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?