Article Collection 10/01/13

Game Theory: game of chicken
Update: Surveys blame Republicans for shutdown, they bluffed and lost.


Jobless Recoveries Likely in U.S. Future, Much Like in Europe – A recent paper by Brookings, one of the top think tanks in the world, attempts to explain unemployment persistence, e.g. why is the unemployment rate in the U.S. not falling? The full paper is here, and is not the easiest of reads, but you can get an idea what Economists do. A friendly discussion on this paper and a few others has been done in The Economist here. I sympathize with their views on the subject, although my inclination is structural unemployment is high because of labor misallocation being ingrained during the past two asset bubbles (stocks 1997-2000, housing 2001-2007).

Audio interview of Tyler Cowen’s The Average is Over – A new book by economist Tyler Cowen of GMU (his economics blog, Marginal Revolution, is one of the most popular on the internet) tries to look at the future of the US labor market as capital technology replaces labor. He answers questions like, what are the new jobs, where does society head, and how do things look in this not-to-distant future.

Merkel takes a solid W in Germany – Many implications for the future of the Eurozone, most obvious is, assuming Merkel can form a government, more bailouts of indebted Eurozone countries by the wealthier Germans are likely. Expect the EU to limp along.

Greek reservists call for a coup – Self explanatory; Greece needs to leave the Euro and go back to the drachma.

Eurozone’s Calm Before the Storm – by Nouriel Roubini, another economist who predicted the 2007-2008 housing bubble and financial crisis, he also accurately predicted we’d have a slow recovery

Japanese Politician Admits: Default by 2020 – I’ve covered this before.

China’s empty cities – A result of China’s shadow banking sector.

Schiller on Housing – Robert Shiller discusses bubbles in the housing market

14 questions about the Fed you were afraid to ask – Nifty guide to the Federal Reserve.

“Fed’s low interest rates may go on for decades” – Some interesting reasoning by Bill Gross of PIMCO

QE’d Market – What happens to the inflated market when, inevitably, the Fed tapers?

US poverty is increasing – QE thus far has been a wealth transfer to the wealthiest and our “recovery” lacks legs. Not exactly “new” news, but important to know.

CBO on U.S. deficits – Deficits are shrinking at present, but will explode again around 2016 as Medicare expenses climb.

What will change in Economics over the next 20 years? – A brief piece on the future of economics by Eichengreen.


Failure to Launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation – This is an excellent piece by the Georgetown Center for Public Policy, if you click “Full Report” you can download it as a pdf file. So they analyze the past, present and expected future job market for young people (e.g. those born in the 80s, 90s, 2000s) and come to a number of important conclusions. I strongly advise taking a look at it, even if that only consists of reading the conclusion.

Venezuela runs out of Toilet Paper – Price Ceilings in action

Is College Worth It? – A nice visual data analysis using inductive reasoning. The short answer is yes; but finish, major in something practical, and get good grades while doing so.

Phone Bloks – Nifty idea, although I doubt it will catch on. Wouldn’t be surprised if this was getting crowd sourced funding via a service like kickstarter.

Chipotle’s brilliant Scarecrow Commercial, and Fod’s Parody – Solid bit of marketing; this what models of monopolistic competition in Microeconomics suggest monopolistically competitive firms will do in order to differentiate products to their customers.

How Detroit went broke – Enlightening. I covered Detroit briefly here.

Unions now opposing parts of Obamacare – Although initially chief supporters of the ACA, presumably upon reading it they have realized the ACA is going to be expensive and cost them either jobs or benefits. As a result they’re lobbying for free lunches.

Republican’s in North Carolina enact tax reform – Critics say “it’s a regressive flat tax,” I disagree, in many respects it appears more progressive than the current tax system.

Missouri Lawmakers Override Veto of “Good Samaritan” Law – Regulation existed, likely lobbied for by insurance companies, which prevented out-of-state doctors from providing free or charitable services to the poor. Missouri finally figured out that’s a stupid law.

Strippers are Protected by Labor Laws, says Judge – I only question the decision to become a stripper if that $7.25 minimum wage you’re fighting for is that big of a deal after tips.

Why the Convention View of Immigration is Wrong – A very good overview and analysis of the economics of immigration

How crystal meth saved Albuquerque – This is a hat-tip to the impact the show Breaking Bad (rip Heisenberg) has had, not about real crystal meth.

Rational choices of crack addicts – The demand for crack by crack addicts is downward sloping; in other words crackheads are rational, says science.

Police made 1 marijuana arrest every 42 seconds in 2012 – Wonderful use of scarce resources.

War on illegal drugs failing, medical researchers warn – Unsurprisingly, medicine is beginning to realize what economists predicted a long time ago: prohibition drives up prices and encourages violence, quality and accessibility of illegal drugs are both higher than before the drug war began, and it’s led to consumption of drug substitutes like synthetic marijuana that are actually dangerous.


War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies – article using agent-based simulation in a rather novel way. I’m skeptical about some of the methods and conclusions, but nonetheless it’s a cool application of modeling and simulation.

What percentage of the Syrian rebels would like to kill you? – Brief bit on the composition of Syria’s rebel forces.

The NSA Has Built Its Own, Secret, Warrantless, Shadow Social Network, And You’ve Already Joined It – Not surprising

Silk Road shutdown, bitcoins confiscated – The ebay of black market commerce, Silk Road, has been shutdown, it’s founder arrested and $1.2 billion in bitcoin seized, although I’m not sure how exactly you can “seize” digital currency…

“Why I gave up my US passport” – confessions of US expats who decided to give up their citizenship, do you see any common complaints?

Kaiser Foundation’s ACA estimator – you can plug numbers and information into their calculator and approximate your costs if you were to purchase insurance under the ACA.

This entry was posted in Capitalism, Eurozone, Finance, Incentives, Labor, Labor Market, Macroeconomy, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Monopoly, Political Economy, Public Finance, Rent seeking. Bookmark the permalink.

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