Sunday, 1 April 2012

Interesting blog bits

  1. Eric Crampton on Stat of the week.
    The Christchurch Press runs a story by Jason Krupp arguing that tobacco costs the New Zealand public health system $7 billion per year. Just how likely is that number?!
  2. Sam Richardson asks Rugby World Cup as a "financial success" - for whom?
    Not the New Zealand taxpayer.
  3. Rachel Campbell, Kees Koedijk and Meir Statman on Aspirations, wellbeing, risk-aversion, and loss-aversion
    Does more money always make you happy? This column argues that financial wellbeing is distinct from income. People with low income can enjoy financial wellbeing as high as people with high incomes as long as their aspirations do not exceed their incomes.
  4. Andrea Boltho and Wendy Carlin ask The problems of European monetary union – asymmetric shocks or asymmetric behaviour?
    Divergent behaviour from Eurozone countries that have very different economic, social, and political structures is threatening the existence of the single currency. This column argues that the Eurozone is a fragile bureaucratic creation that has hardly ever raised much popular enthusiasm anywhere. If behaviour across the area remains as asymmetric as it has been over the last decade or so, the project could run into even stronger headwinds in the long run.
  5. Art Carden explains How Starbucks Made My Friday and Taught Me About Economic Progress
    Wow. I think this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen: it’s a little green plug/stir stick that fits neatly into the lid of the Venti dark roast I’m enjoying. I think I vaguely recall having seen one before, but I don’t know for certain. This I do know: a seemingly mundane little innovation that few people probably even notice has made my life appreciably better by keeping my coffee hot and by keeping it from spilling. According to the baristas who served me today, a Starbucks employee invented it.
  6. Tim Worstall on FLA’s Report on Apple and Foxconn: Little Found and Even Less To Do
    So we’ve now had the first installment of the Fair Labour Association’s report on the working conditions at Apple’s supplier Foxconn in China. They’ve found very little that should surprise or concern anyone and there’s even less to do to put matters to rest.
  7. Nicolai Foss on Economists, (Hard) Data, and (Soft) Data
    Economists have typically been suspicious of data generated by (mail, telephone) surveys and interviews, and have idolized register data. The former are soft and mushy data, the latter are hard and serious ones. I have always been a bit sceptical regarding whether the traditional economist’s suspicion of soft data is really that well-founded;
  8. Arnold Kling on Ed Glaeser on Job Creation
    New firms are important for job creation.

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