Saturday, June 16, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 7, 2007
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Yolanda K. Kodrzycki, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Pingkang Yu, George Washington University
We develop a flexible, citations- and reference-intensity-adjusted ranking technique that allows a specified set of journals to be evaluated using a range of alternative criteria. We also distinguish between the influence of a journal and that of a journal article, with the latter concept arguably being more relevant for measuring research productivity. The list of top economics journals can (but does not necessarily) change noticeably when one examines citations in the social science and policy literatures, and when one measures citations on a per-article basis. The changes in rankings are due to the broad interest in applied microeconomics and economic development, to differences in citation norms and in the relative importance assigned to theoretical and empirical contributions, and to the lack of a systematic effect of journal size on influence per article. We also find that economics is comparatively self-contained but nevertheless draws knowledge from a range of other disciplines.
Simple, perhaps, but it has aroused predictable—and often fatal—opposition from the educational establishment. Letting parents choose where to educate their children is a silly idea; professionals know best. Co-operation, not competition, is the way to improve education for all. Vouchers would increase inequality because children who are hardest to teach would be left behind.
But these arguments are now succumbing to sheer weight of evidence. Voucher schemes are running in several different countries without ill-effects for social cohesion; those that use a lottery to hand out vouchers offer proof that recipients get a better education than those that do not". Read the article here.
Friday, April 27, 2007
The idea, called "Operation Streamline," was to make it clear that people caught illegally in the U.S. would be prosecuted".
Sunday, April 22, 2007
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007
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Friday, April 6, 2007
Thursday, April 5, 2007
"Recently, two law professors, Kal Raustiala of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Chris Sprigman of the University of Virginia, wrote a fascinating paper that outlines the workings of the fashion industry and how it manages to function without much intellectual property protection.
At one time, the fashion industry did have a self-imposed system of intellectual property protection. In the 1930s, the Fashion Originators’ Guild prohibited copying among its members and urged retailers not to sell items from those who copied other designs. The guild was reasonably successful in these efforts. But in 1941, the Supreme Court held that its practices violated antitrust laws, and since then the fashion industry in the United States has had no intellectual property protection for designs.
A result has been that “piracy” of designs is common in the fashion industry. Designers constantly experiment with new shapes and colors. If a particular style catches on, it is quickly copied. Skinny jeans have been fashionable for the last few years, but there are signs that the trends are now moving toward straight-leg designs. If the tide changes, pretty soon everybody will be selling straight-leg jeans.
According to Mr. Raustiala and Mr. Sprigman, the fashion industry can survive without intellectual property protection because of two interacting factors that they refer to as “induced obsolescence” and “anchoring.”
The first factor means that clothes become unfashionable before they wear out, so trendy people have to keep buying new clothes every year. When you are wearing the same thing as your cool friends, that’s great. But when you start seeing that style on decidedly uncool people, it’s time for something new — which the fashion industry is happy to provide.
But how do the fashionable decide what the next big thing is? Or perhaps more to the point: how does the fashion industry convey to their consumers what they should be wearing? How does the industry “anchor” the consumers in this season’s fashions? This is where copying comes in. If all the designers are showing baby doll dresses in the spring of 2006, then there’s a good chance that is what everybody will be wearing by the summer of 2006.
Mr. Raustiala and Mr. Sprigman argue that the lack of intellectual property protection actually promotes the functioning of the industry. If the extension of copyright to fashion prevented clothes manufacturers from copying each other, the industry would be ceding a major role to the lawyers and become much less creative. We’d see the same thing year after year. In other words, women’s fashion would look much more like men’s fashions — boring, boring, boring.
Since I have the same fashion sense that most economists have — that is, none whatsoever — I cannot attest to the accuracy of the law professors’ description of the fashion industry. But it is consistent with other examples of what happens when there is no intellectual property protection."
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) survey presents the median salaries for over 500 academic and administrative job categories.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick, who also is a conservative radio talk show host, said on Friday the money might convince the women to go ahead and have babies, then give them up for adoption.
He said during a legislative conference in New Braunfels, 45 miles south of Austin, there were 75,000 abortions in Texas last year.
"If this incentive would give pause and change the mind of 5 percent of those woman, that's 3,000 lives. That's almost as many people as we've lost in Iraq," Patrick said".
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
An article by Walter Enders and Xuejuan Su recently published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution: "After the events of 9/11, U.S. counterterrorism became more proactive in that the Patriot Act allowed the authorities far more freedom to directly attack terrorist network structures. We argue that rational terrorists will attempt to thwart such policies and restructure themselves to be less penetrable. We model the trade-off between security and intragroup communication faced by terrorists. The model is used to derive the anticipated changes in network structure and the consequent changes in the type, complexity, and success rate of potential terrorist attacks". An article by
Friday, March 9, 2007
Thursday, March 8, 2007
The paper appeared first as a University of York discussion paper, here is a link to the working paper.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Here are some characteristics of the Smith-Hayek economist:
"a tendency to make the distinction between voluntary and coercive action clear in formulating many basic economic categories, principles, and arguments;
an appreciation that knowledge is not merely information, but also interpretation and judgment, and as such is highly particular to the individual and the moment; it is essential for humans to err, in the sense that they kick themselves for having interpreted or judged badly;
a sense that economics must be relevant and serve social purposes, and that such service necessarily entails heavy engagement with non-economists, notably laypeople and policy-makers;
a sensibility that economic reality is incredibly complex, inspiring the eschewal of efforts to paint a picture of the economy or how it "really" works;
a sober, non-romantic view of government—since economic reality is scarcely knowable, we should be wary of those who pretend to manipulate it beneficially;
a presumption in favor of liberty, not the status quo.
The Smith-Hayek characteristics are by no means typical of economists today. As one who shares those characteristics, I wonder if Smith-Hayek economists could do better. Maybe they would do better if they created an effective "we.""
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Monday, March 5, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
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Thursday, February 15, 2007
In principle, one can also think of scenarios in which the dollar shoots up, but overall these seem less likely. In sum, the fact that the US trade balance has defied gravity for so many years has made it possible for the dollar to do so, too. But some day, the US may well have to pay the bill for its spendthrift ways. When that day arrives, Americans had better pray that their creditors will be as happy to accept dollars as they are now". Read the article here.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
"As the state is unable to control its own territory, traffickers can operate undetected," Mazzitelli said
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
That's why it's no surprise that Chinese state-owned banks are a commercial disaster. The Chinese government has pumped over $434 billion to bail them out -- just since 1998. That's more than the GDP of banking giant Switzerland. The U.S. Savings & Loan scandal of the early 1990s cost to the U.S government barely registers in comparison. Add to that the estimated $358 billion in bad loans that China's four-largest banks officially have on their books today, and something smells rotten in Shanghai".
Read the rest of his article here.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
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Douglass C North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R. Weingast
NBER Working Paper No. 12795Issued in December 2006
Abstract: Neither economics nor political science can explain the process of modern social development. The fact that developed societies always have developed economies and developed polities suggests that the connection between economics and politics must be a fundamental part of the development process. This paper develops an integrated theory of economics and politics. We show how, beginning 10,000 years ago, limited access social orders developed that were able to control violence, provide order, and allow greater production through specialization and exchange. Limited access orders provide order by using the political system to limit economic entry to create rents, and then using the rents to stabilize the political system and limit violence. We call this type of political economy arrangement a natural state. It appears to be the natural way that human societies are organized, even in most of the contemporary world. In contrast, a handful of developed societies have developed open access social orders. In these societies, open access and entry into economic and political organizations sustains economic and political competition. Social order is sustained by competition rather than rent-creation. The key to understanding modern social development is understanding the transition from limited to open access social orders, which only a handful of countries have managed since WWII.
See the paper at http://papers.nber.org/papers/w12795