Friday, 24 August 2012

Interesting blog bits

  1. Carlo Altomonte, Tommaso Aquilante and Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano on Triggering competitiveness: A 'decalogue' from new firm-level evidence
    Competitiveness is one of the most debated issues in policy circles. But, what triggers it? Capitalising on the first existing harmonised cross-country dataset measuring the entire range of international activities of firms in seven European countries, this column identifies the triggers of competitiveness. It argues that policymaking could be improved by firm-level evidence if there were less reluctance to the use of micro-founded indicators to inform policy decisions.
  2. Eric Crampton on A symposium, of sorts
    The latest issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal features three papers on alcohol policy, including one from Matt Burgess, Brad Taylor and me, along with a commissioned editorial piece on the set. I have not yet had a chance to read the other two papers in the series but the editor of the journal kindly forwarded along a copy of the editorial piece late Thursday night.

    Doug Sellman, lead author on the editorial piece, says about what I expected he would say about our work on alcohol.
  3. Alexander de Ville points out that the EU trade plans will increase protectionism and hinder development
    In June, the European Commission drew attention to the increase in protectionist tendencies worldwide. It claimed that over the previous eight months 123 new trade restrictions had been put in place, an acceleration of 25% compared with the previous period studied. However, the Commission’s own proposed trade reforms, published in January, were overlooked. These will push the EU itself towards further protectionism. They will 'hamper the global economy' and ‘hurt developing countries', according to a recent ODI study.
  4. Ben Vollaard on How to cut prison numbers
    How to reduce incarceration rates without fuelling a crime boom? This column argues that by being more selective over whom to lock up and for how long, scarce public funds can be put to better use.
  5. Art Carden asks Isn't it high time we legalize marijuana?
    On a couple of different occasions, I have used this space to call for an end to the economic, moral, and cultural disaster that is the drug war. American governments at all levels have been fighting the war on drugs for over four decades now, and it’s overwhelmingly clear that it’s time to cut our losses, admit that the whole thing was a mistake, and work toward restoring the lives that have been destroyed by the drug war.
  6. Olivier Coibion and Yuriy Gorodnichenko say we should be Paying attention to inattention
    Economics and economists have taken a beating in the last few years. One practice on the receiving end of much criticism has been the use of models that assume rational expectations when individuals are well informed. This column proposes some tests of these assumptions and argues that 'imperfect information' models may succeed where others have failed.

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