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Economics

December 22, 2014

"What do economists do at Google (their responsibilities as Google's employees)?"

Quora question answered by the Chief Economist at Google, Hal Varian.

December 21, 2014

"Demand side: 75% our interviews are a complete waste of time"

The academic economics version of the old wisecrack, "To find a prince, you have to kiss a lot of frogs."

December 18, 2014

"What The Next Generation Of Economists Is Working On"

Some information on the characteristics of job candidates in econ from the top schools

FYI: Arizone State is looking for an Assistant Professor of Future Thinking and Sustainability.

December 17, 2014

California Faces Death by Pension

"Here's what happens when unions control everything."

Remember this when California comes to the federal government begging for a bailout.

"Pace University's National Champion Monetary Policy Team Predicts The Fed's Next Move"

We'll know later today whether they're right.

December 16, 2014

"Houston Issues as Many Single-Family Housing Permits as All of California"

From Business Week:

“If you don’t have housing, you can’t do labor,” Chris Thornberg, principal at Beacon Economics, a Los Angeles-based research and consulting firm, told Bloomberg News. “If you can’t do labor, you are missing a major ingredient for economic growth.”

December 15, 2014

"LARRY SUMMERS: It Shouldn't Take This Long To Fix An Escalator"

Damn right.

But Larry is late to the party. See, for example, "D.C. Escalator Nightmare".

"Household Response to Government Debt: Evidence from Life Insurance Holdings"

Forthcoming in JMCB. Abstract:

We use state-level panel data on life insurance in force in the United States and find that a one dollar increase in government debt, at either the state or federal level, is associated with a $0.96 increase in the face value of the average life insurance holdings per capita for a household in the average state. This increase represents an intention to save that would almost completely off set the government debt in specifi c states of the world (i.e. if the insured dies). Because this state of the world is rare, the immediate increase in actual savings is only about $0.03, the cost of the additional insurance. We find, in addition, that this response occurs mainly on the intensive margin, meaning that the size of the average life insurance policy increases when government debt increases. Along the extensive margin, we find the number of policies in force falls slightly with federal debt, and rises slightly with state debt increases. The results show altruistic planning in response to changes in government debt that are consistent with Ricardian Equivalence and the long-run neutrality of government debt.

"Minneapolis Is Micromanaging the Food Supply"

What a surprise: "The city is finding out that more rules don't equal healthier eating."

But enacting rules and regulations are so much easier than trying to, you know, persuade people.

December 14, 2014

"Finding Racism Where It Isn’t"

Holman Jenkins, Jr. details the government's attempt to find racial discrimination in the loan market. Well-done, but especially good is the final sentence:

Unfortunately, the truth may be that our government has simply fallen into the hands of liars and chiselers who have identified a shakedown that the current legal and political culture will let them get away with.

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