Assorted links

by on March 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. Where does foreign aid go?

2. The hardest logic puzzle ever posed?

3. The science of free-throw shooting.

4. Tony Judt on girls, sex, and marriage.

5. Old post by me, cited today by Brad DeLong.

6. Does pragmatism improve our lives?

7. Measuring the influence of Hayek.

8. German scholars preparing first critical edition of the Koran.

9. European mummies in the Chinese desert.

Millian March 16, 2010 at 1:12 pm

7. A wonderful model that yields ridiculous results. I would be reluctant to publish a paper that suggests Friedman’s influence on economics is less than that of Hayek, to say nothing of Kahneman, based on an entirely non-qualitative measure. But I suppose there is a niche for everyone, and GMU is it in this case.

Millian March 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

A follow-up to my earlier comment on 7. Almost all references to Hayek concern the economics of information, e.g. the calculation debate. The high count is given a helping hand by the large quantity of references to Hayek in the year of three laureates, who of course won the Prize for their work in mechanism design. However, this does not mean Hayek is more important than Friedman or Samuelson, or even a more recent figure like Lucas. It simply means he filled one niche that became uncontroversial; an important foundation, but by its banality not specially Hayekian.

Would Hayek have defined his career solely in terms of information? Possibly. Probably not. The Nobel committee certainly didn’t think so; both monetary theory and institutions were their choices in the citation. Yet nobody wants to cite Hayek on monetary policy. Nobel laureates may agree with him on information, but his ideas are dead everywhere else.

Andrew March 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm

“…even a distinguished economist like Paul Krugman believes that if it
were not for his politics, Hayek would be “virtually forgotten†”

That struck me as funny.

spencer March 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm

The interesting thing on foreign aid is that India and Egypt are probably the only countries that would be significant in almost any time period from the 1950s till today. If you checked other years you would get countries like Vietnam, Korea, Israel and other countries that was important to US foreign policy at that time. I use to believe Israel has been the single largest receipeint of US foreign and military aid. Is that still true?

Alan March 17, 2010 at 6:09 am

I found it very interesting that the Free-throw article had a drawing of a granny next to the B-ball player. The “Granny throw” method is actually the most accurate way to sink free-throws. However, it’s not very macho and therefore not practiced except for Rick Berry who had a 90% free-throw average while in the NBA.

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/the-body/07-physics-proves-it-everyone-should-shoot-granny-style

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