Paul Krugman on Reinhart-Reinhart-Rogoff
Liveblogging World War II: April 17, 1943

Noted for April 17, 2013

  • Buce: Underbelly: We Don't Have Enough Deans: Reserved Chancellor/Dean Parking, Monday morning: Screenshot 4 16 13 4 24 AM

  • Alex Tabarrok: Online Education Trumps the Cost Disease: "In a large, randomized experiment Bowen et al. found that students enrolled in an online/hybrid statistics course learned just as much as those taking a traditional class… [at] 36% to 57% less costly to produce than a course using a traditional lecture format…. Bowen et al. caution that their results on cost savings are speculative…. Online education even in its earliest stages appears to be generating large improvements in educational productivity."

  • David Frum: Strom Thurmond's America - The : "[W]Yet we make a mistake if we forget, or choose to forget, that [Barry Goldwater] not only opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but also the Brown v. Board of Education decision and its subsequent enforcement by the Eisenhower administration…. '[T]he federal Constitution does not require states to maintain racially mixed schools. Despite the recent holding of the Supreme Court, I am firmly convinced - not only that integrated schools are not required - but that the Constitution does not permit any interference whatsoever by the federal government in the field of education.… I am not prepared, however, to impose that judgment of mine on the people of Mississippi or South Carolina, or to tell them what methods should be adopted and what pace should be kept in striving toward that goal. That is their business, not mine.' In assessing those words, begin with this one fact. Until the 1920s, both Mississippi and South Carolina had black majorities. In the year Goldwater published, blacks made up more than 40% of the populations of the two states. In what sense can we say that 'the people' of a state have adopted a decision if the majority or near-majority of those people have by violence and threat of violence been excluded from participation in that decision? Goldwater probably never thought very hard about that question, but the logical implication of his words is that their author - or at least the author’s expected audience - did not consider black people as belonging to 'the people'."

Box Turtle Bulletin: Fifty Years Ago Today: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. Letter from Birmingham Jail | Mike Konczal: Replication Weakens Reinhart-Rogoff | Neil Irwin: How the IMF became the friend who wants us to work less and drink more | IMF Fiscal Monitor -- Fiscal Adjustment in an Uncertain World, April 2013 | Carmen M. Reinhart, Vincent R. Reinhart, and Kenneth S. Rogoff: Public Debt Overhangs: Advanced-Economy Episodes Since 1800 |

  • Barry Ritholtz: The Big Picture: The 10 Rules of Goldbuggery: 1. Gold is a Currency… not a decorative or industrial metal, it is a permanent store of value, as dictated by Greeks in Lydia around 700 B.C. And, it shall be ever thus. 2. The price of gold cannot fall, it can only be manipulated lower…. 2B. If the price of gold is rising, it is doing so despite enormous and desperate efforts by manipulators…. 3. The world MUST return to the Gold Standard one day…. When we compare the size of the money supply to past amounts when there was a Gold Standard, we can derive prices of Gold in the $7,000, $10,000 even $15,000. Hence, we know its cheap even at $2,000. 4. Central Bankers are printing money relentlessly, and this can only drive Gold prices higher…. 5. Gold works whether the economy is good or bad: When we have a red hot economy, Gold is your hedge against inflation. When we have a bad economy, Gold is a safe harbor against collapse…. 6. Gold will survive after the world economy crumbles: Gold is the ultimate currency, as it has a value that will survive even after the whole world tumbles around. Get yourself some gold coins and a Glock and you will be just fine…. 7. Gold is a rejection of government…. There are no printing presses that produce gold, it is finite, natural and God created…. 8. All Gold discussions must contain ominous macro forecasts…. 9. Gold is always rallying in one currency or another…. 10. China & India know the value of Gold; the Western world does not: The massive buying of gold by consumers in Chindia reflects the culture, intelligence and investing savvy of the people in these countries. The West doesn’t get it, and its their loss."

  • Paul De Grauwe and Yuemei Ji: Are Germans really poorer than Spaniards, Italians and Greeks?: "A recent ECB household-wealth survey was interpreted by the media as evidence that poor Germans shouldn’t have to pay for southern Europe. This column takes a look at the numbers. Whilst it’s true that median German households are poor compared to their southern European counterparts, Germany itself is wealthy. Importantly, this wealth is very unequally distributed, but the issue of unequal distribution doesn’t feature much in the press. The debate in Germany creates an inaccurate perception among less wealthy Germans that transfers are unfair."

  • Francisco Louçã: The Widest Cleft in Statistics - How and Why Fisher opposed Neyman and Pearson: "The paper investigates the “widest cleft”, as Savage put it, between frequencists in the foundation of modern statistics: that opposing R.A. Fisher to Jerzy Neyman and Egon Pearson. Apart from deep personal confrontation through their lives, these scientists could not agree on methodology, on definitions, on concepts and on tools. Their premises and their conclusions widely differed and the two groups they inspired ferociously opposed in all arenas of scientific debate. As the abyss widened, with rare exceptions economists remained innocent of this confrontation. The introduction of probability in economics occurred in fact after these ravaging battles began, even if they were not as public as they became in the 1950s. In any case, when Haavelmo, in the 1940s, suggested a reinterpretation of economics according to the probability concepts, he chose sides and inscribed his concepts in the Neyman-Pearson tradition. But the majority of the profession indifferently used tools developed by each of the opposed groups of statisticians, and many puzzled economists chose to ignore the debate. Economics became, as a consequence, one of the experimental fields for “hybridization”, a synthesis between Fisherian and Neyman-Pearsonian precepts, defined as a number of practical proceedings for statistical testing and inference that were developed notwithstanding the original authors, as an eventual convergence between what they considered to be radically irreconcilable."

  • Allan Meltzer: What’s Stopping Europe?: "There is a vast difference between unit labor costs – real wages adjusted for productivity – in Germany and in the heavily indebted southern countries. When the crisis began, production costs in Greece were about 30% higher than in Germany…. While some adjustment has occurred, much of the change is not permanent. Austerity reduced the number of employed workers, particularly those with low skill and productivity levels. But gains in measured productivity growth from this source are not permanent changes…. Before the euro, countries adjusted misaligned production costs by devaluing or revaluing their exchange rates. Fiscal austerity is a poor substitute. It works slowly, if at all…. For several years, I have proposed… the heavily indebted southern European countries jointly agree to join a weak euro, which would float against the stronger northern euro. When the weak euro reduces the heavily indebted countries’ production costs by 20-25%, they can rejoin the 'hard' euro if they accept fiscal reforms that are subject to approval by the European Commission (and thus by the hard-euro creditor countries)."