Saturday, March 29, 2014

Krugman and CUNY

Here's a nice piece in Business Week about CUNY, Paul Krugman, inequality and access.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Brooks on institutions & poverty

Yesterday's column by David Brooks discussed the rule of law, or lack thereof, in developing countries, much like Acemoglu and Johnson's Why Nations Fail. It's hard to see how foreign aid or intervention could easily establish the rule of law where it doesn't exist, short of invasion and occupation, which does not exactly appeal. These topics seem like a critical beachhead for research on development.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Medieval Europe family economics

The BBC reports on apprenticeships in the middle ages, with references to the Black Death, the price of labor, and teenagers. Fun reading!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Reinhardt on Obamacare

Uwe Reinhardt restates his idea from an earlier post to replace the individual mandate of Obamacare with a stark choice to either go-it-alone, with no social support, or to join a community-rated system of heath insurance. I like how his descriptions sharpen the issues, but it's hard to see how a system like that would really be sustainable.

Parents and children in data

Here's a fabulous NPR article about intergenerational occupation and income mobility based on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Thanks to Justin Wolfers for the tweet!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Growth in Poland and Ukraine

The Times reports on Poland as a "blueprint for Ukraine," and here's the picture that emerges from the Penn World Table v.8. Income per person in Poland today is on par with Russian levels and has been growing steadily, while Russia and Ukraine both experienced protracted swoons after 1991.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An "A" for aspirations

Catherine Rampell reports on Claudia Goldin's work on college grades and chosen majors.  Women seem to react more strongly than men to receiving lower grades in terms of their ultimate choices of majors.  Thanks to Greg Mankiw's blog for posting this.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Krugman on inequality and growth

Paul Krugman's column points to new IMF research that reveals no clear growth penalty for greater redistribution and reduced inequality. Since we redistribute through the tax code, and taxes bring distortions and deadweight costs, this is a surprising development.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Demographic transition in Africa

The Economist reports on the stalled demographic transition in Africa, where fertility has been a little higher than UN estimates among half the continent's population.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Paternal age and child outcomes redux

Another article about father's age and child outcomes was profiled in the Guardian by science writer Ian Sample with quotes from the lead author and from me and Jenn Roff at Queens College.  We think this research is interesting, but we're unsure whether the statistical strategy, which examines siblings rather than similar kids in different families, can plausibly separate the effects of paternal age from birth order.  Are junior's test scores lower because his dad was older when he was born, or because his older sibling absorbed more parental time?  Or did the parents get divorced?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ukraine's ousted President and growth

All I could think of when reading about the "golden toilet" moment in the palace of the former Ukrainian president was of the abject corruption in many failed states discussed in Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu and Johnson.