#shouldread Feed

Note to Self: WTF?!?! At a ten-percent pre-tax social return to investment, that would require a 1 trillion—a 5%-point of national income—permanent upward jump in the annual flow of investment into America. Given that it looks like Trump is raising the annual deficit by 400 billion, that would require a 1.4 trillion—a 75-point of national income—permanent upward jump in the sum of annual private savings plus the annual trade deficit. On what planet and on what definition of "reasonable" is it "reasonable" to argue that Trump's tax cuts are going produce such a thing? Greg Mankiw: The Bad Economics Behind Trump's Policies: "One might reasonably argue that Trump’s tax cuts will increase growth over the next decade by as much as half a percentage point per year...

Gross Private Domestic Investment Nominal Potential Gross Domestic Product FRED St Louis Fed

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Would Small Minimum Wage Increases Raise or Have No Effect on Employment?

Il Quarto Stato

That is the current question—would (small) minimum wage increases have no effect on employment because labor-supply curves are steep, or would they boost employment by curbing employers with monopsony power from pushing both wages and employment below their competitive equilibirum values? Yet you would not know it from the very sharp and good-hearted ex-New York Times labor beat reporter Steven Greenhouse. What is he doing? He is, I think, reflexively saying "both sides!": Steven Greenhouse: "Some argue that it's foolish to support a higher minimum because it could reduce employment. But there's a huge debate among economists on this. One school—see David Neumark—finds that a higher minimum reduces employment. The other—see Arin Dube—finds little effect on employment...

Now this is simply wrong. The majority of economists believe that raising the minimum wage from its current level would significantly boost the incomes of the working poor and have little adverse effect on employment. A large minority of economists believe that raising the minimum wage would actually increase employment—that employers currently use their monopsony power to push wages and employment below their competitive equilibrium values, and that a higher minimum wage would reduce their ability to do this and so boost both. The majority and the large minority all, however, agree that there is uncertainty here. It is only a small minority of economists who follow David Neumark on this—who are confident that a higher minimum wage now would have a noticeable negative effect on employment. Thus Steve gets it wrong.

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Lawrence Wilkerson: Cheney wanted new cold war with China: "Cheney used various bureaucratic techniques to deal with each of these national security issues. He lost on China. He won on Iraq. He won on Afghanistan. He won on Iran, but he didn’t win on Iran by getting a presidential decision; he won on Iran by exploiting the dysfunctionality of Condi Rice, the national security adviser...

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Ashlie Jensen (2013): Mendoza is Dismissed from Court: "In 1583 Queen Elizabeth I hosted her last Spanish Ambassador.... It became known to Elizabeth's intelligence network that Bernardino de Mendoza was conspiring.... He was ordered to leave England... [because] his involvement in the Throckmorton Plot [had] 'disturbed the realm of England'. Directly before his departure, Mendoza ordered the English officials seeing him off to go and, 'tell your mistress that Bernardino de Mendoza was born not to disturb kingdoms, but to conquer them'...

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A Baker's Dozen of Fairly-Recent Links

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Michael Bröning: Germany’s Socialism of Fools: "By adopting a program based on "identity and solidarity," Germany's far-right AfD is harking back to classic National Socialism. It is likely to be a winning formula in this month's state elections in Bavaria and Hesse...
  2. Anjana Ahuja: Climate catastrophe warnings were greeted with global silence: "hortsighted folly of ignoring the IPCC will lead to drastic future policies...
  3. Brad W. Setser: Russia, China, and (the Absence of) Global Funding of the U.S. Fiscal Deficit…
  4. Robert Wilde: The Chevauchée: Organised Medieval Murder 5, N.S. Gill: Rome 1st Century B.C. Chronology
  5. Wikipedia: Legio X Equestris
  6. Nicola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer: A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility
  7. Timur Kuran and Dani Rodrik: The Economic Costs of Erdoğan : "For more than a decade, financial markets gave Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the benefit of the doubt and supplied the Turkish economy with easy credit. Such debt-fueled growth almost always ends badly, and now it has...
  8. Wikipedia: Peace of Westphalia
  9. William Shakespeare: The Second part of King Henry the Fourth
  10. Daniel W. Drezner (20070: The New New World Order
  11. (2004): Eric Alterman Told Us So
  12. Matthew Buckley: @physicsmatt: "Are we going to do anything about our allies murding a journalist? No, because a) Prince Jared still needs a loan, and b) murdering journalists is a GOP party plank now. All the US will do is ask the Saudis for how-to tips...

"You don’t get to claim that you’re not attacking the university when your first few sentences read like that. It suggests a lack of clarity in the argument—a sentence I would have written if I had been asked to peer-review this essay". Dan Drezner mocks the anti-humanities industry, and, boy, is it mockable: Daniel Drezner: A Paper That Would Never Have Gotten Past Peer Review Criticizes the Academy. Film at 11: "Last year scholars James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian proudly declared that they had hoodwinked a peer-reviewed journal into publishing nonsense.... That... was riddled with problems, not the least of which was that the journal they had hacked was a pay-for-play scam...

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Nathaniel Rakich: A Big Blue Wave Could Overwhelm The GOP’s Advantage In The House: "A switch is thrown at D+8 that causes actual Democratic seat gain to go from behind their popular-vote gain pace to well ahead of it. So what happens at D+8? Republicans’ structural advantage in how districts are drawn (gerrymandering, as well as the phenomenon of self-sorting, whereby Democrats tend to cluster in cities, which are already heavily Democratic) begins to erode. That advantage normally allows Republicans to keep control of the House while still losing the popular vote by a modest margin. But if Republicans lose the popular vote by too much, their firewall might break all at once, and Democratic gains could multiply...

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Oh, f---! It was only a bunch of bottles of wine, and some undesired asset liquidations. It was a pretty big deal in terms of social power, but not of human well-being, or lives. It was ultimately a very funny story—until now; Laura Noonan: Assistant Accused of Stealing Wine from Goldman Sachs CEO Jumps to Death: "Nicolas de Meyer was due to plead guilty to 1.2m fine wine theft from David Solomon.... The personal assistant accused of stealing... from Goldman Sachs’ chief executive David Solomon has jumped to his death from a 33rd floor Manhattan hotel instead of appearing in court to plead guilty to the charges...

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Noah Smith baits earnest ideologues on Twitter: Ryan Hauntedhouse: @ryandhous_: "Dismantling capitalism =! becoming the USSR."

...Noah Smith: @Noahpinion: Maybe not, but what the heck DOES it mean??

Ryan Hauntedhouse 🎃👻💀 on Twitter Dismantling capitalism becoming the USSR

Ryan Hauntedhouse: @ryandhous_: It means that an economy based on creating value for shareholders based primarily on profit as a metric will not be able to solve the oncoming catastrophe of climate change.

...Noah Smith: @Noahpinion: No, you just said what it doesn't mean. What does it mean?...

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Newly-arrived at Equitable Growth, Will McGrew retweets Matthew Yglesias quoting Ryan Cooper: Will McGrew: Matthew Yglesias: "Ryan Cooper: 'There was no skills gap, nor an innovation shortage, nor an explosion of stay-at-home dads. There was a collapse in aggregate demand that was left to rot, while a lot of people who should have known better made things worse...'

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Homeowner bankruptcy and foreclosure are liquidity events, not solvency events: Peter Ganong and Pascal Noel: Liquidity vs. wealth in household debt obligations: Evidence from housing policy in the Great Recession: "We use variation in mortgage modifications to disentangle the impact of reducing long-term obligations with no change in short-term payments ('wealth'), and reducing short-term payments with approximately no change in long-term obligations ('liquidity')...

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A Baker's Dozen of Fairly-Recent Links

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Marshall Berman: All That's Solid Melts into Air http://delong.typepad.com/files/berman_marshall_all_that_is_solid_melts_into_air_the_experience_of_modernity.pdf
  2. Karen S. Freeman: How to View Web Pages on Apple Watch in Watchos 5: "Yes, you can access web pages on your Apple Watch now...
  3. Wikipedia: Darien scheme
  4. Caroline M. Yoachim: Carnival Nine: #sciencefiction
  5. James Nicoll: The Company of Strangers: "The Ginger Star—Leigh Brackett, Skaith, book 1... #sciencefiction
  6. Steven Pulvirent: A Week On The Wrist: Apple Watch Series 4: "The future of the Apple Watch is coming into focus–and I like what I'm starting to see...
  7. William Poundstone: Prisoner's Dilemma https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0307763781 #books
  8. Merrill M. Flood: Experimental Games
  9. Paul Romer (1989): Endogenous Technological Change: "Growth in this model is driven by technological change that arises from intentional investment decisions made by profit maximizing agents. The distinguishing feature of the technology as an input is that it is neither a conventional good nor a public good; it is a nonrival, partially excludable good...
  10. Paul Romer (2015): Economic Growth: "Every generation has perceived the limits to growth that finite resources and undesirable side effects would pose if no new recipes or ideas were discovered. And every generation has underestimated the potential for finding new recipes and ideas...
  11. William D. Nordhaus (1996): Do Real-Output and Real-Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not: "During periods of major technological change, the construction of accurate price indexes that capture the impact of new technologies on living standards is beyond the practical capability of official statistical agencies. The essential difficulty arises for the obvious but usually overlooked reason that most of the goods we consume today were not produced a century ago...
  12. William D. Nordhaus (2007): A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change: "How much and how fast should we react to the threat of global warming? The Stern Review argues that the damages from climate change are large, and that nations should undertake sharp and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions...
  13. Nick Stern et al.: The Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change

#shouldread

Just in time for midterm exams: M. Aurelius Antoninus: :M. Cornelius Fronto: "To my teacher: I received two letters from you at the same time. In one of them, you were criticizing me and you were showing that I wrote a sentence rashly; in the second, however, you were trying to approve my work with praise. Still, I swear by my mother and by my health that I got more joy from the first letter...

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Note to Self: Prisoners' Dilemma Tweets...

https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048597577229373440
https://twitter.com/XLProfessor/status/1048599003821047809
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048609562217996288
https://twitter.com/JonWalkerDC/status/1048610059926700032
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048610236418772993
https://twitter.com/akcayerol/status/1048609883036299264
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048610846014763008
https://twitter.com/laseptiemewilay/status/1048610348583010305
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048610963497209856
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048611584552009728
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048612380895105024
https://twitter.com/thorgamma/status/1048614023552552966
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048614093270081536
https://twitter.com/oliverbeige/status/1048613269487980545
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048614520242020352
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048614537962770432
https://twitter.com/MarkARKleiman/status/1048614352067149825
https://twitter.com/MarkARKleiman/status/1048614353640022017
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048615646743785472
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048616583784873984
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048624515289436162
https://twitter.com/MarkARKleiman/status/1048615957189611520
https://twitter.com/dannyschwab/status/1048629320393084929
https://twitter.com/MarkARKleiman/status/1048630608476426241
https://twitter.com/dannyschwab/status/1048632117171838976

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The first write-up of the Prisoner's (or is it Prisoners'?) Dilemma: Merrill Flood (1958): Some Experimental Games: "Summary: Two players non-cooperatively choose rows and columns of their payoff matrices in a series of 100 plays of a non-constant sum game. The purpose of this experimental game is to determine which of several theories best describes their behavior. The players, being familiar with zero-sum game theory, happen to choose a poor solution for their non-constant-sum game...

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A Baker's Dozen of Fairly Recent Links

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Wolfenoot: "Eat roast meat (because wolves eat meat) and cake decorated like a full moon. A holiday to the spirit of wolves that celebrates people who are kind to dogs? I can 100% get behind this. So we will be celebrating Wolfenoot. It’s on the 23rd November.... If you’re posting publicly about it, use #wolfenoot...
  2. Emma Christensen: Recipe: Chili-Rubbed Ribeye Steak with Maple-Bourbon Butter | Kitchn: "For the steaks: 1 tablespoon cacao nibs 1 tablespoon chili powder 2 teaspoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional) Black pepper 2 (1-pound) boneless ribeye steaks. For the maple-bourbon butter: 1 tablespoon bourbon 1 teaspoon maple syrup 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, very soft...
  3. John Bell: +Against Measurement_
  4. Daniel Swain: Substantial early-season rainfall in California to dampen explosive wildfire conditions: "Significant rainfall now appears likely from about the SF Bay Area south to Los Angeles County, with at least some precipitation pretty much statewide...
  5. John Williams: 'Normal' Monetary Policy in Words and Deeds: "We could return to a system... in which the supply of reserves... was kept relatively scarce, and the interest rate was set by... open market operations.  Alternatively, we could continue with the system that we’ve been using since the crisis, in which bank reserves are abundant and the federal funds rate target is achieved through adjustments to administered rates...
  6. Doug Jones: Logarithmic History: "The history of the universe—from the Big Bang to the end of the year—day by day...
  7. Great China Restaurant
  8. Zach Weinersmith: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: "The Program...
  9. Wikipedia: Hexapodia Is the Key Insight!
  10. Noah Smith: Why Millennials Are Sour on the Economy: "Lack of mobility, stagnant incomes and thwarted expectations is a painful mix...
  11. Noah Smith: How to Fill the Gaps in the U.S. Economy: "Many of these advances have come through a single agency—the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA (also known as ARPA at some points in its history)...
  12. Jason Snell: Why Are Apple Watch Faces Such a Mess?: "a lot of Apple Watch users have been surprised that they can’t add older complications to those faces. Apps need to be updated to explicitly support the new complication style, which was only introduced to developers on the day the Apple Watch Series 4 was announced...
  13. Moses Abramovitz (1986): Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind

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The search for "robust determinants" has always seemed to me to be wrong-headed. We should be searching for effective policies. And which determinants are "robust" will depend on what other determinants are in the mix. And an effective policy is likely to shift the values of more than one "determinant": Dani Rodrik: "Is 'export sophistication' (as in Hausmann, Hwang, and Rodrik 2007) the only robust determinant of economic growth? Robust, that is, to correcting for endogenity and OVB as best as possible? This new paper from the IMF says yes https://t.co/C3DkRzqr8d...

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Lars Svensson: Can Monetary Policy Still Deliver? A Natural Experiment: "Riksbank policy-rate hikes 2010-2011, from 0.25% to 2%. What happens to inflation and unemployment when the central bank (for no good reason) raise the policy rate by 175 bp?... Monetary policy works like clockwork in Sweden. Neo-Fisherian view rejected. What contributes to powerful monetary policy in Sweden? 1. Strong exchange-rate channel 2. Strong household cash-flow channel...

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Our Kate Bahn Reminds us: Kate Bahn: "This needs to be screamed from the rooftops.... We cannot have a substantive conversation about how tight the labor market is without examining demographic disparities..." ands sends us to Equitable Growth alumnus John Schmitt quoting Janelle Jones at: Laura Maggi: Despite Drop in Black Unemployment, Significant Disparities Remain: "The African-American unemployment rate... low—compared to historic numbers. In July, it was 6.6 percent...

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Joseph E. Gagnon and Brian Sack: QE: A User's Guide: "Central banks should characterize QE in terms of the stock of long-term asset holdings and should announce purchases of assets in discrete increments that are designed to deliver macroeconomic stimulus equivalent to the policy rate cut that they would otherwise desire to implement...

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Scarce: Sharice Davids (D) and Kevin Yoder (R) in KS-03: "It's a bit surprising that the Republicans are pulling out this early in a nominally red district (R+4), but early polling had Davids already up by 8. Yoder, who had been endorsed by Trump, committed the grievous crime earlier this summer of supporting asylum for migrants who were victims of domestic violence. Unforgivable for the cultists...

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Very clever by Sedláček et al.. And this certainly looks right: 2% of GDP as the (ongoing) cost of the Boris Johnson BREXIT clown show: Benjamin Born, Gernot Müller, Moritz Schularick, and Petr Sedláček: £350 Million a Week: The Output Cost of the Brexit Vote: "The current cost of Brexit... counterfactual... a matching algorithm... combination of comparison economies best resembles the pre-referendum growth path of the UK economy.... The negative drag from the Brexit vote now appears to be roughly £350 million a week...

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Back in the 1990s we in the Clinton administration put Breyer on the Supreme Court in the belief that the Court needed somebody who genuinely understood antitrust. But the Republican justices have given him zero deference, even though he knows the issues and they do not. And this is an increasing problem: Fiona Scott Morton: [There is a lot to fix in U.S. antitrust enforcement today(https://equitablegrowth.org/there-is-a-lot-to-fix-in-u-s-antitrust-enforcement-today/): "Last month’s court decision allowing AT&T Inc. to acquire Time Warner Inc. is an example of the inability of our current system of courts and enforcement.... Judge Richard Leon demonstrated a lack of understanding of the markets, the concept of vertical integration, corporate incentives, and the intellectual exercise of forecasting what the unified firm would do... a poor decision...

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Jan Bakker, Stephan Maurer, Jörn-Steffen Pischke, and Ferdinand Rauch: Trade and growth in the Iron Age: "The first millennium BC... the growth effects of one of the first major trade expansions... the systematic crossing of the open sea in the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians. A strong positive relationship between connectedness and archaeological sites suggests a large role for geography and trade in development even at such an early juncture in history...

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Henry Farrell: "There's a history: "behind Tucker Carlson's warning to Fox viewers that 'If you're looking to understand what's actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they're telling you on the big news stations.' And it's the history of US conservative media...

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Xeni Jardin: UPDATE: "I faced it with carbs, coffee, hugs, spiritual practice, dogs, and weed." "I don’t know how to face the fact that a serial rapist who showed us his rape face is going to become a Supreme Court Justice today. And then he’s going to become a tool for impunity and harming women, people of color, but really—all of us. He’s going to hurt us...

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Right-wing neoconservative nutboy Eliot Cohen gets this one right, I think. The reasons to get Kavanaugh on SCOTUS were (1) to demonstrate that the Republican Party rewarded being a Tea Party-Unfederalist apparatchik, and so (2) strengthen the Tea Party-Unfederalist social network. Those are not in the interest of anyone not already high up in that social network. Opposed are that (a) Kavanaugh is not near the top of those likely to be most effective as a conservative justice because he is not a first-rank persuasive intellect, (b) Kavanaugh is not near the top of those likely to be most effective as a conservative justice because he is mean and uncollegial, (c) Kavanaugh is not near the top of those likely to be most effective as a conservative justice because he does not have a judicial temperament, (d) Kavanaugh is not near the top of those likely to be most effective as a conservative justice because he too obviously lacks judicial principles, and (e) you take electoral damage from pushing him through. It is a mystery why he has not been withdrawn yet—especially with the July 1 entry on his calendar. Eliot Cohen focuses on (c): Eliot Cohen: The Republican Party Abandons Conservatism: "But if we expect steely resolve from a police officer confronting a knife-wielding assailant... we should expect stoic self-control and calm from a conservative judge, even if his heart is being eaten out.... The conservative virtues remain real virtues, the conservative insights real insights, and the conservative temperament an indispensable internal gyro keeping a country stable and sane...

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Apropos of Wigner has many friends...: Renato Renner: It’s hard to think when someone Hadamards your brain: "Hi Scott: There are currently many who are blogging about our result, so I started to use my little quantum random number generator on my desk: outcome 0 means I don’t react to it, outcome 1 means I write a reply. For your blog the outcome was 1! Now, we are already in a situation that involves superposed agents...

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Diane Coyle: The Long Arc of UK Productivity: "Nick Crafts has a compact book... about the trajectory of the British economy... Forging Aahead, Falling Behind and Fighting Back.... Nick’s somewhat idiosyncratic–but highly plausible–view that the seeds of the country’s post-world war 2 relative decline were sown in the institutions that enabled it to perform so well during the 19th century...

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Judea Pearl: "Confounders, Colliders, and Mediators: As you surely know by now, mistaking a mediator for a confounder is one of the deadliest sins in causal inference and may lead to the most outrageous errors. The latter invites adjustment; the former forbids it..."