Thursday, 6 March 2014

Interesting blog bits

  1. Matt Ridley asks Do people mind more about inequality than poverty?
    Few people know that global inequality is falling and so is poverty.
  2. Kevin Vallier on Reasonable Libertarian Worries about Nudging
    This is part of a series of replies to “Human Freedom and the Art of Nudging,” written by Charles Mathewes and Christina McRorie, religious studies professors at the University of Virginia. I think their piece is, quite honestly, bad. It attacks libertarian criticisms of nudging based on a host of straw men.
  3. Peter Boettke on Science/Scholarship and Academics
    Joe Salerno publically called me out to explain my position on how a scientific/scholarly discipline advances and the role that private funding plays. He also asks me to contemplate a counter-factual of my own career if there was no private funding available.
  4. Donal Curtin shouts Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong
    I do want to comment, though, on the substance of some potential telco policy ideas that were apparently leaked from Clare Curran's office. And yes, you get it, he thinks the policy is wrong.
  5. Tim Worstall explains A most wonderful example of cause and effect
    A number of studies have been done over the years trying to work out whether people are insider trading given the specialist knowledge that they have. For example, one such showed that Senators were getting a 12% annual return on their stock portfolios. The conclusion was that yes, they were indeed using their inside information about what laws were likely to be written and how. No prosecutions of course because this wasn't actually illegal but it was pretty clear that the activity was going on. Using very much the same techniques researchers have had a look at the stock investments of the policemen of that world, the folks at the SEC.
  6. Tim Worstall says Those 'Communists' At The IMF Do Indeed Say That Redistribution Harms Growth
    There’s been a recent paper issued by economists at the IMF looking at whether and how redistribution harms economic growth. There’s been a number of gleeful headlines insisting that what they’ve actually said is that redistribution does not harm economic growth at all, all of us right wing neoliberal free market types are just wrong. Sadly, this isn’t actually what the paper says.
  7. Angus Deaton and Arthur Stone ask What good are children?
    Study after study has shown that those who live with children are less satisfied with their lives than those who do not. Is there something wrong with these empirical analyses? Or is it that happiness measures are unreliable? This column argues that the results are correct but that comparisons of the wellbeing of parents and non-parents are of no help at all for people trying to decide whether to have children.
  8. Stefano DellaVigna, John List, Ulrike Malmendier and Gautam Rao on Voting to tell others
    The question of why people vote has intrigued social scientists for decades. This column discusses a model of voting due to social image motivations and presents empirical tests based on it. In this model, an individual would be motivated to vote because of an anticipation of being asked after the election. The results of a conducted field experiment suggest that the anticipation of being asked provides a large motivation to vote. In fact, the motivation is as large as being paid $5-15 to vote. Applying this methodology to other elections would provide more rigorous evidence about the validity of the proposed model.

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