Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Does unemployment mean people want to work less?

I am not convinced at all. I would say that the burden of proof is on the side of those arguing that unemployment in the current recession is coming from the supply side (workers not wanting to work). Given the importance of the issue, the evidence presented by Casey Mulligan is, in my opinion, circumstancial.

Further evidence:


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Casey Mulligan on unemployment benefits

I like the style of Prof. Mulligan. The evidence is clearly stated and the argumentation is not misleading.

My caveat to his reasoning is: wouldn't we want to wait until bad times are passed to return to pre recession uemployment benefits?

Or is his argumentation deeper than what is exposed in the post and I have not realized?

Supply and Demand (in that order): Millions Caught by the Social Safety Net: Copyright, The New York Times Company Despite the severe recession, relatively few people saw their living standards fall into poverty, th...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Electoral fraud in Russia?

My friend Pau says:

What happened in Russia? In the 'x' axis we have the percentage of people who voted in a given district, in the 'y' axis we have the percentage of votes per party. Each dot is a district. Each color, the percentage of votes each party got. Blue is Putin's party. The other colors are other parties (we do not really care of that). What has happened??? (Thanks to Piotr!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A few links on "meritocracy, justice and equality of opportunity"

Every academic should be at least as earnest as Mr. Gelman

Now should those who are more "talented" get more?

Andrew Gelman sketches his concerns:

I am bothered when pundits such as Zingales set up a self-contradictory ideal which conflates accidents of birth, talent, achievement, success, riches, and power—not to mention “hard work” and “virtue.” We all know that these traits don’t always go together in the real world, but it’s also a mistake to think that they could all go together. As a political scientist, I think it’s important to use my (small) megaphone to remind people of this and to correct people when they’re confused about it.

If you are interested in the topic, John Roemer has a "nice" theory about it:

You can also read the comments on his proposal in the Boston Review (it has received a lot of attention in academic circles, I just provide a link of "general interest")

Of course this is one of many, I just happen to be more familiar with it.

He looks like a cool guy...

...but might just be favourable press coverage

Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom?

I cannot see very well the arrows but it is nevertheless interesting


Sorprisingly good talk on ambiguity in language

Some of the parts might feel like just a funny way of saying "obvious" stuff...but I think there is something a bit deeper in the talk.

PS: Maybe it has to do with allowing to save face?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Evil or just absent minded corporations?

This is a nice post:

However, I am not sure I buy it.

Indeed, to have a conscious policy of ripping off unsuspecting customers requires instructing somebody to do that, and leaving a paper trail. Even a truly evil corporation understands that this is the wrong way to do it. The right way to do it is to structure the organization in a way that facilitates malice creep.

This kind of reminds me of an old debate on certain companies "benefiting" from kids labor in developping countries. They claimed that they didn't know about it but that it was the "local company" they worked with that had been doing it behind their backs.

PS: Corporations are not evil, they just let bad things happen (?)

When you can no longer trust "facts"...

...what is left?

Monday, November 28, 2011

More on inequality

Ever wondered what the arguments are for LESS redistribution?

It has Friedman's flavour but that shouldn't be sorprising...

Prof. Epstein:

(This is part of Mankiw's bombardment)

Friday, November 25, 2011


qui no ha sentit a dir mai: els funcionaris tenen seguretat però les peles es fan al sector privat?

meeeeeeeeeec (mireu pàgina 5 del document del INE)

Pose-m'ho així:

Anomenarem rics els treballadors que estan entre el 50% que més cobra (de tots els treballadors) i pobres la resta.

La percentatge de treballadors rics és  82,9% pels treballadors públics i  el 42% pels treballadors del sector privat.