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Ranking the U.S. Economy:  “New Normal” or Room for Improvement? | Global Policy Watch Jun 2019
"Recent reports find that 70 percent of all U.S. wealth is held by the top 10% of the population"

"the IMD Competitiveness Center reports that the U.S. has fallen from the first to the world’s third most competitive economy by its account, behind Singapore and Hong Kong."

"In the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, the U.S. is currently ranked 12th, and is characterized as “mostly free,” in part because trade freedom and fiscal health have measurably declined. "

"the U.S. is ranked eighth overall on the World Bank’s 2019 “Ease of Doing Business” indicators."

"the United States comes in 6th in the Global Innovation Index,"

"The U.S. ranked 23rd on PISA’s overall averages of math, science and reading scores in PISA’s most recent 2015 assessment. China ranked 10th."

... more, omitted

"What does come to light is that the United States has plenty of scope to improve its economic and social performance."
Covington  rankings  economics  US  competition  competitiveness  innovation 
11 weeks ago by pierredv
The Case for a $15 Minimum Wage Is Far From Settled - Bloomberg, May 2019
Via AEI newsletter, May 2019

underlined for me (in the light of the papers I’m reading at the moment about different kinds of science, explanations, and narrative) that economics is a historical science: it can explain what happened, but it can’t make predictions

"Economist Jeffrey Clemens argues, however, in a recent policy paper published by the Cato Institute, that a good deal of this support [for a $15/hour minimum wage] is predicated on an incomplete reading of the academic literature."

"Clemens correctly acknowledges a recent string of important papers — including several co-authored by the economist Arindrajit Dube — that found little evidence that minimum-wage increases reduce employment. But he argues that many other important papers written in the past few years get short shrift by journalists, opinion leaders and policy makers."
Bloomberg  AEI  economics  employment 
12 weeks ago by pierredv
Maria Bolboaca - Home
Via Andra Voicu, May 2019

For research, see

"I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Economics of the University of St. Gallen (FGN-HSG). My research fields are macroeconomics and applied macroeconometrics. My current research focuses on the effects of productivity improvements on the economy and in particular on the role played by expectations of future productivity changes in driving business cycle fluctuations."
economics  news  growth 
may 2019 by pierredv
Stories about economics and technology: The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought: Vol 17, No 5
Robert Solow


This essay offers an unsystematic sketch of seval ways in which economists have approached the need to represent and model changes in technology. It begins with the failures of Ricardo and Mill to respond adequately to the continueing increase of productivity after the Industrial Revolution, and ascribes it to the lack of appropriate analytical technique. It goes on to the question of classification of inventions posed by Hicks, with responses from other authors. It concludes with comments on the current intereste in endogenizing technical profress as a routine profit-seeking activity, with the thought that an uneasy compormise between exogeneous and endogeneous may be the best that can be done.
history  economics  technology  stories 
may 2019 by pierredv
LEFT FOR DEAD: ANTI‐COMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR IN ORBITAL SPACE - Adilov - - Economic Inquiry - Wiley Online Library

In a dynamic investment framework with depreciation, we show incumbent satellite operators have incentives to “warehouse” a fraction of their assigned spectrum and orbital slots, keeping nonoperational assets in place, which reduces output, increases prices, and diminishes social welfare. Exploring three distinct market structures, we model firms' incentives to warehouse, and show conditions under which firms choose to warehouse rather than replace nonfunctioning satellites. We find a dominant firm with a competitive fringe produces more and longer duration warehousing relative to perfect competition or monopoly. Regulators could remediate warehousing by increasing a firm's marginal costs, or by increasing the probability of reallocating orbital slots that do not have a fully functioning satellite. (JEL L9, L5)
space  competition  economics 
april 2019 by pierredv
Capitalism’s New Clothes | Evgeny Morozov
"Shoshana Zuboff's new book on “surveillance capitalism” emphasizes the former at the expense of the latter"

Thesis I: "a phenomenon called surveillance capitalism"; "a set of observations, not a hypothesis"

Thesis II: "it posits that surveillance capitalism not only produces effects that are unequivocally worse than those of alternative digital regimes, but that it’s also becoming the hegemonic form of capitalism"

Thesis III: "the tautology ...: surveillance capitalists engage in surveillance capitalism because this is what the imperatives of surveillance capitalism demand"

Thesis II is a bundle of several propositions:

i) information civilization could choose between surveillance capitalism and advocacy capitalism;

ii) both leverage data extraction: one to procure behavioral surplus, one to improve services;

iii) certain features of information civilization have made surveillance capitalism hegemonic;

iv) as it becomes hegemonic, so do its imperatives;

v) in its social effects, surveillance capitalism is worse than its alternatives.

surveillance  capitalism  economics  books  review  Shoshana-Zuboff  Evgeny-Morozov  TheBaffler 
march 2019 by pierredv
The animal economists that can wheel and deal as well as any human | New Scientist Dec 2018
"As we get to know Earth’s myriad other species better, it is becoming apparent that many animals and organisms make trades, and that some are surprisingly savvy wheeler-dealers capable of manipulating the market in their own selfish interests. From frisky baboons to fish offering spa treatments on the reef, pretty much everywhere we look in nature we find evidence of surprisingly sophisticated economic decision-making. Even fungi are at it, and according to the latest studies, these brainless soil dwellers give the impression of being more rational than us."

"... over the past few years, biologists have shown that scores of animals are capable of responding to market forces, including chimpanzees, macaques, mongooses, ants, wasps and small fish called cichlids. In one of the most recently unearthed examples of a biological market, the traders don’t have brains at all. Kiers studies the underground marketplace in which mycorrhizal fungi trade phosphorus for carbon with the roots of plants."
NewScientist  economics  rationality  biology 
march 2019 by pierredv
Tech Is Splitting the U.S. Work Force in Two - The New York Times, Feb 2019
"Despite all its shiny new high-tech businesses, the vast majority of new jobs are in workaday service industries, like health care, hospitality, retail and building services, where pay is mediocre."

"But automation is changing the nature of work, flushing workers without a college degree out of productive industries, like manufacturing and high-tech services, and into tasks with meager wages and no prospect for advancement. Automation is splitting the American labor force into two worlds. "

"Recent research has concluded that robots are reducing the demand for workers and weighing down wages, which have been rising more slowly than the productivity of workers. Some economists have concluded that the use of robots explains the decline in the share of national income going into workers’ paychecks over the last three decades."

"In a new study, David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Anna Salomons of Utrecht University found that over the last 40 years, jobs have fallen in every single industry that introduced technologies to enhance productivity. "
automation  technology  economics  NYTimes  employment  AI 
february 2019 by pierredv
Economic shocks and clinging - Michael Strain & Stan Veuger, AEI, Jan 2019

During his first campaign for president, Barack Obama was criticized when he argued that residents of towns with poor local labor markets “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustration.” We test empirically whether this is the case by examining the effect on social attitudes, as measured in the General Social Survey, of a local labor market’s exposure to import competition brought about by “the China shock,” from 1990 to 2007. We find that the economic effects of globalization do indeed change the attitudes of whites towards immigrants, minorities, religion and guns. More specifically, we find evidence of significant hardening of existing attitudes — that is, the impact of these import shocks appears concentrated in the tails of the distribution over attitudes.
AEI  economics  politics  culture  immigration  gun-control  Trade  globalization  religion 
january 2019 by pierredv
Why the end of cash could cause a new data disaster | New Scientist, Aug 2018
"The convenience of card and mobile payments means cash use is in freefall globally. But we haven't thought through the consequences of an all-digital world."

"But the use of cash is in free fall. According to trade association UK Finance, fewer payments will be made with cash than by debit card in the UK for the first time in 2018. The proportion of cash payments in the UK dropped from 62 per cent of transactions in 2006 to 40 per cent in 2016, and is projected to fall to just 21 per cent in 2026 (see “Money down the drain”)."

"Despite negative interest rates, cash use is falling unusually rapidly in Sweden: the proportion of cash payments declined from 39 per cent in 2010 to 13 per cent in 2018. About 60 per cent of Swedes already use a mobile app called Swish that allows people to instantly transfer money between different bank accounts just by tapping in a phone number."
NewScientist  economics  commerce  finance  blockchain  money 
december 2018 by pierredv
Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development | Nature Energy, Nov 2018
Via Nature podcast
"Optimal wind farm locations require a strong and reliable wind resource and access to transmission lines. As onshore and offshore wind energy grows, preferred locations become saturated with numerous wind farms. An upwind wind farm generates ‘wake effects’ (decreases in downwind wind speeds) that undermine a downwind wind farm’s power generation and revenues. Here we use a diverse set of analysis tools from the atmospheric science, economic and legal communities to assess costs and consequences of these wake effects, focusing on a West Texas case study. We show that although wake effects vary with atmospheric conditions, they are discernible in monthly power production. In stably stratified atmospheric conditions, wakes can extend 50+ km downwind, resulting in economic losses of several million dollars over six years for our case study. However, our investigation of the legal literature shows no legal guidance for protecting existing wind farms from such significant impacts."
NatureJournal  wind  energy  economics  interference 
december 2018 by pierredv
What Is the Sharing Economy - Example Companies, Definition, Pros & Cons, Mar 2018
1. Peer-to-Peer Lending
2. Crowdfunding: Kickstarter
3. Apartment/House Renting and Couchsurfing: Airbnb
4. Ridesharing and Carsharing: Uber, Zipcar
5. Coworking
6. Reselling and Trading: eBay, Criagslist
7. Knowledge and Talent-Sharing: TaskRabbit, Mechanical Turk
sharing  technology  economics  business 
november 2018 by pierredv
Countrywide corruption breeds individual dishonesty, economists suggest | Ars Technica
Story ABOUT,
Intrinsic honesty and the prevalence of rule violations across societies
simon Gächter & Jonathan F. Schulz
Nature, volume 531, pages 496–499 (24 March 2016)

"Two economists at the University of Nottingham, Simon Gächter and Jonathan Schulz, have published an intriguing suggestion about the roots of dishonesty: they suggest that a corrupt social environment, rife with political corruption and tax evasion, can trickle down to the individual level and make people in such a country more likely to be dishonest in some contexts. Based on data gathering and behavioral experiments done in 23 countries, they found that people in more corrupt countries were more likely to cheat during an experiment."

"The question was why—do national tendencies push the population toward more or less honesty, or do individuals drive the national tendency?"

"Overall, there was a correlation between a country’s PRV level and the amount of money its citizens claimed, with people from low-honesty countries claiming more money. Other results backed up the finding, like more reports of rolling a six (probably honest, because this resulted in no payment) in high-honesty countries."

"Whatever direction the effect runs in, the correlations are robust. There's a link between dishonesty at the individual and national levels"
ArsTechnica  economics  dishonesty  lying  culture 
october 2018 by pierredv
Russ Roberts on the Information Revolution, Politics, Yeats, and Yelling – Econlib
via Phil Weiser

"EconTalk host Russ Roberts does a monologue on how political discourse seems to have deteriorated in recent years and the growth in outrage, tribalism, and intolerance for those with different views from one's own. Roberts suggests that part of the problem is the revolution of the market for information caused by the internet that allows people to customize what they see to fit their own political narratives and worldview. In short, the market for news works to make us feel good rather than to help us to discover the truth. The monologue closes with some suggestions for how we might improve the way we consume information and interact with those we disagree with."
podcasts  economics  politics  US 
september 2018 by pierredv
Harmful spectrum pricing driven by political decisions, GSMA says | PolicyTracker, Aug 2018
"Spectrum prices in developing nations are on average three times greater than in developed countries in proportion with income per capita, according to a report recently published by mobile industry association the GSMA. The association believes the figure is driven by legislative decisions rather than market forces."

"High spectrum prices in developing countries are linked to more expensive and lower quality mobile broadband services, the report says."
PolicyTracker  GSMA  spectrum-auctions  economics 
august 2018 by pierredv
Satellite Constellations: Too Much of a Good Thing? - Northern Sky Research, Aug 2018
"LEO constellations, theoretically, benefit from economies of scale [but] it is crucial to recognize the point where the variable costs start to outweigh the fixed cost benefits, and the cost save turns into cost disadvantages, also known as diseconomies of scale."

"To support the production of satellite constellations ... will most definitely result in bottlenecks within the industry with further increase in internal diseconomies of scale for operators as well as for the suppliers."

"At a certain point, the additional satellites for the larger constellation continue to increase the costs but are unable to produce revenues at the same rate, resulting in a lower ROI for the 4,425-satellite [SpaceX] constellation."
NSR  space  satellite  constellations  economics  business  SpaceX 
august 2018 by pierredv
Chad Jones on Paul Romer's Contribution to Growth Theory
"The essential contribution of Romer (1990) is its clear understanding of the economics of ideas and how the discovery of new ideas lies at the heart of economic growth. The history behind that paper is fascinating."

"Here is the key insight: ideas are different from essentially every other good in that they are nonrival. ... The key is that nonrivalry gives rise to increasing returns to scale."

"Once you've got increasing returns, growth follows naturally. Output per person then depends on the total stock of knowledge; the stock doesn't need to be divided up among all the people in the economy. Contrast this with capital in a Solow model. ... It is very easy to get growth in an aggregate in any model, even in Solow, because of population growth. More autoworkers mean that more cars are produced. In Solow, this cannot sustain per capita growth because we need growth in cars per autoworker. But in Romer, this is not the case: more researchers produce more ideas, which makes everyone better off because of nonrivalry."
economics  history  Paul-Romer  growth 
july 2018 by pierredv
June 2018 - Will LEO Kickstart the Asian Broadband Market? | Via Satellite Jun 2018
"In terms of demand, Asia leads the way in satellite broadband. It's purely a numbers game and Asia certainly has the numbers — as long as they refer to population and households, that is. If referring to U.S. dollar figures, then it's a different story, one that has the United States as the protagonist. According to a Northern Sky Research (NSR) market forecast, North America is driving revenues in terms of subscribers. Despite Asia having a much larger population, it really boils down to economics and, comparatively, disposable income levels in Asia are not as high as that of the United States. "

"When considering the price point, the magic number that unlocks the barrier holding back satellite changes country to country. Satellite needs to match fiber, and both need to be at a much lower price.

"In the United States, it's $60, which is still high, however, people are willing to pay that premium. Comparatively, in the Philippines, for example, a fiber connection costs around $50 a month. But looking at the mass markets, the price will have to go down to around $10 to $15 – and this will still be challenging," says Del Rosario. "

“If these [LEO] constellations are manufactured efficiently and launched on time, if the ground terminals are priced at $150-300 per unit, if they get market access to the countries they’re targeting, and if they drastically reduce the price to the consumer, say to $10-15, then the impact will be huge. But there are a lot of ‘ifs’ riding on this. Getting all this right, then yes, they will hit Asia’s mainstream market, and that is huge,” explains Del Rosario.
ViaSatellite  NSR  LEO  business  economics 
june 2018 by pierredv
The inequality delusion: Why we've got the wealth gap all wrong | New Scientist, 31 Mar 2018; Mark Sheskin
"There are staggering levels of inequality in the world, and wide agreement that these should be reduced. But we should aspire to fair inequality, not unfair equality."
cognition  culture  NewScientist  equality  fairness  economics  morality  ethics 
june 2018 by pierredv
Artificial Intelligence and its Implications for Income Distribution and Unemployment – Economic and Policy Implications of AI, Blog Post #3 | The Technology Policy Institute
"The following is a summary of Artificial Intelligence and its Implications for Income Distribution and Unemployment by Antonin Korinek and Joseph E. Stiglitz. This paper was presented at the Technology Policy Institute Conference on The Economics and Policy Implications of Artificial Intelligence, February 22, 2018."

"In Artificial Intelligence and its Implications for Income Distribution and Unemployment, Anton Korinek and Joseph E. Stiglitz focus on a key economic challenge associated with increased use of AI: its effects on income distribution in the context of the future of work. They discuss four cases in which AI innovations are more likely to be substitutes rather than complements for human labor under varying market conditions, and the potential for Pareto improvement[1] in the economic outcomes of both workers and innovators."

"They note only two market and societal contexts in which AI innovation might result in Pareto improvement, though only one is realistically possible. Though they call for policies that would support a move toward Pareto improvement – specifically to ensure redistributing income or subsidizing workers’ wages – the authors close by acknowledging the long and complex road ahead. "
TPI  AI  employment  economics 
june 2018 by pierredv
4 To 3 Wireless Mergers Doubled Relative Prices: Rewheel - Apr 2018
"Pal Zarandy at Rewheel offers four years of data comparing 8 European companies. I believe at least 10-15% relative increase is highly likely.

His conclusion: Gigabyte prices in 4 to 3 consolidated German and Austrian markets have fallen considerably behind the Netherlands and other 4-MNO European markets. "

"But on the difference between 3 & 4 networks, there simply isn't enough available data to "prove" anything to a statistician."
Dave-Burstein  cellular  competition  economics 
may 2018 by pierredv
May 2018 - Calculating the Economics of Reusable Launch Vehicles | Via Satellite
"With 23 successful first stage recoveries under its belt, SpaceX has proven that reusability is not just a way to save a couple bucks. The advantages it brings over traditional expendable vehicles has completely flipped the industry on its head, forcing every rocket company to take a beat and reconsider the way they approach launch as a business.

But the mathematics driving the resurgence of reusable rockets is more nuanced than it may seem. As it turns out, the economic considerations behind making reusability a core element of your business can be as complex as the rocket science itself."

"This design would increase Firefly Aerospace’s lift from 1 metric ton to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with Alpha to 4 metric tons, giving the company a quick path to the medium mass market. "

"Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith believes it’s just a matter of time before reusability becomes commonplace across all launch paradigms."
ViaSatellite  launch  economics  space  FireflyAerospace  business 
april 2018 by pierredv
[pdf] European Parliament 2017 = Online Platforms - How to Adapt Regulatory Framework to the Digital Age?
via Gabor Molnar


• Platforms, understood as a method of organising digital markets that allows two groups of users (suppliers and customers) to meet, are one of the pillars of the digital market. They facilitate its development, providing adequate solutions to the needs of the sharing, collaborative, data, and P2P economies.

• Platforms that often operate as marketplaces have a triangle structure where users must first conclude a contract with the platform to be subsequently able to conclude contracts between themselves. The status of platform user is very often difficult to define, as platforms allow a rapid development of the pursued activities, which pushes the users outside the realm of consumer. These two characteristics make platforms difficult to fit with the EU market and consumer regulations.

• The question as to whether to pursue legislative measures for the platform economy at the EU level is a political one. Some member states have already introduced national legislation, while others oppose the idea of introducing EU regulation.

• If the legislative agenda is pursued, it can be done either as a platform-specific act, or as a “light touch” legislation, i.e. by amending the existing EU legal schemes (the most appropriate place: the market regulation directives).

• The areas that offer the best impact while being the least interventionist are: clarifying the platform’s status, clarifying the users’ status and, regulating reputational systems.
EU  economics  EuropeanParliament  platforms  ICT  regulation 
march 2018 by pierredv
[pdf] Plan for Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA)
Recommendations and Report to Chairman Ajit Pai
Federal Communications Commission
January 9, 2018
FCC  economics 
january 2018 by pierredv
Richard Thaler wins the Nobel prize for economic sciences - Free exchange, The Economist Oct 2017
"Setting out to explore why people feel losses more keenly than gains, he helped uncover the endowment effect: a tendency to value something more highly just because you own it."

"The importance of context also arose in Mr Thaler’s work on “mental accounting”. In thinking about money, people tend to compartmentalise, grouping certain types of spending or income together. ... In some cases this might amount to a strategy for managing imperfect self-control (as in the credit-card debt example). More broadly, it reflects the human tendency to tackle cognitive problems in pieces, rather than as a whole. "

"Mr Thaler, with his colleague Hersh Shefrin, understood choices as battles between two competing cognitive forces: a “doer” part of the brain focused on short-term rewards, and a “planner” focused on the long term. Willpower can help suppress the doer’s urges, but exercising restraint is costly. "
Richard-Thaler  Nobel-Prize  economics  TheEconomist  psychology  money  cognitiion 
january 2018 by pierredv
Coase’s theory of the firm, Economics brief, Economist Jul 2017
"why are some activities directed by market forces and others by firms? His answer was that firms are a response to the high cost of using markets. It is often cheaper to direct tasks by fiat than to negotiate and enforce separate contracts for every transaction. Such “exchange costs” are low in markets for standardised goods, wrote Coase. A well-defined task can easily be put out to the market, where a contractor is paid a fixed sum for doing it. The firm comes into its own when simple contracts of this kind will not suffice."

-- what about regulation of spectrum?

"But a second paper, “The problem of social cost”, ... argued that private bargaining could resolve social problems, such as pollution, as long as property rights are well defined and transaction costs are low (they rarely are)."

"a body of more rigorous research on such questions began to flourish. Central to it was the idea that it is difficult to specify all that is required of a business relationship, so some contracts are necessarily “incomplete”. "

"pot markets are thus largely self-policing. They are well suited to simple, low-value transactions, such as buying a newspaper or taking a taxi.

Things become trickier when the parties are locked into a deal that is costly to get out of."

"Where it becomes costly for a company to specify all that it wants from a supplier, it might make sense to acquire it in order to claim the residual rights (and the profits) from ownership. But, as Messrs Grossman and Hart noted, something is also lost through the merger. The supplier’s incentive to innovate and to control costs vanishes, because he no longer owns the residual rights."

"Mr Holmstrom and Paul Milgrom established that where important tasks are hard to monitor, and where a balance of activities is needed, then a contract should shun strong incentives tied to any one task. The best approach is to pay a fixed salary and to leave the balance of tasks unspecified."
TheEconomist  economics  history  Coase  people  profile  contracting 
october 2017 by pierredv
The case for an efficiency tax, Economist Mar 2017
"EFFICIENCY is at the heart of progress. Yet just as too much of a good thing (travel, say) can yield a bad (congestion), so excessive ease in transactions can generate costs, known in the jargon as a “facile externality”, such that less efficiency would actually be more efficient. In academic circles, especially Scandinavian ones, the notion is well established that innovations which eliminate too much hassle could do society harm."

"In all this indulgence, the forgone benefits of hassle (slygge in Danish) go largely unrecognised. Frictionlessness encourages bad habits."

"Payments are also subject to facile externality. Three in five Britons say they spend more with a wave of the plastic than they would with cash"
TheEconomist  tax  efficiency  opinion  economics  externalities  AprilFool 
october 2017 by pierredv
"Two Cheers for the Bundle-of-Sticks Metaphor, Three Cheers for Merrill" by Robert C. Ellickson
Viewing property rights as a “bundle of sticks” can be descriptively clarifying because the law commonly entitles an owner of a particular resource to split up entitlements in it. Nonetheless, Thomas Merrill and Henry Smith, the most prominent critics of the metaphor, assert that this conception both ignores the existence of various legal constraints on the decomposition of property rights, and also encourages lawmakers to support the excessive splintering of entitlements. These concerns are well-grounded. More controversial are Merrill and Smith’s inclinations to equate private property with property generally, to deny that human capital can be characterized as property, and to assert that affirmative duties never attach to property ownership.
law  economics 
august 2017 by pierredv
"The entrepreneurial state" -by Mariana Mazzucato - Economist book review, Aug 2013
"Economists have long recognised that the state has a role in promoting innovation. It can correct market failures by investing directly in public goods such as research, or by using the tax system to nudge businesses towards doing so. But Ms Mazzucato argues that the entrepreneurial state does far more than just make up for the private sector’s shortcomings: through the big bets it makes on new technologies, such as aircraft or the internet, it creates and shapes the markets of the future. At its best the state is nothing less than the ultimate Schumpeterian innovator—generating the gales of creative destruction that provide strong tailwinds for private firms like Apple."
books  reviews  economics  Government  entrepreneurship 
july 2017 by pierredv
Free exchange: William Baumol, a great economist, died on May 4th | The Economist
"He helped move economics beyond the narrow ideal of perfect competition by introducing the idea of contestable markets, in which competitive pressure comes from the worry that rivals will swoop in to vie for a market if incumbents are anything other than ruthlessly efficient. Perfectly contestable markets should be just as efficient as perfectly competitive ones, even if only a handful of firms dominate a business."

"Yet Mr Baumol will be remembered best for his cost disease."

"The analysis bore relevance outside the arts, he quickly realised. Technological progress in some industries implies that in services with relatively low rates of productivity growth—like health care, education and government—swelling costs will outstrip growth in productivity. Costlier public services are a necessary side-effect of long-run growth."

"Cost disease also provides a vision of a world of large-scale automation. As machines become better at doing things, the human role in generating faster productivity growth will converge towards zero. At that point, so long as society expects everyone to work, all spending in the economy will go towards services for which it is crucial that productivity not grow, in order to provide jobs for everyone. Society could seemingly be both characterised by technological abundance and paralysed by cost disease."
TheEconomist  obituary  economics  history  profile  people  biography  competition  automation 
june 2017 by pierredv
Make Economics at the FCC Great Again | The Technology Policy Institute, April 2017
by Caroline Cecot

"Most of us employ informal cost-benefit analysis (CBA)—or what Benjamin Franklin described as weighing pros and cons—whenever we make decisions in our daily lives.[1] It seems fair to expect federal agencies to do the same when considering new rules. Surprisingly, though, some agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), are not required to engage in CBA before issuing a rule.

In a recent speech, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai promised to rectify this situation. In particular, he announced his plan to establish an FCC Office of Economics and Data. The office would, among other things, prepare CBAs to help the Commission determine whether the benefits of a given proposal are expected to outweigh its costs and consider how the costs and benefits of the proposal will be distributed among different segments of society.

Such an office is long overdue."
TPI  economics  FCC  cost-benefit-analysis  CBA 
april 2017 by pierredv
Cambridge economists: The art and science of economics at Cambridge | The Economist Dec 2016
"The history of a famous faculty shows that the way economics is taught depends on what you think economists are for"

“Disciplines are now defined too much by methods rather than by questions”, Low says.
TheEconomist  economics  history  quotations 
march 2017 by pierredv
A Better Calculus for Regulators: From Cost-Benefit Analysis to the Social Welfare Function by Matthew D. Adler :: SSRN
Via Blake Reid
The “social welfare function” (SWF) is a powerful tool that originates in theoretical welfare economics and has wide application in economic scholarship, for example in optimal tax theory and environmental economics. This Article provides a comprehensive introduction to the SWF framework. It then shows how the SWF framework can be used as the basis for regulatory policy analysis, and why it improves upon cost-benefit analysis (CBA).

Two types of SWFs are especially plausible: the utilitarian SWF, which sums individual well-being numbers, and the prioritarian SWF, which gives extra weight to the well-being of the worse off. Either one of these is an improvement over CBA, which uses a monetary metric to quantify well-being and is thereby distorted by the declining marginal utility of money. The Article employs a simulation model based on the U.S. population survival curve and income distribution to illustrate, in detail, how the two SWFs differ from CBA in selecting risk-regulation policies.
CBA  cost-benefit-analysis  law  economics  risk  regulation 
march 2017 by pierredv
Looking for the Perfect Gift? Social Science Can Help - AEI
Imagine the look on the kids’ little faces when, instead of putting presents under the tree, you whip out your wallet and give them each a crisp $100 bill. I proposed that once to my wife and she suggested that we should also start a fund to pay for their counseling.
sociology  economics  AEI  humor  Arthur-Brooks 
december 2016 by pierredv
Significant Digits: Responsible Use of Quantitative Information - European Commission
In this workshop we will review a seminal essay by Andrea Saltelli and Mario Giampietro, The Fallacy of Evidence Based Policy. That paper contains positive recommendations for the development of a responsible quantification. The conference will be devoted to the analysis and development of those ideas.
EU  statistics  research  workshop  report  policy  science  Saltelli  Giampietro  economics 
october 2016 by pierredv
The consensus crumbles | The Economist 2 Jul 2016
"The economists who foresaw the backlash against globalisation"
"These trade-offs create a “trilemma”, in Mr Rodrik’s view: societies cannot be globally integrated, completely sovereign and democratic—they can opt for only two of the three. In the late 1990s Mr Rodrik speculated that the sovereignty of nation states would be the item societies chose to discard. Yet it now seems that economic integration may be more vulnerable."
"Global integration, Messrs Alesina and Spolaore argue, reduces the economic cost of breaking up big countries, since the smaller entities that result will not be cut off from bigger markets. Meanwhile the benefits of separatism, in terms of being able to cater better to the preferences of voters, are less diminished. So the global reduction in barriers to trade since the second world war, the pair contend, at least partly explains the simultaneous growth in the number of countries, even if national fractures often involve, or lead to, political instability and violence."
"Branko Milanovic of the City University of New York believes such costs perpetuate a cycle of globalisation. He argues that periods of global integration and technological progress generate rising inequality, which inevitably triggers two countervailing forces, one beneficial and one harmful. On the one hand, governments tend to respond to rising inequality by increasing redistribution and investing in education; on the other, inequality leads to political upheaval and war. The first great era of globalisation, which ended in 1914, gave way to a long period of declining inequality, in which harmful countervailing forces played a bigger role than beneficial ones. History might repeat itself, he warns."
TheEconomist  trade  finance  economics 
august 2016 by pierredv
The Curious Absence of Economic Analysis at the Federal Communications Commission: An Agency in Search of a Mission - Calinnovates
"As the FCC examines and considers adopting new regulations related to privacy, CALinnovates, a coalition of technology leaders, startups and entrepreneurs, offers the Commission new analysis in the attached paper, “The Curious Absence of Economic Analysis at the Federal Communications Commission: An Agency In Search of a Mission,” Former FCC Chief Economist Gerald R. Faulhaber, PhD and Hal J. Singer, PhD reviews the agency’s proud history at the cutting edge of industrial economics and its recent divergence from policymaking grounded in facts and analysis."
FCC  economics  CALinnovates  Gerald-Faulhaber  Hal-Singer  NetNeutrality 
august 2016 by pierredv
Secrets and agents | The Economist
"George Akerlof’s 1970 paper, “The Market for Lemons”, is a foundation stone of information economics. The first in our series on seminal economic ideas"
classics  TheEconomist  economics 
august 2016 by pierredv
The new astrology - Aeon, Alan Jay Levinovitz
Economists play the same role today, and get the same extravagant perks, as state astrologers in Ancient China
Obstacles to change: "mathiness, conflict of interest and sunk-cost bias"
aeon  China  economics  government  history  policy  finance 
april 2016 by pierredv
Virtual worlds so good they'll change our grasp on real life - tech - 20 May 2015 - Control - New Scientist
"A London start-up called Improbable is powering this live demonstration. Rather than make single servers simulate a whole sector of the virtual world, it computes individual elements using connected "worker" programs, running across a network of servers." "The workers are like a swarm of bees or ants doing little things," says Herman Narula, Improbable's CEO. Acting together, they can achieve more than any individual server. The approach allows for low-cost simulations in which realistic interactions are ubiquitous. - "At the University of Oxford's Institute for New Economic Thinking, David Pugh and his team are planning to use Improbable to create a sophisticated model of the entire UK housing market, among other things." - "Improbable's technology has medical applications too. "You could simulate cancer growth at scale, by simulating all of the cancer cells that are growing," says Bonabeau."
NewScientist  mirror-worlds  RF-mirror-worlds  simulation  games  economics 
july 2015 by pierredv
Something economists thought was impossible is happening in Europe - Vox Feb 2015
"Something really weird is happening in Europe. Interest rates on a range of debt — mostly government bonds from countries like Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany but also corporate bonds from Nestlé and, briefly, Shell — have gone negative. And not just negative in fancy inflation-adjusted terms like US government debt. It's just negative. As in you give the owner of a Nestlé bond 100 euros, and four years later Nestlé gives you back less than that.* In my experience, ordinary people are not especially excited about this. But among finance and economic types, I promise you that it's a huge deal — the economics equivalent of stumbling into a huge scientific discovery entirely by accident."
bonds  economics  interest-rates  europe  euro  eu  finance 
february 2015 by pierredv
Evolution can help head off the next financial crash - opinion - 04 November 2014 - Test - New Scientist
Essay by Eduardo Viegas , Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen and Geoffrey West "We found that financial crises emerge not as the result of specific economic events or regulatory developments, but rather as a result of a long-term evolutionary process that regulates companies' growth – mergers and acquisitions. Inevitably, this process leads to the emergence of imbalanced ecosystems – akin to oligopoly or monopoly – consisting of a few very large, but sluggish "too big to fail" entities, alongside very small, niche entities." "... two mechanisms that act as catalysts for the emergence of a crisis. The first is banks copying the business models of the most (short-term) successful bank, which leads to loss of both diversity and resilience. The second is investors such as fund managers increasing their appetite for risk by trying to outperform competitors."
ecosystems  complexity  finance  economics  NewScientist  opinion 
december 2014 by pierredv
‘If you’re trying and not succeeding, the welfare system today gives you basically nothing’
"The distinction [between the deserving and undeserving poor] is an old one ... But exactly who we're talking about as deserving of help in America has changed with time. And, as a result, our welfare system now no longer primarily serves the poor who are most in need of aid, research [by Robert Moffitt, an economist at Johns Hopkins University] suggests." "Politicians are fond of saying that welfare spending in America has ballooned over this time. Researchers often counter that the government has in fact grown less generous with the poor. Moffitt finds that, in a sense, both are true: Spending on welfare programs has expanded, but increasingly, it's not the worst-off who are on the receiving end."
economics  politics  welfare  poverty  WashingtonPost 
may 2014 by pierredv
Coase’s Conception of Production Factor Costs (and the Coasean Challenge) | brazenandtenured–law politics nature and culture
" Coase recognizes the role that law plays in deciding what is a production factor cost of what? Economists, he argues, should think of production factor costs less as the costs of physical things and more in terms of legal entitlements. Take the familiar example of a steel factory emitting smoke that damages nearby commercial activities (e.g. a laundromat). Coase’s point is that if the steel factory is prohibited from emitting smoke by regulation then smoke abatement (or cessation) becomes a production factor cost of producing steel. If by contrast, emitting smoke is allowed with no legal consequence, the smoke damage becomes a cost of any activity potentially damaged by such smoke. In other words, the law (the way it is structured and organized—liability, no liability, tax, regulation, etc.) effectively decides, in many cases what is a cost of what. "
Coase  law  economics  production  Pierre  Schlag  BrazenAndTenured  x:brazenandtenured 
may 2014 by pierredv
Boudreaux on Coase | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty
Don Boudreaux of George Mason University and Cafe Hayek talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the intellectual legacy of Ronald Coase. The conversation centers on Coase's four most important academic articles. Most of the discussion is on two of those articles, "The Nature of the Firm," which continues to influence how economists think of firms and transaction costs, and "The Problem of Social Cost," Coase's pathbreaking work on externalities.
GMU  Coase  economics  podcasts 
november 2013 by pierredv
Economists Clash on Theory, but Will Still Share the Nobel -
Fama, Shiller, Hansen "Yet in jointly honoring the work of Mr. Fama and Mr. Shiller, the committee also highlighted how far the economics profession remains from agreeing on the answer to a basic and consequential question: How do markets work?" "The dispute is not merely academic. The deregulation of financial markets beginning in the 1980s was justified by the view that markets are rational and efficient. Complacence about rising home prices in the 2000s similarly reflected the view that prices are inherently rational. In the aftermath of the crisis, conversely, the work of Mr. Shiller and other proponents of behavioral economics — the integration of psychology into economic models — has been influential in shaping an intensification of financial regulation. And Federal Reserve officials are now debating whether bubbles can be identified and when they should be popped."
assets  price  NYTimes  economics  Nobel 
october 2013 by pierredv
Don’t be Misled by Parking Space Economics |, Feb 2013
Based on reading of Donald Shoup's book "The High Cost of Free Parking"
books  parking  economics 
september 2013 by pierredv
“Wholesale Transfer Pricing” and the “Free Parking” Business Model | 25iq
"As part of the discussion of my previous post on the “free parking” business model, a reader asked for a blog post on “wholesale transfer pricing.” The rise of free parking as a business model has made wholesale transfer pricing more important than ever. Wholesale transfer pricing power is a term I heard John Malone use in a conference room circa 1995.  You won’t find the term in textbooks.  Simply put: Wholesale transfer pricing =  the bargaining power of company A that supplies a unique product XYZ to Company B which may enable company A to take the profits of company B by increasing the wholesale price of XYZ."
Tren  Griffin  economics  commerce 
june 2013 by pierredv
[1304.1658v1] Beyond Nash Equilibrium in Open Spectrum Sharing: Lorenz Equilibrium in Discrete Games
"A new game theoretical solution concept for open spectrum sharing in cognitive radio (CR) environments is presented, the Lorenz equilibrium (LE). Both Nash and Pareto solution concepts have limitations when applied to real world problems. Nash equilibrium (NE) rarely ensures maximal payoff and it is frequently Pareto inefficient. The Pareto set is usually a large set of solutions, often too hard to process. The Lorenz equilibrium is a subset of Pareto efficient solutions that are equitable for all players and ensures a higher payoff than the Nash equilibrium. LE induces a selection criterion of NE, when several are present in a game (e.g. many-player discrete games) and when fairness is an issue. Besides being an effective NE selection criterion, the LE is an interesting game theoretical situation per se, useful for CR interaction analysis."
arXiv  spectrum-sharing  spectrum  economics 
may 2013 by pierredv
Expecting the Unexpected: An Interview With Edmund Phelps - Bloomberg
via Theo Eicher, - "Phelps is the director of Columbia University's Center on Capitalism and Society. I talked with him over the phone on Jan. 25 and Feb. 4 about his views on rational expectations: the notion that people’s expectations of economic outcomes are generally right and policy makers can’t outsmart the public."
rational-expectations  Bloomberg  economics  interviews 
february 2013 by pierredv
Cartels Are an Emergent Phenomenon, Say Complexity Theorists | MIT Technology Review
"Under certain market conditions, cartels arise naturally without collusion. This raises important questions over how the behavior should be controlled."
cartels  x:arxivblog  complexity  economics  emergence 
january 2013 by pierredv
Public Goods, Common Resources, and Club Goods
This page in the middle of a series explaining public, private, commons, etc. Argues that good where congestion moves from public good to a commons are "congestible goods". May be relevant to transition from unlicensed to licensed
unlicensed  commons  economics 
january 2013 by pierredv
CEOs and the Candle Problem | Graham Morehead April 2012
"In America we have a motivation problem : money. I’m not a communist. I love capitalism (I even love money), but here’s a simple fact we’ve known since 1962: using money as a motivator makes us less capable at problem-solving. It actually makes us dumber." "Their numbers were better than ever. Their lives were hell." "if your people must do something that requires any creative or critical thinking, financial incentives hurt" "A monetary reward will help your employees focus. That’s the point. When you’re focused you are less able to think laterally. You become dumber. "
management  incentives  economics  work  via:JohnHelm 
november 2012 by pierredv
Does Google get a good ROI in KC? « Virulent Word of Mouse Oct 2012
Factoring in interest, risk, hookup fees, overall costs of managing the project, and the margin for errors, Burstein concludes that Google needs about ten years of revenue to get a reasonable return on the investment.
x:virulentwordofmouse  broadband  economics  google 
october 2012 by pierredv
"Economics in Denial" by Howard Davies | Project Syndicate Aug 2012
Critique of economics in the light of the crisis by Howard Davies

Excellent comment stream
history  economics 
september 2012 by pierredv
The Big Jobs Myth: American Workers Aren't Ready for American Jobs - Barbara Kiviat - The Atlantic
In recent months, researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the University of California-Berkeley, and the Wharton School have expressed skepticism about the existence of a national skills mismatch. A larger body of work, stretching back decades, paints a murky picture about how broad-based a problem worker skill level is. Despite this, policymakers have fretted about the issue for 30 years, in periods of high unemployment and low. If the research is far from certain, why does the skills-mismatch narrative stay with us? And by fixating on mismatched skills, are we ignoring a far bigger problem for the economy?
skills  employment  The  Atlantic  CSMonitor  economics  politics  education 
august 2012 by pierredv
Parasitology: The risks of global worming | The Economist
"Widespread use of anti-parasite drugs is reducing their value" "No one farmer is to blame. This is a tragedy of the commons, in which sensible individual decisions have led to a collective difficulty. But it might behove farmers to think more about how they use anti-worm drugs. If they do not, they may find that those drugs have become useless."
sheep  TheEconomist  commons  economics  disease 
july 2012 by pierredv
Economists display little interest in ethics code | Reuters July 2011
"The world's largest association of economists [the American Economic Association] is considering ethics guidelines after outrage about undisclosed conflicts of interest, but only a handful of its 18,000 members have bothered to offer any input."

"This January about 300 economists, ... signed a letter urging the AEA to adopt an ethics code. None of the members of the ethics committee, ... where among the signatories.
"The letter cited a study of 19 financial economists that found the vast majority did not reveal their private affiliations when writing academic papers on financial regulatory reform or opinion pieces in newspapers.
"It also cited a Reuters investigation of lack of disclosure of consulting gigs and directorships in congressional testimony on financial reform. See"

"...Solow said, [the committee's] first area of focus is disclosure of conflicts of interest -- though only as it relates to work published in the AEA's seven journals."
economics  ethics  research 
july 2012 by pierredv
Business - Derek Thompson - The Economic History of the Last 2,000 Years in 1 Little Graph - The Atlantic#.T_BaaN-malI.twitter#.T_BaaN-malI.twitter
via : Scott Forbes, "The economic history of the world going back to Year 1 showing the major powers' share of world GDP, from a research letter written by Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and investment strategy at JP Morgan. "
theAtlantic  infographics  visualization  economics  history 
july 2012 by pierredv
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