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  1. Last 7 days
    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.

  2. 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

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    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.” 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

    4. Scholars who are also members of marginalized groups disproportionately take up this kind of engaged scholarship, often without commensurate credit from university administrators or colleagues (Ellison and Eatmen 2008; Park 1996; Stanley 2006; Taylor and Raeburn 1995; Turner et al 2008; Villalpando and Bernal 2002).
    5. Academic capitalism promotes engaged academics as an empirical measure of a university’s reputational currency. Academic capitalism refers to the ways in which knowledge production increasingly embeds universities in the new economy (Berman 2011; Rhoades and Slaughter 2010).
    1. might markets just not work?

      Same thing in publishing, too. Lots of people say journal costs are inflated & they can run one cheaper. They're right, but there are two considerations: a) in a market economy prices reflect more than just costs. They reflect the economic value, which includes things like brand value, prestige and also, as this & the other posts argue, an inflation due to productivity rising in adjacent market sectors. So the market failures seem to come from a) the difficulty knowing how much something should cost (having comparables and not having too much complexity to understand) and b) too high value ascribed to the status or prestige (which, if understood as a social consensus proxy that reduces the complexity of actually understanding the business & what it's value to the consumer should be, collapses b into a).

  7. May 2019
    1. three or four hundred a year

      In 2019, 300 pounds would be equivalent to $30,372.96 while 400 pounds would be equivalent to $40,497.28. 1802 is the closest year to input the information because in the following paragraph, there is an indirect reference to the Treaty of Amiens which took place between 1802-1803. https://www.uwyo.edu/numimage/currency.htm

  8. Apr 2019
    1. This wasn’t expected, but also shouldn’t be a huge shock. Despite the US hyping Russia as a threat for decades, Russia hasn’t spent deeply on its military in years, and drawing down from Syria, they don’t have much costly overseas engagement.

      To contextualize, you can still spend a hell of a lot on development, but if you don't have costly mobilizations it can make it look like you aren't spending as much as others; in fact, you are arguably making 'smarter' investments?

    1. nt colonies teach us self-organization stems from an adaptation that compresses information about the environment. Our economy and political system are similar forms of information compression

      I really like the way information compression is being used as an analytical tool for creating models here. makes a lot of sense

    2. The problem is that political competition can also falter. When it does, politicians have less incentive to promise fair outcomes.

      Our economy suffers from extreme inequality due partly to inadequate competition. The problem is that our parking brake for inequality is politics, and our politics is also noncompetitive

    3. Preferential attachment is a type of positive feedback loop.

      Money begets money, followers beget followers, fame begets fame, etc, positive feedback loops.

    4. Most of us are unaware of how our actions lead to self-organizing behavior.

      This is what Adam Smith realized in a Wealth of Nations

    1. Perhaps old dogs don't learn new tricks because they are closer to death, and the period to earn a positive return on that investment is shorter.
    2. The same way many social networks track keystone metrics like time to X followers, they should track the ROI on posts for new users. It's likely a leading metric that governs retention or churn. It’s useful as an investor, or even as a curious onlooker to test a social networks by posting varied content from test accounts to gauge the efficiency and fairness of the distribution algorithm.
    3. Social capital is, in many ways, a leading indicator of financial capital, and so its nature bears greater scrutiny. Not only is it good investment or business practice, but analyzing social capital dynamics can help to explain all sorts of online behavior that would otherwise seem irrational.
    1. 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.
    2. Harvesting Poverty; The Rigged Trade Game
    1. The role of the IMF and World Bank is also of concern. The conditions placed on their loans often force countries into rapid liberalisation, with scant regard to the impact on the poor.
    2. On the other hand, there are an increasing number of countries in which full-scale trade liberalisation has been applied and then failed to deliver economic growth while allowing domestic markets to be dominated by imports. This often has devastating effects. Zambia and Ghana are both examples of countries in which the opening up of markets has led to sudden falls in rates of growth with sectors being unable to compete with foreign goods. Even in those countries that have experienced overall economic growth as a result of trade liberalisation, poverty has not necessarily been reduced. In Mexico during the first half of the 1990s there was economic growth, yet the number of people living below the poverty line increased by 14 million in the 10 years from the mid-1980s. This was due to the fact that the benefits of a more open market all went to the large commercial operators, with the small concerns being squeezed out. The evidence shows that the benefits that would flow from increased international trade will not materialise if markets are simply left alone. When this happens, liberalisation is used by the rich and powerful international players to make quick gains from short-term investments.
    3. Just look at some examples. Taiwan and South Korea are often held out as being good illustrations of the benefits of trade liberalisation. In fact, they built their international trading strength on the foun dations of government subsidies and heavy investment in infrastructure and skills development while being protected from competition by overseas firms. In more recent years, those countries which have been able to reduce levels of poverty by increasing economic growth - like China, Vietnam, India and Mozambique - have all had high levels of intervention as part of an overall policy of strengthening domestic sectors.
    1. But there's also this: Neither America nor Britain nor the other major Western powers became rich by following these rules themselves. Indeed, China's current strategy is basically a mishmash of what Western countries did from the early 1800s through the end of World War II. "Between 1816 and the end of the Second World War, the U.S. had one of the highest average tariff rates on manufacturing imports in the world," the economist Ha-Joon Chang noted in 2003. Add in the inherent costs of oceanic trade, and "we can say that the U.S. industries were literally the most protected in the world until 1945." It was none other than Alexander Hamilton who made the case for protectionism and direct industrial policy, to lift a young America's living standards. Over its history, the U.S. has used subsidies and industrial policy to support everything from agriculture to transportation to health research. Once it gained its freedom from Britain, America was absolutely shameless about snatching technology and intellectual property from its former colonial master. British entrepreneurs and inventors were paid to resettle in the States, bringing their ideas with them; Americans copied British plans and industrial designs under cover of diplomatic tours; occasionally, America rewarded people for outright stealing tech from Britain. By comparison, China's "forced" technology transfer is pretty tame: It's simply a condition placed on any foreign investor who voluntarily decides to do business in China's domestic market. As for Britain itself, it built up its wool manufacturing in the late 1500s through primitive industrial policy. In the 1700s, it lowered tariffs on imports of raw materials, but raised them on imports of manufactured products — it wanted to keep the resources coming in, but protect its own supply chains. In the mid 1800s, Britain pulled off the original "technology transfer" with China as its victim: Britain sent agents through the country to gather tea plants and seeds and agricultural practices. That allowed Britain to marginalize China in the global tea market and laid much of the economic foundation for the British empire. There's a similar story with different variations for France, Germany, Sweden, and others. In 1885, the German economist Friedrich List acerbically noted that great powers tended to grow their own industries through protectionism, until they were big enough to be basically invulnerable in the global market. Then the they "kicked away the ladder" by converting to free trade policies, and demanding others do the same. That phrase provided the title for Ha-Joon Chang's article. (And later a book.) It also raises the final question: Under the modern free trade regime, is development for poorer countries even possible? The answer appears to be no. Opening up their economies to foreign investors tends to trap developing economies in a pernicious cycle: Investors don't want to turn these countries into industrial powerhouses; they just want to extract cheap labor and natural resources to feed already existing supply chains in the West. That leaves poorer countries providing the world low-cost exports, while importing expensive end products. They get stuck in permanent trade flow imbalances, build up big debts in currencies they don't control, and then the foreign investors panic and pull out. The developing country's economy crashes, and it goes through a decade or so of crushing austerity to pay off its foreign debt and rebalance its trade. Then the whole cycle starts over.
    2. Edit China isn't cheating at trade. It's just running America's old plays.
    1. A tradable permits (a.k.a. cap-and-trade) program sets a specific target or cap on total emissions and allocates or auctions the necessary number of pollution permits or allowances to polluters to meet that goal. Polluters that are able to reduce their emissions more cost-effectively have an incentive to abate more to avoid purchasing allowances or to sell their excess emission allowances to polluters facing higher costs of compliance. Under this type of market-based approach, emission are set by the cap, but the overall compliance costs may be uncertain

      USe for economics slide

    1. A home provides stability and financial predictability

      Financial crisis? Only 10 years ago?

    2. one way that localities could qualify for grants under the Warren bill is by implementing rent stabilization or rent control.

      By making sure renters stay where they are and that landlords cannot get market rent for their properties, it will discourage the building of rental units and encourage the selling of existing rental units.

    3. first-time homebuyers

      Why only first time buyers? Why not renters? If they have been actively disadvantaged by predatory policies in the past, aren't they likely to need more assistance? Also, is this what she means by 'reparations'?

    4. this policy would stand in the way of homes being adapted to meet new needs

      In circumstances where it makes more sense to rent, and there is a potential renter, why prevent that transaction from taking place?

    5. sold to new owner-occupants, rather than to landlords who would rent them out

      Isn't it the owner's property? Why shouldn't they get to decide the highest value use of the property? The bank would sell or rent the foreclosed precisely TO profit from it, especially if the previous owner is no longer able to make payments on the bank; they are losing money on the property if nobody is paying...?

    1. From an economic point of view, this must be one of the oddest projects in the world.. No net gain in floor space for a billion dollar plus privately funded project. This projects exists in one of the most individual economic circumstances in the world. That the CIty of Sydney was unwilling to bend their ridiculous morning Solar Access Plane into Macquarie Park and allow a new tower on Loftus St, leading to this ridiculous FSR swap and wasteful construction... Madness. City of Sydney is the *definition* of champagne socialists. They are too rich, and have too much control over *our* CBD, for a Sydney of 5 million people, not their 250,000 inner city residents.

      Naughty naughty.

    1. Incredibly complicated and expensive build, fitting within severe planning controls. It's too restrictive, the economics of the Sydney CBD must surely be singularly unique.

    1. The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) has turned NIMBY and will announce a nationwide ban on all skyscrapers taller than 500

      What difference will this make to the over-active Chinese real estate property bubble?

  9. Mar 2019
    1. As for why the West has done even worse than Japan, I suspect that it’s about the deep divisions within our societies. In America, conservatives have blocked efforts to fight unemployment out of a general hostility to government, especially a government that does anything to help Those People. In Europe, Germany has insisted on hard money and austerity largely because the German public is intensely hostile to anything that could be called a bailout of southern Europe.
    2. So there are really two questions here. First, why has everyone seemed to get this so wrong? Second, why has the West, with all its famous economists — not to mention the ability to learn from Japan’s woe — made an even worse mess than Japan did?The answer to the first question, I think, is that responding effectively to depression conditions requires abandoning conventional respectability. Policies that would ordinarily be prudent and virtuous, like balancing the budget or taking a firm stand against inflation, become recipes for a deeper slump. And it’s very hard to persuade influential people to make that adjustment — just look at the Washington establishment’s inability to give up on its deficit obsession.
    1. Did Japan actually lose any decades?
    2. Household consumption, rather than total GDP, is an even better comparison, since that’s a closer proxy for living standards of actual people
  10. Feb 2019
    1. But I actually think stock and flow is a useful metaphor for media in the 21st century. Here’s what I mean: Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that reminds people you exist. Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
    1. In this way they have come to dominate what I call “the division of learning in society”, which is now the central organising principle of the 21st-century social order, just as the division of labour was the key organising principle of society in the industrial age.
    2. As it turns out his vision perfectly reflected the history of capitalism, marked by taking things that live outside the market sphere and declaring their new life as market commodities.
    1. Sekera says that “unsubstantiated axioms of mainstream economics have lent pseudo-scientific support” in (quoting James Galbraith) a “purposeful, systemic campaign by private interests to “suck the capacity from government and deplete it of the ability to govern.”

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. were simply too poor to hire instructors who could teach i

      Amazing. This is a noteworthy comment on how economics can also shape knowledge. It's still a hotly debated issue today, with the whole private/charter/public school discourse circling around the intersection of money, resources, and, curriculum.

    1. it does not operate by a thoughtful consideration of local/global tradeoffs, but through the imposition of a singular view as “best for all” in a pseudo-scientific sense

      Similar to how some would "fix" economic inefficiencies with a legible imposed system, instead of just letting the market work.

  11. Jan 2019
    1. We know by now that there is no GreenwichMean Time in knowledge production in the posthuman era.

      To say it another way (although, why do that, when she just knocked it out of the park?) by borrowing an analogy from economics, knowledge production is a series of floating baskets, all fluctuating together. There is no firm base that everything is built on, the structure persists by virtue of its relations of its coherent parts, one to another.

    1. people working at Apple

      read: the executives and high-salary concept engineers "found that it engaged far more of the human personality than the highly ritualized and spiritualized competitive atmosphere at Pepsi" -- let's not forget that Pepsi and Apple are both hugely successful businesses that profit from low-wage labor; whether they're "second wave" or "third wave," the economic outcome is the same: a product consumed by millions of people. I take Lanham's point that the latter emphasizes form in relation to content and flexibility over rigidity, which (debatably) produces a better product (though I agree that a curriculum founded on these principles can produce a better student), but I question the utility in the corporate analogy here. What makes an Apple-flavored student superior to a Pepsi-flavored one? If we accept Lanham's metaphor, aren't both companies successful? Probably splitting more hairs here, but I'm always wary when we start using economic language to describe aspects of life not explicitly related to the market. To his credit Lanham prefaces this paragraph with a nod to not "sentimentalizing the life of a volatile corporation."

  12. Dec 2018
    1. Abneesh Roy, an analyst at Edelweiss Securities, noted that ahead of elections set for early next year, the government could be moving to appease owners of smaller shops that have been hit as customers buy more goods online. “Shopkeepers have been unhappy,” he said. “In an election year, the government will definitely listen more to voters.”

      It's nice to see foreign countries looking at what has happened to coutries like America with the rise of things like e-commerce, actually thinking about them and the longer term implications, and making rules to effect the potential outcomes.

      Now the bigger follow up question is: is this a good thing? Perhaps there won't be the community interruption we've seen in the US, but what do the overall effects look like decades hence? From a community perspective, from a competitive perspective?

    1. In this future, we’re all being asked to accept that the sticker price of our success is indifference to how things turn out for others. Of course, this isn’t a novelty, and it’s barely a disruption; this is how the demands of profit have needed work to be managed for a long time.
  13. Nov 2018
    1. Why racial achievement gaps were so pronounced in affluent school districts is a puzzling question raised by the data.

      Portland, OR: Parents' socioeconomic status broken down by race vs. educational attainment (reading & math).

    2. We’ve long known of the persistent and troublesome academic gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers in public schools.

      Portland, OR: Parents' socioeconomic status vs. educational attainment (reading & math).

    3. Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares

      Statistical comparison of educational measures in relation to income and race.

  14. Oct 2018
    1. From reading this I'm left with the impression that the housing boom was just a housing boom, not a general long-term projects boom, as you would expect from the ABCT.

      Why was housiing and just housing the epicenter of the boom and bust? Or wasn't it?

      If it was just housing, couldn't we explain it (or at least conceive of a different hypothetical scenario) without interest rates even changing? Imagine that the government prints money and uses it to pay companies to build houses -- or creates a special lending program just for houses, but don't messes up with the general interest rate -, wouldn't that have basically the same effect?

      If so, perhaps we should start considering a new ABCT version that just talks about new money being created and going to specific sectors, instead of the whole interest/intertemporal adjustments/hayekian triangles talk. Why is this wrong?

    2. It's not that people switched from buying hot dogs to hamburgers; instead they switched from buying "present consumption" to buying "future consumption."

      What if we said that people switched from buying hot dogs to bonds? Not anything "future", just a bond, today.

      If they switched to hamburgers, that would increase investment in the hamburger industry in expense of the hot dog industry.

      In the same way, if they switch to bonds, that will increase the investment in the "bonds industry", which is basically lending money.

    1. Because the capital structure of the economy becomes internally inconsistent, eventually some entrepreneurs must abandon their projects because there are insufficient capital goods to carry them all to completion.

      This argument have confused me my entire life in all explanations of the Austrian Business Cycle Theory. It is the core of the most famous of all, that Mises story about the master builder who doesn't have enough material to finish the house he's building.

      It is misleading and ultimately wrong because economic goods (in the Menger definition) are always insufficient. In simple terms, given the market price, every good can be obtained.

      What happens after the economy realizes it was in a malinvestment boom, prices of capital goods adjust in a way that they can become too expensive for some projects to be completed profitably.

  15. Sep 2018
    1. Simply put, the modern economy is evolving beyond the constraints of traditional work models. As a society, we are demanding the freedom of flexible work environments. Collectively, we are breaking barriers and smashing limitations, especially when it comes to making a living. The time is ripe for us to champion our own destiny by harnessing the power of the gig economy to spur lasting social change.

      This is all very "uplifting," but this entire paragraph is devoid of meaning. When is it NOT the time to "champion our own destiny?" What does it even mean to "harness the power of the gig economy to spur lasting social change?" What sort of change? People can't afford to live in Silicon Valley. The ethos of the tech companies show that they don't care about the communities of which they are a part.

    2. It is this progressive attitude

      This is a flowery puff piece regarding the gig economy. The supposed "progressive attitude" of piecemeal labor hides the grim reality of people working harder and longer for less. Read some counterpoints to this article's perspective here.

  16. Aug 2018
    1. FAILURE to understand that the roots of economic behavior lie in the realm of consciousness and culture leads to the common mistake of attributing material causes to phenomena that are essentially ideal in nature.
    2. This is not to say that there are not rich people and poor people in the United States, or that the gap between them has not grown in recent years. But the root causes of economic inequality do not have to do with the underlying legal and social structure of our society, which remains fundamentally egalitarian and moderately redistributionist, so much as with the cultural and social characteristics of the groups that make it up, which are in turn the historical legacy of premodern conditions.
    3. But that state of consciousness that permits the growth of liberalism seems to stabilize in the way one would expect at the end of history if it is underwritten by the abundance of a modern free market economy.

      Writers spend an awful lot of time focused too carefully on the free market economy, but don't acknowledge a lot of the major benefits of the non-free market parts which are undertaken and executed often by governments and regulatory environments. (Hacker & Pierson, 2016)

    4. "Protestant" life of wealth and risk over the "Catholic" path of poverty and security.[8]

      Is this simply a restatement of the idea that most of "the interesting things" happen at the border or edge of chaos? The Catholic ethic is firmly inside the stable arena while that of the Protestant ethic is pushing the boundaries.

    5. In general, while I've been reading Stuart Kauffmann's At Home in the Universe, I can't help but thinking about the cascading extinctions he describes and wonder if political extinctions of ideas like Communism or other forms of government or even economies might follow the same types of outcomes described there?

    6. Weber notes that according to any economic theory that posited man as a rational profit-maximizer, raising the piece-work rate should increase labor productivity. But in fact, in many traditional peasant communities, raising the piece-work rate actually had the opposite effect of lowering labor productivity: at the higher rate, a peasant accustomed to earning two and one-half marks per day found he could earn the same amount by working less, and did so because he valued leisure more than income. The choices of leisure over income, or of the militaristic life of the Spartan hoplite over the wealth of the Athenian trader, or even the ascetic life of the early capitalist entrepreneur over that of a traditional leisured aristocrat, cannot possibly be explained by the impersonal working of material forces,

      Science could learn something from this. Science is too far focused on the idealized positive outcomes that it isn't paying attention to the negative outcomes and using that to better define its outline or overall shape. We need to define a scientific opportunity cost and apply it to the negative side of research to better understand and define what we're searching for.

      Of course, how can we define a new scientific method (or amend/extend it) to better take into account negative results--particularly in an age when so many results aren't even reproducible?

    1. Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a "condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals".[1] It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, e.g., under unruly scenarios resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.

      I can't help but see this definition and think it needs to be applied to economics immediately. In particular I can think of a few quick examples of economic anomie which are artificially covering up a free market and causing issues within individual communities.

      College Textbooks: Here publishers are marketing to professors who assign particular textbooks and subverting students which are the actual market and consumers of those textbooks. This causes an inflated market and has allowed textbook prices to spiral out of control.

      The American Health Care Market In this example, the health care providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) have been segmented away from their consumers (patients) by intermediary insurance companies which are driving the market to their own good rather than a free-er set of smaller (and importantly local) markets that would be composed of just the sellers and the buyers. As a result, the consumer of health care has no ability to put a particular price on what they're receiving (and typically they rarely ever ask, even more so when they have insurance). This type of economic anomie is causing terrific havoc within the area.

      (Aside: while the majority of health care markets is very small in size (by distance), I will submit that the advent of medical tourism does a bit to widen potential markets, but this segment of the market is tiny and very privileged in comparison.)

    1. Rationality and transparency are the values of classical liberalism. Rationality and transparency are supposed to be what make free markets and democratic elections work. People understand how the system functions, and that allows them to make rational choices.

      But economically, we know there isn't perfect knowledge or perfect rationality (see Tversky and Khaneman). There is rarely every perfect transparency either which makes things much harder, especially in a post-truth society apparenlty.

    2. The National Interest, as the name proclaims, is a realist foreign-policy journal. But Fukuyama’s premise was that nations do share a harmony of interests, and that their convergence on liberal political and economic models was mutually beneficial. Realism imagines nations to be in perpetual competition with one another; Fukuyama was saying that this was no longer going to be the case.

      And here is a bit of the flaw. Countries are still at least in competition with each other economically, at least until they're all on equal footing from a modernity perspective.

      We are definitely still in completion with China and large parts of Europe.

    1. Social scientists explain link formation through two families of mechanisms; one that finds it roots in sociology and the other one in economics. The sociological approach assumes that link formation is connected to the characteristics of individuals and their context. Chief examples of the sociological approach include what I will call the big three sociological link-formation hypotheses. These are: shared social foci, triadic closure, and homophily.
    1. Even in central Ho Chi Minh City, top-end properties are priced US$3,000 to US$5,000 per square metre, well below Bangkok where equivalent properties can cost up to US$7,000 to US$9,000 per square metre, and 5 per cent the price of Hong Kong. Annual rental yield for some high-end apartments in major cities at currently at 7 to 8 per cent, which is 1.5 to 2.5 per cent higher than those in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, according to Vina Capital.
    1. If OER is free, what hidden costs exist in its production? Making these textbooks is taking me a chunk of time in the off-season.  Thanks to my salaried position, I feel ok about putting in the overtime, but it’s a privilege my colleagues who teach under year-to-year part-time non-contracts can’t afford. Who should be funding OER creation? Institutions? Students? For-profit start-ups? How will you invest time in this project without obscuring the true costs of academic labor? Right now, we pass the corruptly high cost of academic publishing onto the backs of academia’s most vulnerable members: students. But as OER gains steam, we need to come up with funding models that don’t land us back in the same quagmire of exploitation that we were trying to get out of.

      This is a nearly perfect question and something to watch in the coming years.

  17. Jul 2018
    1. For commercial surveillance to be cost effective, it has to socialize all the risks associated with mass surveillance and privatize all the gains.
    1. “INFORMATION RULES”—published in 1999 but still one of the best books on digital economics—Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, two economists, popularised the term “network effects”,

      I want to get a copy of this book.

  18. Jun 2018
    1. Basically, all token pitches include a line that goes something like this: "There is a fixed supply of tokens. As demand for the token increases, so must the price." This logic fails to take into account the velocity problem
    1. The first practical problem with velocity is that it’s frequently employed as a catch-all to make the two sides of the equation of exchange balance. It often simply captures the error in our estimation of the other variables in the model.
    2. The core thesis of current valuation frameworks is that utility value can be derived by (a) forecasting demand for the underlying resource that a network provisions (the network’s ‘GDP’) and (b) dividing this figure by the monetary base available for its fulfillment to obtain per-unit utility value. Present values can be derived from future expected utility values using conventional discounting. The theoretical framework that nearly all these valuation models employ is the equation of exchange, MV=PQ.
    1. Crypto provides a new mechanism for organizing human activity on a global basis usingprogrammable financial incentives. It’s an opportunity to design information networks which canachieve unprecedented levels of scale by decentralizing the infrastructure, open sourcing thedata, and distributing value more broadly. What we’ve discovered is the native business model ofnetworks – which, as it turns out, encompass the entire economy.
    2. Most of the use cases today involve compensating machine work (transaction processing, filestorage, etc.) with tokens: the building blocks of decentralized applications. But the greatestlong-term opportunity is in networks where tokens are earned by end-users themselves.
    3. We’ve also realized how inefficient the joint-stock equity industry model is at accounting for anddistributing the real value created by online networks. The value of a share of stock is necessarilya function of profits; the price of Twitter’s stock only reflects Twitter Inc’s ability to monetizethe data – and not the actual worth of the service. Tokens solve this inefficiency by derivingfinancial value directly from user demand as opposed to “taxing” by extracting profits.
    1. An underlying theme in much of the work in the field is that existing government regulation of copyright, security, and antitrust is inappropriate in the modern world. For example, information goods, such as news articles and movies, now have zero marginal costs of production and sharing. This has made the redistribution without permission common and has increased competition between providers of information goods.
    1. In ed tech, schools are the customers, but students are the users.

      This also reminds me of the market disconnect between students and their textbooks. Professors are the ones targeted for the "sale" or adoption when the actual purchasers are the students. This causes all kinds of problems in the way the textbook market works and tends to drive prices up--compared to a market in which the student directly chooses their textbook. (And the set up is not too dissimilar to how the healthcare industry works in which the patient (customer) is making a purchase of health care coverage and not actually the health care itself.

  19. May 2018
  20. annotatingausten.sfsuenglishdh.net annotatingausten.sfsuenglishdh.net
    1. ten thousand a year

      Darcy’s income was more than 300 times as much the average per capita income of his time. Translated into today’s currency, Mr. Darcy would have an annual income of over $300,000 (http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/printed/number12/heldman.htm).

  21. Apr 2018
    1. an effective marginal cost of zero

      This aspect of information goods is oft quoted as a distinguishing feature whose existence supports a radically different approach from previous publishing methods.

      It's true that the marginal cost is dramatically decreased with digital publishing. But there's a big difference between "closer to zero than before" and actually zero. The marginal cost of digital information goods is not actually zero. That people are willing to trade their privacy in exchange for someone else bearing the costs of managing information is one piece of evidence of this.

  22. Mar 2018
    1. You could throw the pack away and deactivate your Facebook account altogether. It will get harder the longer you wait — the more photos you post there, or apps you connect to it.

      Links create value over time, and so destroying links typically destroys the value.

  23. Dec 2017
    1. Evolutionary theory looks far, far into the past. From this vantage, pirates were doing what came naturally throughout our history as a species—cooperating within their groups in a way that was rigorously policed and behaving as a corporate unit toward other groups in a way that was adapted to the ecological context.
  24. Nov 2017
    1. „Gość Niedzielny": „Młodzi ludzie nie kryją, że noszenie patriotycznych ciuchów jest z ich strony formą manifestacji poglądów, wręcz swoistym wyznaniem wiary".On Interia: „Rośnie zainteresowanie odzieżą z symboliką patriotyczną. Noszą ją ludzie na ulicach, biegacze w parkach czy celebryci. To już nie jest chwilowa moda".„Polska The Times Plus": „Jedni mówią przy tej okazji o renesansie patriotyzmu, inni o modzie bardzo powierzchownej, bo istotą patriotyzmu jest wnętrze człowieka".

      2017.11 RZ "Red is bed"

    1. Everyone has a right to free speech, but in practice many individuals have very little access to free speech. When we try to address this on platforms, by clamping down on things like harassment or bots, it’s portrayed as “curtailing” free speech, in the same way that making the rich pay more tax or follow regulations is seen by conservatives as “curtailing” economic opportunity.

    1. Now, on to my third problem: I think Angus Maddison may be doing things wrong. I realize this is a rather presumptuous thing to say, but I think it's true. Specifically, the assumption that GDP before 1700 was proportional to agricultural productivity seems to me not to be a good one. The reason is that even in a non-industrial society, there is a potentially huge source of GDP increases: trade. Remember, in a world where output is mostly in the form of commodities (i.e. no increasing returns to scale), the old Ricardian theory of trade makes a lot of sense. Stable ancient empires that could act as free trade zones were probably capable of dramatically increasing their per capita GDP beyond the base provided by the productivity of their land. This is the finding of Ian Morris in Why the West Rules For Now. He constructs a "social development index" that includes things like urbanization and military capabilities, and probably correlates with an ancient region's per capita GDP (it is hard to build cities and make war without producing stuff). He finds dramatic changes in this social development index over the course of the Roman Empire; at its height, Rome seems to have been extremely rich, but a couple centuries earlier or later it was desperately poor. Morris corroborates this index with data on shipwrecks, lead poisoning, and other things that would tend to correlate with output. Basically, Rome saw huge fluctuations in per capita GDP. But it is unlikely that Rome's agricultural productivity changed much over this time. Instead, what probably happened was the rise and fall of cross-Mediterranean trade. If trade could make Rome dramatically richer, and its absence could make Rome dramatically poorer, then Maddison's data set is wrong. Just because most people in 100 AD were farmers does not mean that most people were subsistence farmers. And frankly, I'm not sure how people use Maddison's data set without noticing this fact.

      Trading is very important. The West advantage over China in the past.

  25. Sep 2017
    1. The investment to increase production volume is still in anticipation of future demand — not a response to existing demand.

      Maior insight do mundo.

      Políticas de estímulo à demanda de qualquer coisa podem ter o efeito contrário, até, se aos empreendedores parecer que aquela política se traduzirá em menos demanda futura.

    1. America, money is not speech and corporations are not person. We've done these experiments haven't we?

  26. Aug 2017
  27. Jul 2017
    1. MIT is running a master's program in data, economics, and development policy with unique admission requirements. Anyone can apply after completing five online courses through edX with in-person exams.

      https://micromasters.mit.edu/dedp/

    1. But to focus on the advantages of Vietnam’s geographical location would be to downplay the commitment of the ruling Communist Party’s investment in its own people, with the backing of international development organizations. Since the 1990s the country has borrowed more than $14 billion to revolutionize its national infrastructure, creating the conditions for rapid and sustained growth. This has included rural electrification schemes ensuring that more than 97 percent of households in the countryside have access to mains power – up from less than 50 percent in 1998 – and the extension of the nation’s road transport network. These innovations have supported the huge expansion of the country’s industrial base, powered by workers who have benefited hugely from the government’s investment in education. In standardized math and science testing, Vietnam’s youth now outperform those in the United States and United Kingdom.
    1. The remaining major factor underlying wealth and poverty is the state of the natural environment. All human populations depend to varying degrees on renewable natural resources—especially on forests, water, soils, and seafood. It’s tricky to manage such resources sustainably. Countries that excessively deplete their resources—whether inadvertently or intentionally—tend to impoverish themselves, although the difficulty of estimating accurately the costs of resource destruction causes economists to ignore it. It helps explain why notoriously deforested countries—such as Haiti, Rwanda, Burundi, Madagascar, and Nepal—tend to be notoriously poor and politically unstable.
    2. Thus, geographical latitude acting independently of institutions is an important geographic factor affecting power, prosperity, and poverty. The other important geographic factor is whether an area is accessible to ocean-going ships because it lies either on the sea coast or on a navigable river. It costs roughly seven times more to ship a ton of cargo by land than by sea. That puts landlocked countries at an economic disadvantage, and helps explain why landlocked Bolivia and semilandlocked Paraguay are the poorest countries of South America. It also helps explain why Africa, with no river navigable to the sea for hundreds of miles except the Nile, and with fifteen landlocked nations, is the poorest continent. Eleven of those fifteen landlocked African nations have average incomes of $600 or less; only two countries outside Africa (Afghanistan and Nepal, both also landlocked) are as poor.
    3. Two major factors contribute to the poverty of tropical countries compared to temperate countries: diseases and agricultural productivity. The tropics are notoriously unhealthy. Tropical diseases differ on average from temperate diseases, in several respects. First, there are far more parasitic diseases (such as elephantiasis and schistosomiasis) in tropical areas, because cold temperate winters kill parasite stages outside our bodies, but tropical parasites can thrive outside our bodies all year long. Second, disease vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks, are far more diverse in tropical than in temperate areas.
    4. The remaining factor contributing to good institutions, of which Acemoglu and Robinson mention some examples, involves another paradox, termed “the curse of natural resources.” One might naively expect countries generously endowed with natural resources (such as minerals, oil, and tropical hardwoods) to be richer than countries poorer in natural resources. In fact, the trend is opposite, the result of the many ways in which national dependence on certain types of natural resources (like diamonds and oil) tends to promote bad institutions, such as corruption, civil wars, inflation, and neglect of education.
    5. An additional factor behind the origin of the good institutions that I discussed above is termed “the reversal of fortune,” and is the subject of Chapter 9 of Why Nations Fail. Among non-European countries colonized by Europeans during the last five hundred years, those that were initially richer and more advanced tend paradoxically to be poorer today. That’s because, in formerly rich countries with dense native populations, such as Peru, Indonesia, and India, Europeans introduced corrupt “extractive” economic institutions, such as forced labor and confiscation of produce, to drain wealth and labor from the natives. (By extractive economic institutions, Acemoglu and Robinson mean practices and policies “designed to extract incomes and wealth from one subset of society [the masses] to benefit a different subset [the governing elite].”)
    6. The various durations of government around the world are linked to the various durations and productivities of farming that was the prerequisite for the rise of governments. For example, Europe began to acquire highly productive agriculture 9,000 years ago and state government by at least 4,000 years ago, but subequatorial Africa acquired less productive agriculture only between 2,000 and 1,800 years ago and state government even more recently. Those historical differences prove to have huge effects on the modern distribution of wealth. Ola Olsson and Douglas Hibbs showed that, on average, nations in which agriculture arose many millennia ago—e.g., European nations—tend to be richer today than nations with a shorter history of agriculture (e.g., subequatorial African nations), and that this factor explains about half of all the modern national variation in wealth. Valerie Bockstette, Areendam Chanda, and Louis Putterman showed further that, if one compares countries that were equally poor fifty years ago (e.g., South Korea and Ghana), the countries with a long history of state government (e.g., South Korea) have on the average been getting rich faster than those with a short history (e.g., Ghana).
    7. There is no doubt that good institutions are important in determining a country’s wealth. But why have some countries ended up with good institutions, while others haven’t? The most important factor behind their emergence is the historical duration of centralized government. Until the rise of the world’s first states, beginning around 3400 BC, all human societies were bands or tribes or chiefdoms, without any of the complex economic institutions of governments. A long history of government doesn’t guarantee good institutions but at least permits them; a short history makes them very unlikely. One can’t just suddenly introduce government institutions and expect people to adopt them and to unlearn their long history of tribal organization.That cruel reality underlies the tragedy of modern nations, such as Papua New Guinea, whose societies were until recently tribal. Oil and mining companies there pay royalties intended for local landowners through village leaders, but the leaders often keep the royalties for themselves. That’s because they have internalized their society’s practice by which clan leaders pursue their personal interests and their own clan’s interests, rather than representing everyone’s interests.
    1. So the logical response to Trumpism is to counter him with someone who can truly challenge the economic status quo, rather than being a mere avatar for such hopes.

      And the final call to action is economic, not cultural. It makes all the earlier handwaving about culture seem beside the point. The models for change here seem contradictory and either/or.

    2. Trump is the product not just of a fluke election or a racist and sexist backlash, but the culmination of late capitalism

      This is what the article could be about if it weren't for the author's distaste for contemporary culture.

    3. The waves that carried a ridiculous TV celebrity to the presidency are being propelled by a deeper current of globalization: the triumph of the unreality industries, the move of manufacturing jobs out of the developed world, and the proliferation of technologies that saturate us with media.

      Burying the lead. At the top of the article, media overload is the culprit. Down here, globalized economics finally enters.

    4. encanaillement

      more distaste for the plebian

    5. the collapse of old bourgeois norms among the rich and powerful, even as class hierarchy remained strong (if not more entrenched than ever)

      Why is this powerful economic factor always made to see like an effect of a cultural project?

  28. May 2017
    1. income

      Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters must live on 500 pounds a year which converts to $50,100.00 into today’s revenue<br> (Lawrence H. Officer and Samuel H. Williamson, Computing 'Real Value' Over Time With a Conversion Between U.K. Pounds and U.S. Dollars, 1774 to Present, MeasuringWorth, 2017.).

    2. His appearance, however, was not unpleasing, in spite of his being in the opinion of Marianne and Margaret an absolute old bachelor, for he was on the wrong side of five-and-thirty;

      This scene shows Marianne and Margaret's critical views on the physical appearance and age of eligible bachelors. Despite the girls' opinions of Colonel Brandon as an unattractive bachelor, his age as an eligible companion was not uncommon during this period due to his stature in society. According to Shoemaker, "In general, the gap in marriage ages increased higher up the social scale. There was a five-year gap among the London middle-class in the early eighteenth century, which extended to as much as ten [years] among the wealthiest groups, such as merchants, the gentry, and the aristocracy" (Shoemaker, Gender in English Society 1650-1850, 92).

  29. annotatingausten.sfsuenglishdh.net annotatingausten.sfsuenglishdh.net
    1. hardly forty.

      Fanny Dashwood seems to be suggesting that age forty is still young and that Mrs. Dashwood will live for several more years, thus earning more payments from the annuity. According to data gathered by Max Roser, the average lifespan for women in 19th Century England was about 45-50 years. https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy/

    2. was merely a cottage

      The Dashwood women are reduced to living on £500 a year. This is a drastic change from Norland Park, which is assumed to be a substantially larger living. This would carry the Dashwood women from the gentry to the upper middle-class. A cottage is a realistic option for their new economic status, but is definitely a degradation from their former life.

      http://web.stanford.edu/~steener/su02/english132/conversions.htm

    3. moiety

      "A half, one of two equal parts." (OED)

      Used here to explain that the father has half the control of the fortune while the son will inherit the other half when he comes of age.

  30. enst31501sp2017.courses.bucknell.edu ens