Noted for Your Lunchtime Procrastination for January 5, 2013
Claudia Goldin: A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter: "The converging roles of men and women are among the grandest advances in society and the economy in the last century. These aspects of the grand gender convergence are figurative chapters in a history of gender roles. But what must the “last” chapter contain for there to be equality in the labor market? The answer may come as a surprise. The solution does not (necessarily) have to involve government intervention and it need not make men more responsible in the home (although that wouldn’t hurt). But it must involve changes in the labor market, in particular how jobs are structured and remunerated to enhance temporal flexibility. The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours. Such change has taken off in various sectors, such as technology, science and health, but is less apparent in the corporate, financial and legal worlds."
Paul Lewis: US economy losing 'up to a $1bn a week' after jobless benefits cut: "The US economy is losing up to a billion dollars a week because of the 'fiscally irresponsible' decision to end long-term unemployment benefits.... Lawrence Katz based his assessment on official forecasts of the impact to the economy of 1.3 million jobless Americans losing benefits.... 'It is actually fiscally irresponsible not to extend unemployment benefits.... The long-run cost to the taxpayers will be much higher from disconnecting people from the labour market.'"
Jenny Lawson: The Meemaw Effect: "This isn’t a real post but I just wanted to share.... The last decade has been tough for Victor’s meemaw.... Last week Victor and I were able to get her a pretty, one-bedroom apartment down the street from us.... When she saw the apartment she cried because she told us she never thought she’d ever live anywhere so nice. We are so incredibly lucky to be able to do this for her, and it would not have been possible without you... if you read this blog, or advertised on it, or visited the sponsors, or bought my book, or purchased something from my shop you’ve helped me... to be someone I never thought I could be.... You helped me help other people who then helped others.... I can never thank you enough for the changes you’ve made in so many people’s lives, but I can thank you for the wonderful things you’ve brought to mine. Thank you."
FT: Much ado about rising inequality: "Between 1870 and 2000, distribution of incomes across the world’s households became hugely unequal. But the determinants of inequality shifted radically over time: in 1870, income distribution within countries determined the bulk of the inequality among the world’s households; by 2000, differences among countries determined the bulk of the by then far more unequal distribution. What mattered most then was not what you were, but where you were born.... Research at the World Bank suggests, however, that distribution across the world’s households has in fact become less unequal since 2000. If global inequality has indeed fallen, that would be the first time in two centuries. This small reduction in inequality is the consequence of two offsetting forces: relatively fast growth of average incomes in some very large poor countries, notably China and India, and rising inequality within almost all countries, notably including China. Two groups did relatively well between 1988 and 2008: the top 10 per cent of the global distribution (and especially the top 1 per cent) and those in the fifth to 70th percentiles from the bottom."
Michael Calderone: Ezra Klein Speculation Creates Delicate Situation In Washington Post Newsroom: "An entrepreneurial journalist dreaming up a new website and talking to both outside investors and Post executives to see who'll help get it off the ground. The difference now is that talk of Ezra Klein's planned website isn't just happening behind closed doors. It's been the buzz.... The latest report on Klein's possible departure has fueled significant discussion on Twitter--a platform that didn’t exist when Harris and VandeHei packed up their desks. Follow-up reporting Friday examined who Klein has recently started following on Twitter. The increased attention on Klein’s possible move has created an awkward situation inside the Post newsroom, where some have long griped about Klein receiving preferential treatment.... While Klein could potentially hire Post writers, he can't leave with Wonkblog. That puts him in a less-ideal bargaining position."
Bloomberg: Typical Boomer Retirement Modest Compared to Parents’: "The expectation that each successive generation will be better off financially than the prior is no longer valid. Contributing to this new reality has been the diminishing role of traditional pension plans with defined benefits in favor of 401(k) savings plans."
- Alexis C. Madrigal: How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
- Adam Guren: The Causes and Consequences of House Price Momentum
- Project Syndicate: Unequal at Any Speed?
Should Be Aware of:
John Holbo: Some Desperate Glory: "Amazing. Bill Kristol is hoping that, after a full century of unwillingness to go to war, because Wilfred Owen, this might be the year we consider--maybe!--going to some war. For the glory of it! Wouldn’t a war be glorious? If we could only have one? “Play up, play up, and play the game!” For the game is glorious! Why have we been so unthinkingly unwilling to consider going to war for an entire century? Doesn’t that seem like a long time to go without a war?Couldn’t we have just one?"
DougJ: Surf n’ Turf: "King crab legs are the new t-bone steaks.... 'Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said he’s heard “so many times” from constituents standing in line at the grocery store behind a shopper buying king crab legs. “Then he sees the food-stamp card pulled out and provided. He looks at the king crab legs and looks at his ground meat and realizes because he does pay income tax, he doesn’t get more back than he pays in. He is actually helping to pay for the king crab legs when he can’t pay for them for himself.”' Doubling down on race-baiting is a losing strategy long-term, but it may work in 2014."
Marc Andreesen: Andreessen: Tech Bubble Believers 'Don't Know What They're Talking About': "The costs of building an Internet company today are far lower than they were in the late '90s. In the '90s if you wanted to build an Internet company, you needed to buy Sun servers, Cisco networking gear, Oracle databases, and EMC storage systems. And those companies would charge you a ton of money even just to get up and running. The new startups today, they don't buy any of that stuff.... Instead, they go on Amazon Web Services and they pay by the drink and they're paying somewhere between 100x and 1000x cheaper per unit—per unit of compute, per unit of storage, per unit of networking, per unit of software. In retrospect, it's a miracle that anything worked in the late '90s given how limited the market was and given how expensive it was. It's a miracle that eBay worked, it's a miracle that Amazon worked."
Aaron Bady: Interpretive Signs Taken For Wonders: "As for the trip, we didn’t quite get to Pittsburgh, but we got within spitting distance of it before we turned around and biked back to Washington.... nd while six hundred miles is a lot of miles, when you’re riding on a level, well-surfaced bike path for the majority of those miles, you’ll find that it’s much, much easier than it sounds.... One of the few things I thought about that wasn’t some variation on the problems of flesh--because nothing will remind you that you’re basically an unusually fancy bag of water more than riding through Maryland in July--was the interesting ways that history gets written into the landscape in places like these. We first rode through the C&O national park, an 185 mile long trail that follows the old canal between Georgetown and Cumberland... a journey through history, but it’s a history that gets retroactively constructed through a kind of geographic logic, if that makes sense. The canal trail is like an archaeological dig, exposing to the light fragments of the same past that happened everywhere, but by the chance of circumstance that made the C&O into a park–a supreme court justice liked to walk in the woods–these particular events have been unearthed and treasured."
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