Monthly Archives: September 2014

My Review of Peter Thiel

I write, the business environment of biotechnology, which Thiel and I agree is a very promising field for future economic growth, may be different from that of software. In software, companies like Microsoft and Facebook grew to dominance in large … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Growth Causes and Consequences, links to my essays | 2 Comments

Megan McArdle on New York Living Costs

She writes, Ultimately, something under 45 percent of New York’s rental stock is trading in a free market; the rest is going at below-market rates to people who cling to those apartment like ancient barnacles. If you are lucky enough … Continue reading

Posted in income distribution-wealth-poverty | Comments Off

Government Accounting

Jason Delisle and Jason Richwine write, the government’s official method for estimating cost is incomplete. It fails to incorporate the cost of the market risk associated with expecting future loan repayments. So-called “fair-value accounting,” an accounting method favored by the … Continue reading

Posted in government debt crisis, Setting Economic Priorities | 1 Comment

Scott Sumner on a Basic Income

He writes, The problem with simple solutions is that poor people are just like everyone else–they’re complicated. And they have complicated problems. That is why you do not want to try to solve poverty in a nation of 300 million … Continue reading

Posted in Scott Sumner is Coherent, Setting Economic Priorities | 5 Comments

About a Common Probability Error

John Pinkerton writes (on Facebook), I always interpreted the bank teller probability as “If I were to tell you that Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement, how likely would you think I was correct?” … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics | 5 Comments

Yuval Levin’s High-Holiday Sermon

His article is behind a paywall, but worth the $2. My notes from it: 1. Progressives and Conservatives both focus on individual freedom. Progressives a bit more on equal positive liberty, conservatives more on negative liberty. 2. Both theorize as … Continue reading

Posted in Three-Axes Model | 6 Comments

Social Security as a Public Bad

Robert Fenge and Beatrice Scheubel write that they provide, an empirical confirmation of the negative relationship between statutory old-age insurance or more broadly statutory social insurance and fertility. The effect amounts to a total reduction of approximately 1.7 marital births … Continue reading

Posted in government debt crisis | 1 Comment

DeLong-term Productivity Trend

Brad writes, My problem is that I believe in the slow diffusion of technology, the importance of incremental improvements, the usefulness of the incentives provided by the fact that it is easy to make a lot of money by figuring … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 2 Comments

Housing Re-Bubble?

Nick Timiraos reports, the [Federal Housing Agency home price] index shows U.S. prices now standing just 6.4% below their previous peak in April 2007. …The Case-Shiller national index, which is set to report its own measure of July home prices … Continue reading

Posted in financial markets, Housing and housing finance, Scott Sumner is Coherent | 4 Comments

On Science and Policy

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry writes, Because people don’t understand that science is built on experimentation, they don’t understand that studies in fields like psychology almost never prove anything, since only replicated experiment proves something and, humans being a very diverse lot, it … Continue reading

Posted in statistical methods | 6 Comments