Econlinks: The ‘Economics and Reality’ edition

  • Harald Uhlig has an interesting recent paper entitled “Economics and Reality”  (intentionally recalling Sims’s 1980 ECMA, indeed) . While he discusses the relationship between Economics and Reality (yep, isn’t that what you all hope to hear?) mainly in terms of Macroeconomics (you know, the black sheep of the family), I thought he does that in an informative and at the same time very concise way.
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Econlinks: Kamelåså et al

  • Before I come up with my Econ Nobel forecast — a week to go, stay tuned– let us take a look to the 2010 Nobel Ig prizes related to Economics. The Economics Ig Nobel itself is perhaps not very unexpected this year–though not very creative either (I wonder whether Oliver Stone is behind this too; his latest movie gets pretty mediocre reviews– IMDb, RottenTomatoes— despite all the hype).
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Quote for week 10th-16th Feb ’08

At the root of the difference between the Libertarian and welfarist-Utilitarian conception of optimal tax policy is the relationship of the individual to the state. The welfarist-Utilitarian model sees the state as an entity outside the individuals who compose it, in that the government puts in place policies that are optimal according to its own social welfare function.

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A heated debate on gender-based taxation

I mentioned this article from VoxEU by Alessina et al a while ago (1st bullet point). Meanwhile Gilles Saint-Paul came forth with a tough critique and Alessina, Ichino and Karabarbounis have replied today.

All very interesting (& most likely this is just the warming up stage…), but I really think all these researchers are (most likely willingly…) missing the more general point raised by Greg Mankiw (this is a great paper, by the way!).  → Read more

Econlinks for 27-12-’07

  • How to avoid recession in USA: Greg Mankiw’s answer. Gary Becker and Richard Posner advocate a similar perspective (the argument is centered, of course, on the subprime housing mess). Former Fed boss Greenspan already said that one should do absolutely nothing and wait for the bubble to break on its own, just as the people above (e.g.
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Salivating over economics in public

Definitely the morning pill today. Couldn’t have phrased this better. From a self-defined “Ec10 slut” and necessarily via Greg Mankiw :-). The conclusion of this short article is useful to keep in mind as future reference, for everybody– both outsiders and insiders to economics:

When we use the tools that economics give us, we need to be sure that the complexity of the models we use match the complexity of the real world situations.

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How intelligent should leaders be?

Although I think there is more to the story, quite insightful thoughts from Richard Posner and Gary Becker on the relationship between intelligence and leadership. A few potential caveats I’d point out very rapidly:
  • the examples considered are clearly selected to fit the theory advanced (though it is far from clear that if one considered, say, all -succesful and unsuccesful – political leaders within the last century, from all over the world, not just the USA, the correlation between intelligence and leadership would turn positive)
  • “leadership failure” is far from easy to define.
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