What Did I Think About Coronavirus When?
Note to Self: Heterogeneity in the S, I, R Model...

Worthy Reads for May 2, 2019

  1. There are lots and lots of business practices that could and should be ruled illegal restrains on trade: Colleen Cunningham, Florian Ederer, and Song Ma: Killer Acquisitions: "This paper argues incumbent firms may acquire innovative targets solely to discontinue the target’s innovation projects and preempt future competition. We call such acquisitions “killer acquisitions.” We develop a parsimonious model illustrating this phenomenon. Using pharmaceutical industry data, we show that acquired drug projects are less likely to be developed when they overlap with the acquirer’s existing product portfolio, especially when the acquirer’s market power is large due to weak competition or distant patent expiration. Conservative estimates indicate about 6% of acquisitions in our sample are killer acquisitions. These acquisitions disproportionately occur just below thresholds for antitrust scrutiny...

  2. William Darity Jr., Darrick Hamilton, Mark Paul, Alan Aja, Anne Price, Antonio Moore, and Caterina Chiopris: What We Get Wrong About Closing the Racial Wealth Gap: "The white household living near the poverty line typically has about 18,000 in wealth, while black households in similar economic straits typically have a median wealth near zero.... The 99th percentile black family is worth a mere $1,574,000 while the 99th percentile white family is worth over 12 million dollars. This means over 870,000 white families have a net worth above 12 million dollars, while, out of the 20 million black families in America, fewer than 380,000 are even worth a single million dollars.... We... contend that a number of ideas frequently touted as 'solutions' will not make headway in reducing black-white wealth disparities... are wholly inadequate to bridge the racial chasm in wealth...

  3. An event coming on May 16: Preparing for the next recession is perhaps the most productive and urgent policy-analysis task op[en today: Equitable Growth: Preparing for the Next Recession: Policies to Reduce the Impact on the U.S. Economy - : "A Hamilton Project and Washington Center for Equitable Growth Policy Forum.... Historically, the U.S. has responded to recent recessions with a mix of monetary policy action and discretionary fiscal stimulus. However, since monetary policy options may be limited during the next recession, policymakers should consider adopting a range of fiscal policy measures now to help stabilize the economy when a future downturn inevitably occurs. This can be achieved with a range of fiscal policy responses aimed at expediting the next recovery through strengthening job creation and restoring confidence to businesses and households...

  4. In the real world, sometimes threats need to be exercised to move price, and sometimes they don't. I have high hopes that we will learn a lot about this from Antoine Arnoud's forthcoming dissertation: Equitable Growth: Automation Threat and Wage Bargaining: "One doctoral grant will support research on how economic inequality affects the quantity and quality of innovation, and whether technological innovations, in turn, impact inequality: Antoine Arnoud (Ph.D. candidate, Yale University) proposes to study a novel mechanism through which automation in the labor market might have an impact on wages through the threat, rather than the actuality, of automation...

  5. Greatly looking forward to what comes out of this: Equitable Growth: Equitable Growth Announces 2018 Class of Grantees: The impact of Antitrust on Competition: "Fiona Scott Morton (Yale University School of Management) will collect empirical metrics of antitrust enforcement outcomes to create a novel dataset, which she will use to analyze merger effects beyond prices such as employment, and to determine whether mergers in the high-tech sector are motivated by increased efficiencies or by the elimination of competitors...

 


  1. Three from Carole Cadwalladr as she uses TED to try to hold Silicon Valley to account—to get the social media companies to thin of themselves as informaiton utilities rather than misinformation utilities: Carole Cadwalladr: My TED Talk: How I Took on the Tech Titans in Their Lair: "The world needs all kinds of brains. But in the situation we are in... not these.... If they’re not sick to their stomach about what has happened in Myanmar or overwhelmed by guilt about how their platforms were used by Russian intelligence to subvert their own country’s democracy, or sickened by their own role in what happened in New Zealand, they’re not fit to hold these jobs.... I don’t think they set out to enable massacres to be live-streamed. Or massive electoral fraud in a once-in-a-lifetime, knife-edge vote. But they did. If they don’t feel guilt, shame and remorse, if they don’t have a burning desire to make amends, their boards, shareholders, investors, employees and family members need to get them out. We can see the iceberg. We know it’s coming. That’s the lesson of TED 2019. We all know it. There are only five people in the room who apparently don’t...

  2. Carole Cadwalladr: My TED Talk: How I Took on the Tech Titans in Their Lair: "Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter... saying that Nazism was 'hard to define'.... They needed to go 'deep'.... Anderson gave credit to Dorsey for actually showing up. And it’s true he did. He showed guts for doing what Zuckerberg and Sandberg would not. But... what came across... was the complete absence of emotion–any emotion–in Dorsey’s face.... Dorsey appeared–and I can’t think of any other way of saying this–insentient.... Dorsey can see the iceberg but doesn’t seem to feel our terror. Or understand it. In an interview last summer, US journalist Kara Swisher, repeatedly asked Zuckerberg how he felt about Facebook’s role in inciting genocide in Myanmar–as established by the UN–and he couldn’t or wouldn’t answer...

  3. Carole Cadwalladr: My TED Talk: How I Took on the Tech Titans in Their Lair: "Facebook had been 'warned' beforehand. And within minutes of stepping off stage, I was told that its press team had already lodged an official complaint... raised a serious challenge to the talk to claim 'factual inaccuracies'.... What factual inaccuracies, we both wondered. 'Let’s see what they come back with in the morning', she said. Spoiler: they never did. That night, though, there was what was described to me as 'an emergency dinner' between Anderson and a cadre of senior Facebook executives. They were very angry, my spies told me. But Anderson, one of the most thoughtful people in tech, seemed unruffled. 'There’s always been a strict church and state separation between sponsors and editorial', he said. 'And these are important conversations we need to have. There’s a lot of people here who are very upset about what has happened to the internet. They want to take it back and we have to start figuring out how'. At the end of my talk, he invited Zuckerberg or anyone else at Facebook to come and respond. Spoiler: they never did...

  4. If this Grassley clip were to be put forward in a cartoon of villainy, I would condemn it as an improbable fiction: Charles Gaba: GOP Senator Openly Admits Millions of Americans Are Only Alive Thanks to Democrats, and that Republicans Are Still Trying to Kill Them: "I've included the transcript below, but words can't accurately describe the tone of voice or the body language of Grassley in the actual video, so I'll just urge everyone to watch it.... This is... absolutely stunning. In the space of less than two minutes, Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (1) Admits that the ACA may be repealed due to a lawsuit brought by fellow Republicans, (2) Admits that he personally voted to repeal the ACA seven times, (3) Declares that it's not going to be repealed now even though he just admitted that it could be, (4) Yells at, berates and mocks a woman for wanting to know why he keeps trying to kill her, (5) Openly admits that the only reason she's alive today is because every Democratic Senator (plus 3 Republicans, one of whom is now dead) voted against repeal the last time around, (6) Openly admits that the only thing keeping her alive today is the fact that Democrats retook the House of Representatives, (7) Shrugs her off when she points out that he and his fellow Congressional Republicans are still trying to kill her. I'm not sure what else to say about this, except elections have consequences...

  5. An impressive finding. Heartwarming. Much stronger than I thought it would be, so very nice to know: Barbara Biasi: School Finance Equalisation Increases Intergenerational Mobility: "Rates of intergenerational mobility vary widely across the US. This column investigates the effects of reducing differences in revenues and expenditures across school districts within each state on students’ intergenerational income mobility, using school finance reforms passed in 20 US states between 1986 and 2004. Equalisation has a large effect on mobility, especially for low-income students. The effect acts through a reduction in the gap in inputs and in college attendance between low-income and high-income districts...

  6. Ok. But what drives these differential rates of return, anyway? And how much can this really approach the dream of taxing luck and inheritance rather than enterprise?: Fatih Guvenen: Use It Or Lose It: Efficiency Gains from Wealth Taxation: "When individuals differ from each other in the rate of return they earn... capital income and wealth taxes have opposite implications for efficiency as well as for some key distributional outcomes. Under capital income taxation, entrepreneurs who are more productive... pay higher taxes. Under wealth taxation, on the other hand, entrepreneurs who have similar wealth levels pay similar taxes regardless of their productivity.... A revenue-neutral tax reform that replaces capital income tax with a wealth tax raises average welfare by about 8% in consumption-equivalent terms.... The optimal wealth tax is positive, yields larger welfare gains than the tax reform, and is preferable to optimal capital income taxes.... Wealth taxes can yield both efficiency and distributional gains...

  7. I have not yet seen anything that convinces me at what density of which types of activities "pedestrianization" becomes a great boon. I wish somebody would present the argument in a convincing way. Clearly not everywhere should be "pedestrianized": David Roberts: Barcelona, Spain, Urban Planning: A City’s Vision to Dig Out from Cars: "A four-square-block area, roughly 5,000 square meters, has been pedestrianized.... Only residents’ vehicles and delivery vehicles enter... on the same level... must match their speed.... The city attempts to be comprehensible, navigable, and welcoming at a human scale, to people not in cars.... Rueda’s enthusiasm for the fine-grained texture of urban life—the spacing of trees, the height and orientation of signs, the structure of intersections—is infectious. His discourse on crosswalks comes amid a two-hour stroll filled with such details, each one revealing some new facet of the city’s logic and history, like little veils being peeled away...

  8. Given how much cars are used for commuting, it always seemed to me that much of the case for Uber was based on a refusal to note the peak time demand problem. But I concur with the conclusion here: the S-1 is devoid of meaningful information because the meaningful information is bearish: Ben Thompson: Uber Questions: "What an alluring pitch it remains! The fundamental idea of paying tens of thousands of dollars (more or less) for a large metal box that sits idle the vast majority of the time, doing nothing but depreciating in value, doesn’t really make much sense in a world where everyone carries Internet communicators that let you call up a ride when—and crucially, only when—you need it.... Here’s the problem, though: it’s impossible to tell if theory matches reality..... Uber’s S-1 is particularly lacking.... This is at best disappointing, and at worst feels like a cruel trick on retail investors.... Uber may still be worth the investment: the theory of the company remains plausible, and the company is decreasing its losses.... However, if I bought individual stocks... I would be out: this S-1 is so devoid of meaningful information (despite its length) that it makes me wonder what, if anything, Uber is trying to hide. If I am going to be taken for a ride I want at least some idea of where I am going—isn’t that the point of Uber in the first place?...

  9. This is... not right. Prospectively, Barro was modeling a permanent supply-side boost to the level of GDP driven by higher investment to the tune of an extra 800 billion dollars annually. Barro's prospective model conclusion was not of a temporary demand-side boost. His shift to the demand side in his paper with Jason was a six-month-later climb-down. I know this. He knows this. I know he knows this. He knows I know he knows this. Why bother saying this? I think the point is to fuzz the issue: Barro made three assessments—one that the TCJA would boost output by 4% and it might achieve its full effect in 10 years, one that the TCJA would boost output by 7% with an 0.4% first-year effect, and a third with Jason Furman hat was not so much a model-based forecast of the impact but a reduced-form claim that if pst correlations held. It is this last that he now focuses on: Robert Barro: My Best Growth Forecast Ever: "America’s real GDP growth rate of 3.2% for the first quarter of this year is impressive, as was the 3% average growth in 2018 (measured from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018). Since the end of the Great Recession–from 2011 to 2017–the US economy grew by only 2.1% per year, on average. What accounts for the recent acceleration?...

  10. Further Thinking on the Costs and Benefits of Deficits Jason Furman and Lawrence H. Summers: Further Thinking on the Costs and Benefits of Deficits: "1. IS THE POLITICAL SYSTEM SO BIASED TOWARDS DEFICIT INCREASES THAT ECONOMISTS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO OVEREMPHASIZE THE COSTS OF DEFICITS?... The political system can be.... But the opposite is often the case.... The role of economists is to analyze the economy and not to lean.... 2. DO THE CHANGING ECONOMICS OF DEFICITS MEAN THAT ANYTHING GOES AND WE DO NOT NEED TO PAY ANY ATTENTION TO FISCAL CONSTRAINTS?... No. The costs and benefits of deficits have changed, but we still need a limiting principle in order to conduct fiscal policy.... YOU ADVOCATE DOING NO HARM, BUT IS THAT ENOUGH TO STABILIZE THE DEBT AT A REASONABLE LEVEL? Yes, it likely is enough, if we also do what is widely agreed, which is to eventually close the shortfalls in both Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance and not use the savings to pay for other priorities.... 4. ISN’T ACTION ON THE DEFICIT URGENT IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE RISK OF A FISCAL CRISIS? No.... 5. DO YOU THINK ANYTHING ABOUT FISCAL POLICY IS URGENT? Yes. We should be making contingency plans for the next recession...

    equitablegrowth #noted #weblogs #2019-05-02

Comments