313 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
  2. Jul 2020
    1. A new paper by Atif Mian of Princeton University, Ludwig Straub of Harvard University and Amir Sufi of the University of Chicago expands on the idea that inequality saps demand from the economy. Just as inequality creates a need for stimulus, they argue, stimulus eventually creates more inequality. This is because it leaves economies more indebted, either because low interest rates encourage households or firms to borrow, or because the government has run deficits. Both public and private indebtedness transfer income to rich investors who own the debt, thereby depressing demand and interest rates still further.
  3. Jun 2020
    1. “Change brought about through technical legal doctrine,” Horwitz said, “can more easily disguise underlying political choices [than] Subsidy through the tax system” (101).
    2. So the costs were socialized (in economic terms, externalized) at the same time the benefits were privatized in the form of corporate profits.

      socialize costs, privatize profits

    1. As African-American businessman Ishmael Trone said last week, the reform has to go beyond policing in order for there to be equality in this country, including banking reform, mortgage reform and business loan reform.
    1. Alfred Mitchell-Innes, writing in 1914, argued that money exists not as a medium of exchange but as a standard of deferred payment, with government money being debt the government may reclaim through taxation.

      Modern Monetary Theory

    1. sectoral break-up of PPP projects, we would find that almost all of the projects have come up in economic infrastructure (power, transport, and telecom) compared to social infrastructure.Social infrastructure (like water supply, solid waste management, health and education) have low cost-recovery and, consequently, face massive resource-crunch.

      ppp

    1. Scottish phi-losopher Adam Smith condemned England’s trade acts f or constrain-ing the “free” market i n his i nstant best seller, The Wealth o f Nations. To this f ounding father of capitalist economics, t he wealth of nations stemmed from a nation’s productive capacity, a productive capacity African nations l acked. “ All t he inland parts of Africa,” he scripted, “seem in all a ges of t he world to have been in the same barbarous and uncivilized state i n which we find them at present.” Meanwhile, Smith praised Americans for “ contriving a new form of government f or an extensive empire, which . . . s eems very likely to become, one of t he greatest and most f ormidable that ever was i n the world.” The found-ing fathers beamed reading Adam Smith’s prediction. J efferson later called Wealth o f Nations “ the best book extant” on political e conomy.

      Adam Smith apparently held racist ideas.

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. Is it possible to avoid the public goods problem altogether?

      As Lynne Kelly indicates, knowledge is a broad public good, so it is kept by higher priests and only transferred in private ceremonies to the initiated in indigenous cultures. In many senses, we've brought the value of specific information down dramatically, but there's also so much of it now, even with writing and better dissemination, it's become more valuable again.

      I should revisit the economics of these ideas and create a model/graph of this idea over history with knowledge, value, and time on various axes.

    2. Think about fundamental tools for thought such as writing and the number system. Obviously, it’s good that those spread throughout society, unencumbered by IP concerns! More broadly, many tools of thought become more valuable for society as they become more ubiquitous.

      Metcalfe's Law at work here.

    3. The net result is that in gaming, clever new interface ideas can be distinguishing features which become a game’s primary advantage in the marketplace.

      Innovation in the video game industry helps it solve the public goods problem. Tweaking the economics helps the high upfront development cost be recouped.

    4. Put another way, many tools for thought are public goods. They often cost a lot to develop initially, but it’s easy for others to duplicate and improve on them, free riding on the initial investment. While such duplication and improvement is good for our society as a whole, it’s bad for the companies that make that initial investment. And so such tools for thought suffer the fate of many public goods: our society collectively underinvests in them, relative to the benefits they provide
  4. May 2020
    1. The lessons of Twitter and Facebook, other Internet-scale basic service layers that most of us use, are instructive here. After the honeymoon period is over, and disruptive returns need to be generated to pay off limited partners or satisfy public shareholders, the tensions that these monetization efforts create ultimately seem to separate the motivations of management from those of users and the broader ecosystem. How will Rap Genius–and Marc Andreessen–navigate these questions?

      This is probably the question of the past two decades which many companies are only beginning to realize.

    1. A large number of emerging economies, especially China and some of its South-East Asian neighbours, got their manufacturing activities integrated with Global Value Chains (GVCs) to achieve efficiencies of scale and reap its benefits. Such an approach to integrate Global Value Chains and become an integral part of the Global Supply Chain significantly helped China to become the ‘factory of the world’ and transform itself into a formidable economic giant.
    1. Gradually, we begin to conflate visibility with value. If something is being talked about and seen, we assume that it must be important in some way. – An Illustrated Guide to Guy Debord’s ‘The Society of the Spectacle’

      And in an over-saturated media space, this is exactly the sort of thing that lands us a narcissistic and incompetent president.

    1. Self-reliance in state-run heavy industries and strategic sectors in the decades following independence had placed India ahead of most developing countries. In the 1970s and 80s, however, India did not modernise these industries to climb higher up the technological ladder.
    1. Blair Reeves, a friend, and an occasional Margins contributor (on remote teams) wrote a persuasive piece on how companies should people based on what value they add, not pay them differently based on where they want to live. In some ways, I understand. People who live in more expensive neighborhoods in NYC or SF should not get paid more than those who decide to live farther away.

      Actually, they kinda do? Salaries should be a function of local prices. An expensive city should have higher salaries for workers to be able to afford living in it. The fact that now companies became so huge to cross world-wide borders (a relatively new phenomenon) doesn't change that.

    1. still took years before it paid off handsomely.

      In economics, this same concept is known as the J Curve (https://www.wikiwand.com/en/J_curve)

    1. We’ve certainly dabbled in the debate of “what is a tech company” but what we never addressed was why do companies do mental gymnastics to call themselves a tech company. It’s because venture as an asset class traditionally invested in technology because that is what presented the growth and return characteristics that matched their risk profile. So you try to call a desk rental or mattress seller a tech company.
    2. There is just so much money looking to do so many new, riskier things.  And again, that's exactly how it's supposed to work. Cutting interest rates spurs demand and risk-taking. The changed denominators of a million financial models make every investment idea look more enticing. If an interest rate is the cost of money, ZIRP means capital is now free.
  5. Apr 2020
    1. The idea behind the app is to allow people to rent something that they would only use once or very rarely. Rather than buying that expensive drill that you will only use for 15 mins, why not rent it from your neighbor?
    1. Most readers will say,“How caninflation possibly move up? It is a depression out there.” As a first-order effect, we mostly agree with that, but there are aspects of this peculiar crisis thatcould produce upside inflation surprises. There are significant disruptions in the global food supply chain, and those disruptions (which could include or produce export controls, labor disputes and outages, border issues preventing labor workers from harvesting crops and other disruptions) could cause significant pockets of high foodprice inflation and limited availability,which in turn could cause social unrest and further disruption. Nobody is prepared for this kind of inflation, and if it develops, financial repression is not going to hold bond prices up at the stupid yields currently prevailing.

      Elliot Management April 16 2020

    2. While it is near-universally believed that the global, particularly the American, economy was humming on all cylinders before being slugged flat by the virus, we believed that the pre-virusfinancialassets landscape was toward the high end of the riskiness scale. The record-high global leverage, the record-low government-manipulated interest rates, the $20 trillion of purchased bonds and stocks still on the books of the major central banks from the non-stop emergency policies pursued for 10 years after the emergency was over, presented a highly risky and unsound picture. It is on thatterrainthat the virus landed.

      Elliot Management April 16 2020

  6. Mar 2020
    1. For Piketty, rising inequality is at root a political phenomenon. The social-democratic framework that made Western societies relatively equal for a couple of generations after World War II, he argues, was dismantled, not out of necessity, but because of the rise of a “neo-proprietarian” ideology. Indeed, this is a view shared by many, though not all, economists. These days, attributing inequality mainly to the ineluctable forces of technology and globalization is out of fashion, and there is much more emphasis on factors like the decline of unions, which has a lot to do with political decisions.
    2. I was struck, for example, by his extensive discussion of the evolution of slavery and serfdom, which made no mention of the classic work of Evsey Domar of M.I.T., who argued that the more or less simultaneous rise of serfdom in Russia and slavery in the New World were driven by the opening of new land, which made labor scarce and would have led to rising wages in the absence of coercion.
    3. Piketty, however, sees inequality as a social phenomenon, driven by human institutions. Institutional change, in turn, reflects the ideology that dominates society: “Inequality is neither economic nor technological; it is ideological and political.”
    1. Consumer demand is one of four important variables that, when combined, can influence and shape farming practices, according to Festa. The other three are the culture of farming communities, governmental policies, and the economic system that drives farming.
  7. Feb 2020
    1. In the United States, open heart surgery can run as much as $150,000—more than most Indians make in a lifetime. Given the cost, almost no one in India who needed heart surgery actually got it. Shetty saw an opportunity to create a new market for cardiac care. Today NH performs open heart surgeries for $1,000 to $2,000, with mortality and infection rates comparable with those in the United States. By increasing the utilization of its most expensive resources—personnel (especially surgeons) and medical equipment—it drastically reduced the cost of operations. It uses tiered pricing, whereby wealthier patients can pay more to get certain services, such as a private room. But the quality of care is standard across all patients.

      Price-based discrimination can actually create social welfare

    1. People can make bad economic choices based on something Thaler dubbed the “endowment effect,” which is the theory that people value things more highly when they own them. In other words, you’d ask for more money for selling something that you own than what you would be willing to pay to buy the same thing.

      How do the backgrounds of politicians shape the public policies they push for?

      For example, how does personal wealth affect the way they value redistribution issues/ equality? --> excuses of lack of commitment/effort from poor people could be asking for more than you would be willing to pay

    1. Today's Web giants want us to believe that they and they alone are suited to take us to wherever we end up next. Having used Adversarial Interoperability as a ladder to attain their rarefied heights, they now use laws to kick the ladder away and prevent the next Microcomputer Center or Tim Berners-Lee from doing to them what the Web did to Gopher, and what Gopher did to mainframes.
    1. Marx is certainly not the only relevant critical social theorist who matters for under-standing social media. The critical study of social media should be based on a broad range of critical theories of society. The crisis of capitalism and the devastating social and political effects of austerity and neoliberalism have made evident that political econ-omy can no longer be ignored in the study of society. This does not mean that the econ-omy determines society but rather that all social phenomena have an economy and are economic and non-economic at the same time (Fuchs, 2015a).
    1. If private-equity firms cannot be socially responsible stewards of capital, then Congress will need to act. One possible reform would involve fully taxing the advisory and other fees that private-equity investors extract from the companies they own. Another potential reform would impose restrictions on dividends paid out in the two years following a buyout. Since the current system allows private-equity firms to reap much of the positive gains from successful acquisitions, they could also be required to bear some of the liability for a company’s debt when the buyout ends in bankruptcy.
    1. Robinson Crusoe’s experiences are a favourite theme with political economists

      Marx refers to the thought experiment, common in economics, which is sometimes called Robinson Crusoe economics.

      Doing "Robinson Crusoe economics" consists in imagining what can be learned, if anything, from a one agent economy that will provide insight into a real world economy with lots of agents.

    1. Debates about how to structure these programs have long been influenced by a related economic assumption: The more people really need a benefit, the more effort they’ll put into getting it. “For decades, economists had this view that burdens could quote-‘help’ separate out those that are what one calls truly disadvantaged versus those who might be more marginally needy,” said Hilary Hoynes, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of California, Berkeley. “Our current research suggests it could be exactly the opposite.” These burdens, she suggested, may instead be tripping up the worst off: hourly workers who can’t shuffle their schedules for a meeting; parents dealing with domestic violence, disabilities or low literacy; families without bank accounts to automate monthly payments; households already facing unpaid bills and late notices when another urgent letter arrives in the mail.
  8. Jan 2020
    1. A thousand years ago, the world was flat, economically speaking.

      I don't think we have to go back even this far. If I recall correctly, even 150 years ago the vast majority of the world's population were subsistence farmers. It's only been since the 20th century and the increasing spread of the industrial revolution that the situation has changed:

      Even England remained primarily an agrarian country like all tributary societies for the previous 4,000 years, with ca. 50 percent of its population employed in agriculture as late as 1759.

      --David Christian, Maps of Time (pp 401) quoting from Crafts, British Economic Growth, pp. 13–14. (See also Fig 13.1 Global Industrial Potential from the same, for a graphical indicator.

    1. Why We Don't Live in a PPP World PPP depends on the law of one price. That states that once the difference in exchange rates is accounted for, then everything would cost the same. That's not true in the real world for four reasons. First, there are differences in transportation costs, taxes, and tariffs. These costs will raise prices in a country. Countries with many trade agreements will have lower prices because they have fewer tariffs. Socialist countries will have higher costs because they have more taxes.  A second reason is that some things, like real estate and haircuts, can't be shipped. Only ultra-wealthy global travelers can compare the prices of homes in New York to those in London.  A third reason is that not everyone has the same access to international trade. For example, someone in rural China can't compare the prices of oxen sold throughout the world. But Amazon and other online retailers are providing more real purchasing power parity to even rural dwellers. A fourth reason is that import costs are subject to exchange rate fluctuations. For example, when the U.S. dollar weakens, then Americans pay more for imports.
    2. After the war, the Swedish economist Gustav Cassel suggested multiplying each currency's pre-war value by its inflation rate to get the new parity. That formed the basis for today's PPP.
    1. "Some inequality of income and wealth is inevitable, if not necessary. If an economy is to function well, people need incentives to work hard and innovate.The pertinent question is not whether income and wealth inequality is good or bad. It is at what point do these inequalities become so great as to pose a serious threat to our economy, our ideal of equal opportunity and our democracy." - Robert Reich

      An important observation. What might create such a tipping point? Is there a way to look back at these things historically to determine the most common factors that would create such tipping points?

    1. game theory

      Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction among rational decision-makers.[1] It has applications in all fields of social science, as well as in logic, systems science and computer science. Originally, it addressed zero-sum games, in which each participant's gains or losses are exactly balanced by those of the other participants. Today, game theory applies to a wide range of behavioral relations, and is now an umbrella term for the science of logical decision making in humans, animals, and computers.

      --Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory

    1. How To Make Thousands of Gold In Guild Wars 2 - Guide & Advice From The MMOs Richest Player [2019]

      29.20 / It all comes down to trust. (ingame-otc desk instead of using game's own marketplace.)

      Trading posts between servers.

      Merchant Guilds with grand-bazaar like reputation tracking.

      GW2 economy design decisions necessitates the formation of guilds / trading communities.

      Bypassing tax of "Trading Post" via P2P bartering.

      Reddit exchange.

      Only reputation metric is your trading history in that specific subreddit. Use people with high reputation as escrow.

      No middle-class in GW2. Rich records 2 hours long podcast for more players to make money.

      Achievement system integrates with how fast you make gold and progress on other parts of the game. Golden idea to be included into social economy design!

      "Do x,y,z like "recycle 1 ton of plastic" - earn "plastic recycler badge and get a %0.02 reduction on your bills." This can also get out of hand quickly, slippery slope. Still, implemented responsibly, can work wonders for a society.

      We want money to flow through people and make it flow through your community first.

      Sell to your community first. Then use global trade post as plan B.

      When we changed the way we trade, the nature of gold in game changed. We were prioritizing materials, not gold. Resources became money, a multi-currency economy.

      Community became tighter, engagement increased, people socialized more and started to enjoy the game more. Middle-class emerged!

      Players learn how to achieve goals. Make money just playing the game.

      "Trade post guilds" changed the whole game.

      Peg the spirit shards value to play time value, all of a sudden everything matters (in the game)

      Economical decisions in this game forces people to cooperate if you want to achieve a goal.

      Maps (levels) are designed in a specific way, you are expected to flow through the entrance to exit and earn map currency.

  9. Dec 2019
    1. There’s no doubt that the web would not be where it is today without companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, and even AOL. Corporations have driven growth, investment, and innovation on the web, and social media networks have made the web a part of everyone’s lives.

      Yes, they've done some of these things, but I'd argue they didn't do much of the actual innovation. Most of what they had done was being done in other areas of the web before them and they just paved the cow paths.

      Potentially worse, their only innovation was to silo all the value for themselves and then externalize all the costs and issues back into society so they don't have to pay for them themselves.

    1. “Deliver with Amazon. Be your own boss. Great earnings. Flexible hours. Make more time for whatever drives you.” Amazon has taken a page from Uber and is leveraging the romanticization of entrepreneurship, the need for flexibility, and the decreasing options of non-degreed workers in rural areas. There are already stories depicting breakneck delivery schedules that obviate luxuries such as bathroom breaks. FedEx drivers get paternity leave and (gasp) health insurance.

      Again, it's the ability to canibalize at the lowest levels that helps tech companies to out-compete their rivals. Companies should be regulated away from being able to do this, particularly for non-employees.

    1. On the right — that’s what democracy looks like. At City Bureau we believe the future of journalism looks more like this. It’s made of networks, it’s collaborative, it practices radical transparency and it equips people to be makers.

      This chart is very reminiscent of a similar chart I saw just this morning that was looking at the differences between unicorns and zebras within an economic framing.

    1. That approach: build protocols, not platforms.

      I can now see why @jack made his Twitter announcement this morning. If he opens up and can use that openness to suck up more data, then Twitter's game could potentially be doing big data and higher end algorithmic work on even much larger sets of data to drive eyeballs.

      I'll have to think on how one would "capture" a market this way, but Twitter could be reasonably poised to pivot in this direction if they're really game for going all-in on the idea.

      It's reasonably obvious that Twitter has dramatically slowed it's growth and isn't competing with some of it's erstwhile peers. Thus they need to figure out how to turn a relatively large ship without losing value.

  10. Nov 2019
    1. While neoliberalism has varied in its manifestations in different countries and regu-latory arenas, the common core has been the promotion of market-based solutions to a broad range of issues.

      brief definition of neoliberalism

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. The particular occasion of this lecture, combined with the chief practical problem which economists have to face today, have made the choice of its topic almost inevitable. On the one hand the still recent establishment of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science marks a significant step in the process by which, in the opinion of the general public, economics has been conceded some of the dignity and prestige of the physical sciences. On the other hand, the economists are at this moment called upon to say how to extricate the free world from the serious threat of accelerating inflation which, it must be admitted, has been brought about by policies which the majority of economists recommended and even urged governments to pursue. We have indeed at the moment little cause for pride: as a profession we have made a mess of things.
    2. It seems to me that this failure of the economists to guide policy more successfully is closely connected with their propensity to imitate as closely as possible the procedures of the brilliantly successful physical sciences – an attempt which in our field may lead to outright error. It is an approach which has come to be described as the “scientistic” attitude – an attitude which, as I defined it some thirty years ago, “is decidedly unscientific in the true sense of the word, since it involves a mechanical and uncritical application of habits of thought to fields different from those in which they have been formed.”1
    1. But wait, there’s more. Much more. We generally encounter four different acquisition models (my thanks to Janet Morrow of our library for this outline): 1) outright purchase, just like a print book, easy peasy, generally costs a lot even though it’s just bits (we pay an average of over $40 per book this way), which gives us perpetual access with the least digital rights management (DRM) on the ebooks, which has an impact on sustainable access over time; 2) subscription access: you need to keep paying each year to get access, and the provider can pull titles on you at any time, plus you also get lots of DRM, but there’s a low cost per title (~$1 a book per year); 3) demand-driven/patron-driven acquisition: you don’t get the actual ebook, just a bibliographic record for your library’s online system, until someone chooses to download a book, or reads some chunk of it online, which then costs you, say ~$5; 4) evidence-based acquisitions, in which we pay a set cost for unlimited access to a set of titles for a year and then at the end of the year we can use our deposit to buy some of the titles (<$1/book/year for the set, and then ~$60/book for those we purchase).

      Nice to see this laid out. I've never seen a general overview of how this system works for libraries.

      I've always wondered what it cost my local public library to loan me an e-book whether I read it or not.

  11. Oct 2019
    1. Harvesting Poverty; The Rigged Trade Game
    2. Despite widespread worries about their ability to compete, Filipinos bought the theory that their farmers' lack of good transportation and high technology would be balanced out by their cheap labor. The government predicted that access to world markets would create a net gain of a half-million farming jobs a year, and improve the country's trade balance.It didn't happen. Small-scale farmers across the Philippine archipelago have discovered that their competitors in places like the United States or Europe do not simply have better seeds, fertilizers and equipment. Their products are also often protected by high tariffs, or underwritten by massive farm subsidies that make them artificially cheap. No matter how small a wage Filipino workers are willing to accept, they cannot compete with agribusinesses afloat on billions of dollars in government welfare.
    1. We live in an age of paradox. Systems using artificial intelligence match or surpass human level performance in more and more domains, leveraging rapid advances in other technologies and driving soaring stock prices. Yet measured productivity growth has fallen in half over the past decade, and real income has stagnated since the late 1990s for a majority of Americans. Brynjolfsson, Rock, and Syverson describe four potential explanations for this clash of expectations and statistics: false hopes, mismeasurement, redistribution, and implementation lags. While a case can be made for each explanation, the researchers argue that lags are likely to be the biggest reason for paradox. The most impressive capabilities of AI, particularly those based on machine learning, have not yet diffused widely. More importantly, like other general purpose technologies, their full effects won't be realized until waves of complementary innovations are developed and implemented. The adjustment costs, organizational changes and new skills needed for successful AI can be modeled as a kind of intangible capital. A portion of the value of this intangible capital is already reflected in the market value of firms. However, most national statistics will fail to capture the full benefits of the new technologies and some may even have the wrong sign

      This is for anyone who is looking deep in economics of artificial intelligence or is doing a project on AI with respect to economics. This paper entails how AI might effect our economy and change the way we think about work. the predictions and facts which are stated here are really impressive like how people 30 years from now will be lively with government employment where everyone will get equal amount of payment.

  12. Sep 2019
    1. Estimated economic benefit of data linkage

      the potential value from linking Census data to administrative data sets is only beginning to be realised and holds immense potential.(In other work for the Population Health Research Network, Lateral Economics concluded that data linkage generated over $16 for every dollar invested).

    2. Cost reduction suggestion

      there may be ways to reduce costs associated with the development of Census-equivalent statistics, including relying less on the general public to answer questions every five years

    3. Economic benefit of the Census.

      Our estimates suggest the benefits of running the Census easily outweigh its costs in the order of$6 of economic value for each $1 it costs. On this reckoning, the cost of the Census would have to rise to six times its current cost –to around $3 billion every five years –before it startedto become cost ineffective

    1. As Mariana Mazzucato argues in The Entrepreneurial State, our ‘free market’ economy disincentivizes the investment in Research and Development, instead generating welfare for the wealthy through the “socialization of risk, [and the] privatization of reward.” 
    1. Miya Yoshitani, executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, which focuses on environmental justice issues affecting working-class Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant and refugee communities.
  13. Aug 2019
    1. I still have the feeling that the important changes in the global division of labor have something to do with the behavior of traditional macroeconomic variables.
    2. It turned out the higher the money price, the more prosperous was the craftsman’s lot, at least in the long run, though sometimes after periods of immiseration lasting decades.
    3. What interested me were intricate questions about the direction of causation.  Had prices grown higher because the number of pennies had increased?  Or had the supply of pennies grown to accommodate an increasing overall division of labor? To put it slightly differently, in those periods of “industrial revolution” – there had been at least two or three such events – had prices risen because the size of the market and the division of labor had grown, and the quantity of money along with them?  Or was it the other way around?
    4. This is, I thought, little more than an analogy with Boyle’s Law, one of the most striking early successes of the scientific revolution, which holds that the pressure and volume of a fixed amount of gas are inversely proportional.  Release the contents from a steel cylinder into a balloon and the container expands.  But it still contains no more gas than before.  Something like that must have been in the mind of the first person who first spoke of “inflating” the currency. From there it was a short jump to the way that classical quantity theory relies on the principle of plenitude – the age-old assumption, inherited from Plato, that there can be nothing truly new under the sun, that the collection of goods of “general price level” were somehow fixed.
    5. That leaves economist Martin Shubik, surely the second most powerful mind among economists to have tackled the complexity problem (John von Neumann was first). Shubik pursued an overarching theory of money all his life, one in which money and financial institutions emerge naturally, instead of being given. In The Guidance of an Enterprise Economy (MIT, 2016), he considered that he and physicist Etic Smith had achieved it. Shubik died last year, at 92.  His ideas about strict definitions of “minimal complexity” will take years to resurface in others’ hands.
    6. Two of the most successful expositors of economic complexity were research partners, as least for a time:  Ricardo Hausmann, of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and physicist César Hidalgo, of MIT’s Media Lab. They, too, worked with a gifted mathematician, Albert-László Barabási, of Northeastern University, to produce a highly technical paper; then,  with colleagues, assembled an Atlas of Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity (MIT, 2011), a data-visualization tool that continues to function online. Meanwhile, Hidalgo’s Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies (Basic, 2015) remains an especially lucid account of humankind’s escape (so far) from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but there is precious little economics in it. For the economics of international trade, see Gene Grossman and Elhanan Helpman.
  14. Jul 2019
    1. Chetty is also using tax data to measure the long-term impacts of dozens of place-based interventions, such as enterprise zones, which use tax and other incentives to draw businesses into economically depressed areas.

      It wasn't this particular piece of text, but roughly at about here I had the thought that these communities could be looked at as life from an input /output perspective in relation to homeostasis. Essentially they're being slowly starved out and killed in a quietly moral yet amoral way. As a result entropy is slowly killing them and also causing problems for the society around them that blames the them for their own problems. Giving them some oxygen to breathe and thrive will fix so many of the problems.

    2. His data also suggest that who you know growing up can have lasting effects. A paper on patents he co-authored found that young women were more likely to become inventors if they’d moved as children to places where many female inventors lived. (The number of male inventors had little effect.) Even which fields inventors worked in was heavily influenced by what was being invented around them as children.

      Combine this with Cesar Hidalgo's work and draw the connections!

    3. In the search for opportunity’s cause, he is instead focusing on an idea borrowed from sociology: social capital. The term refers broadly to the set of connections that ease a person’s way through the world, providing support and inspiration and opening doors

      The question then is how to measure this. Social capital = links - take this and run with it...

    4. Opportunity bargains, however, are not an inexhaustible resource. The crucial question, says the Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti, is whether the opportunity in these places derives from “rival goods”—institutions, such as schools, with limited capacity—or “non-rival goods,” such as local culture, which are harder to deplete. When new people move in, what happens to opportunity? And even if an influx of families doesn’t disrupt the opportunity magic, people aren’t always eager to pick up and leave their homes. Moving breaks ties with family, friends, schools, churches, and other organizations. “The real conundrum is how to address the larger structural realities of inequality,” says the Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson, “and not just try to move people around

      It's all about the value of links!

    5. “Let’s really leverage housing policy as part of a larger economic-mobility agenda for the community.”
    6. He doesn’t yet know why some places are opportunity bargains, but he considers the discovery of these neighborhoods to be a breakthrough.

      I'll bet it has to do with rents and evictions...

    7. In October, Chetty’s institute released an interactive map of the United States called the Opportunity Atlas, revealing the terrain of opportunity down to the level of individual neighborhoods.
    8. In October, Chetty’s institute released an interactive map of the United States called the Opportunity Atlas, revealing the terrain of opportunity down to the level of individual neighborhoods.

      I should look at this for the Bay Area

    1. Reporting on a study at Queensborough Community College, also in the CUNY system, Sheila Beck notes that the library’s reserve textbook collection is “heavily used,” however, staffing and other concerns have prompted librarians to consider “less labor intensive and less costly alternatives.“ Beyond textbook reserves, academic librarians can help students to locate required course readings in other ways: older editions of their required textbook, pre- or post-prints of articles in institutional repositories, articles or other texts in databases subscribed to by the library, or readings that may be in the public domain or otherwise available on the open web.

      The basic economics of this system would indicate (especially as classes become larger and larger) that more careful consideration of choice, economics, accessibility, availability, etc. on a larger institutional level creates larger marginal gains for those in the class. If a staff librarian, teacher, or someone else within the system does the leg-work up front and does it well, then the dozens or even hundreds of students in the course don't need to spend (read: waste) their own time re-inventing the proverbial textbook wheel once they're in the class.

      Portions of the situation here make me wonder if we might pull a page from Dr. Peter Pronovost's playbook in the health care space and create a simple checklist of what to do when planning for textbooks and readings. Checklists that include things like:

      • will the texts actually be used?
      • will they be primary to the subject or are they supplementary?
      • What are their prices?
      • Are alternate materials available?
      • Are older editions available?
      • are public domain or open web versions available?
      • are there copies in the library? reserves? pirated versions? pre/post prints?
      • etc.

      Once such a checklist is available, institutions should require that it be available along with syllabi and other course listings.

      cross references:

    2. some students told me that they bought all of their books in prior semesters and their instructors did not use them, so in subsequent semesters they either delayed or opted not to buy their books.

      I wonder what role satisficing plays in the current textbook market?

    3. depressing the market for used books as they maintain their profits.

      but this only occurs with the tacit approval of professors who are assigning those new textbooks without any thought about whether the new edition is really worth that much more. Since the professor generally doesn't care (or even use the updated material in a new edition), they could easily stick with a 7th edition for several decades. The real question is why don't they?

    4. Textbook affordability is covered frequently by higher-education news media in the United States, part of the broader conversation about access to American colleges and universities. The National Survey of Student Engagement has reported that 31% of first year and 40% of senior undergraduates didn’t purchase required course materials because of the expense.

      Given the economics of the textbook market and the fact that it's not the students who are choosing their textbooks, (but instead are assigned their textbooks) there is a massive mismatch in the market. The person choosing the text doesn't necessarily care about the price since it's not something they're directly paying for.

      The better surveys we should be seeing are surveys of professors on what materials they choose, why they choose them, what thought--if any--goes towards the price of such materials. These surveys of students are generally useless because they don't get to the point of the economic inequity in the textbook market.

    1. Facebook allows users to sign in, authenticate, and identify themselves on a range of Web sites, feeding our data to Facebook as we move across the Web.

      If second and third tier services that are mono-tasking tools in the social space would allow for some of the IndieWeb building blocks, then this would not only help them significantly, but also help to break up the monopoly.

      Here I'm thinking about things like SoundCloud, Flickr, et al that do one piece really well, but which don't have the market clout. Instagram might have been included in the collection prior to it's buyout by Facebook. Huffduffer is an audio service that does a bit of this IndieWeb sort of model.

    2. In other words, the Web as a collection of heterogeneous sites has largely given way to a small number of sites with near-monopolistic control of authentication, search, and content distribution.

      How can IndieWeb principles be used to get rid of the monopoly? What other pieces have been monopolized (and also bundled, which provides even further value)?

    1. Digital texts embody the intersections between history and biography that Mills (1959) thought inherent to understanding social relations. Content from my blog is a ready example. I have access to the entire data set. I can track its macro discursive moments to action, space, and place. And I can consider it as a reflexive sociological practice. In this way, I have used my digital texts as methodologists use autoethnographies: reflexive, critical practices of social relationship.

      I wonder a bit about applying behavioral economics or areas like System 1/System 2 of D. Kahneman and A. Tversky to social media as well. Some (a majority?) use Twitter as an immediate knee-jerk reaction to content they're reading and interacting with in a very System 1 sense while others use longer form writing and analysis seen in the blogosphere to create System 2 sort of social thinking.

      This naturally needs to be cross referenced in peoples' time and abilities to consume these things and the reactions and dopamine responses they provoke. Most people are apt to read the shorter form writing because it's easier and takes less time and effort compared with longer form writing which requires far more cognitive load and time expenditure.

    2. Marwick and others have primarily observed intent as a causal condition for microcelebrity and the practice of cultivating it as a set of activities as opposed to the institutional conditions of those activities and microcelebrity’s various effects. Microcelebrity can be a tool to develop a personal brand, to leverage attention to generate income of job prospects, and to distill media and public attention of social movements. I consider microcelebrity’s cause-and-effect from my multiple attenuated status positions. My agency to create, perform or strategically reveal information is circumscribed by my ascribed status positions. As my professional and public-facing identities shift, my social location remains embedded in groups with a “shared histories based on their shared location in relations of power” (Hill Collins 1997: 376). Academic capitalism and microcelebrity promote neoliberal ideas of individualism. But power relations circumscribe the utility and value of cultivating attention in ways we rarely note, much less redress.

      I read this and can't help but thinking about some of my own personal workplace experiences (as well as some of those of others). Many often experience the need to move from an early workplace to another as a means of better experiencing direct promotion, both in status and in respect as well as in pay naturally. One will often encounter issues in promotion at the same company, particularly when it doesn't properly value work and experience, and thinks of you as when you first started work as a young kid still wet behind the ears. Compare this to moving to a new company with a new social group who doesn't know the "old" you, but automatically ascribes to you the rank and value of your new post instead of your past rank(s).

      In some sense making one's old writing/work private (or deleting it on Twitter as is more commonly done for a variety of reasons) becomes a means of preventing the new groups of readers or viewers of one's site from seeing the older, less experienced version of one's self and thereby forcing them to judge you by the "new" you imbued with more authority than the younger tyro of the "old" you.

    3. But, whereas engaged scholarship has a political imperative, academic microcelebrity has a market imperative. Academic microcelebrity is ostentatiously apolitical, albeit falsely so because markets are always political. Academic microcelebrity encourages brand building as opposed to consciousness-raising; brand awareness as opposed to co-creation of knowledge. It creates perverse incentives for impact as opposed to valuing social change. Microcelebrity is the economics of attention in which academics are being encouraged, mostly through normative pressure, to brand their academic knowledge for mass consumption. However, the risks and rewards of presenting oneself “to others over the Web using tools typically associated with celebrity promotion” (Barone 2009) are not the same for all academics in the neo-liberal “public” square of private media.

      I'm reminded here of the huge number of academics who write/wrote for The Huffington Post for their "reach" despite the fact that they were generally writing for free. Non-academics were doing the same thing, but for the branding that doing so gave them.

      In my opinion, both of these groups were cheated in that they were really building THP's brand over their own.