Monthly Archives: December 2015

Four Forces Watch

Tyler Cowen writes, One study indicated that if the marriage patterns of 1960 were imported into 2005, the Gini coefficient for the American economy — the standard measure of income inequality — would fall to 0.34 from 0.43, a considerable … Continue reading

Posted in Four Forces Watch, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 8 Comments

Real Estate is a Difficult Market to Arbitrage

Nick Timiraos has some useful charts related to house prices. The ones that interest me the most are the last ones, which show price-rent ratios. For LA, it is 25, and for SF it is over 30. But for NY, … Continue reading

Posted in Housing and housing finance | 13 Comments

Tort Insurance for Immigrants? for Everyone?

A reader (not Steve Sailer) asked me to comment on this suggestion that immigrants be required to purchase insurance. Think of immigration as being like driving. If you are going to go hurtling about the landscape in a multiton projectile, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

Inequality and Team Performance

An alert commenter points to a more recent study of baseball team performance. Having a larger Gini coefficient (as you’d see in a stars-and-scrubs roster) is ever so slightly associated with better outcomes over the rest of the season. However, … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, income distribution-wealth-poverty | 7 Comments

Re-Reading Douglass North

When I read Peter Turchin’s Ultrasociety, I thought that it covered some of the same ground and had some similar ideas as Douglass North’s Structure and Change in Economic History, which appeared in 1981. In fact, it is hard to … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Economic History | Comments Off

Social (In-) Security

Erzo F.P. Luttmer and Andrew A. Samwick write, On average, our survey respondents expect to receive only about 60 percent of the benefits they are supposed to get under current law. We document the wide variation around the expectation for … Continue reading

Posted in government debt crisis | 5 Comments

Peter Turchin on Cultural Evolution

The new book is called Ultrasociety. It has many interesting ideas. However, some of them I find quite unpersuasive. One of his core ideas is that because groups need to cooperate, competition within groups is harmful. Meanwhile competition among groups … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Libertarian Thought | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Scott Sumner on Robert Hetzel

Scott writes, Friedman, Hetzel, and I all share the view that the private economy is basically stable, unless disturbed by monetary shocks. Scott refers to this paper by Hetzel. Very broadly, I place explanations of cyclical fluctuations in economic activity … Continue reading

Posted in PSST and Macro | 9 Comments

Four Forces Watch

Anna Louie Sussman of the WSJ writes, The economy added 638,000 jobs in the education and health services industry sector between November 2014 and November 2015, the bulk of them in health care. They are still the New Commanding Heights.

Posted in Four Forces Watch | 1 Comment

Professional Government

Alberto Mingardi writes, I was also quite struck by a comment from Ben Carson, which I only now realise was one of the recurring themes of his campaign. Carson said that “our government was set up for citizen statesmen, not … Continue reading

Posted in Libertarian Thought, Politics | 11 Comments