here's a photo of the "summit."  (Though when Dutch Boy was there, the highest point in Florida was in Gainesville!) (Note for people who are neither old nor baseball fans, I borrow from the old saying about DC: "First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." The Senators were not usually very good).

21. In an emergency, you have to suspend the law. Unfortunately, the sort of people who want to enforce the law are sometimes those who value their own petty power over any conception of the public good. On the other hand, there may be more to the story, and there may be good reasons why the county intervened. Let's wait a week, and I'll try to find out more.

22.  Is it news when a Nobel-winning economist sacrifices democratic principles to admire Latin American dictators? No, I don't mean Friedman, he was FOR democracy.  No, I don't mean Buchanan, he never even really advised any Latin American dictators. Or anyone else, for that matter. I mean Joseph Stiglitz.

23. On being an octopus.

24. Chinese BBQ restaurant serves medical professionals. depends on impact factor of you publication journals. And bigger discounts for better pubs: the rich get richer.

25.  This is disturbing.

Grand Lagniappe: I'm guessing that this person's user name is "admin" and pw is eight asterisks. Not very concerned with security....

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  A most diverting and interesting web site. You can find the current wind direction and speed for any place on earth.

2.  A paper is retracted even before it was published. Not because it was wrong, but because it was upsetting. And then an update.

3. I'm lost. Is this real, or just a highly apt metaphor?

4.  "Even" progressive academics? I'm amazed that anyone is taken in.

5.  The markets/state dichotomy is bad social science, and even worse rhetoric for our side.

6. Good lord: "Does the reification of objectivity and detachment in the discipline serve to reinforce status hierarchies more than produce sound science?"  This is not from the English Dept. It's from an actual social scientist (well, a sociologist; but c'mon). For the record, the answer to the question in quotes is "no."

7.  The fact that the officer was yelling "Let me in!" makes it seem less likely that she was confused about which apartment she was entering. Still, a strange incident, all around.

8. Manhattan boat evacuation on 9-11-01 was the largest boatlift in history.

9.  Wow. Venezuela currently holds the record for self-inflicting de-development, abandoning both prosperity and democracy. But Turkey appears to want to give them a run for their money.

10. Once again, Cass Sunstein reveals that he favors soft fascism, with his technoclerics in charge, over democracy.

11.  Amazon sells reductions in transaction costs for consumers. The result is affecting real estate prices for warehouses.

12. The threat of "genius" in architecture.

13.  Good Lord. It's like I don't even KNOW you people.  Best Mexican Restaurant:  TB

14. the South.

15. The NATION, on the "Inequality Industry." Interesting take, from a source I rarely read.

16.  State fought the cash. And the cash won.

17. Quite a bit of stuff here on the 10th anniversary of Lehman Bros.  Some of it is right, but not all of it.

18.  Drew Millard on Trump and Florence....

19. Evidence on the supply side of the gender wage gap.

20. Nice data visualization of US federal budget, since 1963.

21. On price-gouging. Courtesy of Florence.

22. Revolving doors and regulatory capture.

23.  The real cost of rent-seeking.

24. In the People's Republic of Carrboro, there is a rational person. His name is David Mabe.

25.  Just a few years ago, a number of people on the left were talking about how Venezuela was a model for development in the region, precisely BECAUSE it was "real socialism." Now, it is not real socialism, and never was.  It would be funny, if it weren't so not funny.

26. Skippy Squirrelbane is ready to suit up and get back in the game. He's old. But New England needs him and his talents.  Here is Skippy on the phone, talking to Squirrel Headquarters: "I have a very particular set of skillls...."

27.  My review of Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght's book, BASIC INCOME.

Grand Lagniappe: the stores don't run out of EVERYTHING, as a hurricane approaches

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Leavin' on a jet plane.....

Very cool new paper just out in the QJE by Campante and Yanagizawa-Drott.

Here's the abstract :

We study the impact of international long-distance flights on the global spatial allocation of economic activity. To identify causal effects, we exploit variation due to regulatory and technological constraints, which gives rise to a discontinuity in connectedness between cities at a distance of 6,000 miles. We show that improving an airport’s position in the network of air links has a positive effect on local economic activity, as captured by satellite-measured night lights. We find that air links increase business links, showing that the movement of people fosters the movement of capital. In particular, this is driven mostly by capital flowing from high-income to middle-income (but not low-income) countries. Taken together, the results suggest that increasing interconnectedness induces links between businesses and generates economic activity at the local level but also gives rise to increased spatial inequality locally, and potentially globally.

And you can see an ungated version of the paper here.

The regression discontinuity design exploits the rule that flights over 12 hours need a third pilot. That worked out to be flights of over 6000 miles. So city pair flight connectedness drops at that 6000 mile point due to the discontinuity in costs. This exogenous variation in connectedness creates variation in economic activity.

Nice to see a paper with super cool identification also be about something important!  And this isn't the first such paper for Yanagizawa-Drott, as he also wrote the excellent "hate radio in Rwanda" paper.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  Interesting effect. It's probably actually an effect, to the extent that the sex of child is random. On the other hand, another interesting effect on female labor participation.

2.  Trends in kids' media use, 1976-2016.

3.  The Dub-MOE's review of "Illiberal Reformers." Nice.

4.  Of all the nonsense and dumb stuff government does, it is odd that the first thing cut back is libraries.  They aren't public goods, exactly, but they are extremely efficient mechanisms for sharing at low transaction costs.

5.  I was skeptical of Ms. Williams' claim about sex-based difference in treatments. But this makes a pretty strong case. I may just be wrong; I certainly don't know enough about tennis to have a valid idea what I'm talking about.

6.  "Various Clown Paintings," by Mike Cockrill. WARNING: This is not a happy thing. Unless you hate clowns. With thanks, sort of, to Amy Alkon.

7.  I'm INTJ.  Of course, that may not mean anything, actually.

8.  Jeffrey Tucker, on the reaction. To this.

9.  Oh, YEAH? Well, I'll just shoot myself in the OTHER foot, then.

10. Mike Shildt....from bottom rung at the grocery to top step of the dugout.

11. MAGA makeover of Nike commercial....

Grand Lagniappe: Dave Chappelle...."I want to wear Nikes, I don't want to have to make them."  As succinct a summary of comparative advantage as you'll ever hear.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  Good for NPR. This is a very useful piece of reporting.  And it makes the other kinds of claims NPR makes more credible. (Pro-tip for Fox News: This is how news works....)

2. An amazing definition of sexism: any woman who decides to have children and raise them rather than "work" (!) is a victim.

3. New Hampshire: Live Bitcoin or Die!

4. Open inquiry in the classroom.

5.  Avital.

6.  Florida man is angry about bad restaurant review.

7.  Hard to know just how to explain this....

8.  Hard to know if they were expelled because they are atheists, or because the God they don't believe in is Allah.

9.  I hope these people don't have children, or even dogs, for that matter.

10.  Peak badass. What did you do today?

11.  Playing to a better democracy.

12.  How Trump survives....

13. Interesting and thoughtful review of T3.0 at Trotsky's Children.

14. U.S. companies on costs of tariffs....

15.  "Sprinting Naked Man." Sounds like a superhero.  I guess he sort of IS a superhero.

Grand Lagniappe: Port of Amsterdam video....