Assorted links

by on October 16, 2011 at 8:44 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Markets in everything, the article is longer than I would have thought.

2. NFL moral hazard.

3. “You shouldn’t expect much from us,” new article on Sargent and Sims.

4. How Apple approached developing Siri’s personality.

5. Gary Leff with an informationally dense treatment of attractive flight stewardesses.

crankee October 16, 2011 at 9:04 am

There are NO margins on which US flight attendants are superior to those in most Asian airlines. Leaving aside physical attractiveness, they are less attentive, less friendly, less competent, less able to assist you, less courteous, and probably less capable of handling an emergency. In addition, I believe the worst older ones are also more highly paid. (How many US FA’s could pass the swim test of some airlines, which if one really worried about crash landings in water would be an important skill?)

Jim October 16, 2011 at 10:29 am

“they are less attentive, less friendly, less competent, less able to assist you, less courteous, and probably less capable of handling an emergency. ”

You could have just said “more unionized” and saved a lot of time.

Patricia Mathews October 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

“Markets in everything” – I could have lived a long and happy lifetime without knowing about that. TMI, Mr. Cowen, TMI.

TallDave October 16, 2011 at 9:09 am

2. That’s a real problem in basketball, but in football high draft picks don’t always work out so well (e.g. JaMarcus Russell) and the effect of any one player on the team is generally smaller because there are so many players on the field at a given time, on top of the defense/offense split, so the moral hazard there is mostly just for the fans, I think. Good NFL organizations tend to develop great players from lower picks — Aaron Rodgers was drafted 24th, Clay Matthews 26th.

5. Very amusing, thanks for sharing.

Jim October 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

>Aaron Rodgers was drafted 24th, Clay Matthews 26th.

… and Tom Brady 199th. Also, Ryan Leaf called.

I continue to marvel at how the NYT can write 30 paragraphs about a blindingly obvious subject, and manage to say the exact same thing in nearly every paragraph. Could you put “Warning: NYT” in the link text from now on?

Cliff October 17, 2011 at 10:35 am

This is a unique situation. QB is by far the most important position, and this is the best QB prospect in 15 years at least.

Billy S October 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I.d have to agree and disagree on that one QB is by far the most valuable position but i believe that the WR would have to be the most important positions now these days. For you could be playing in a top 5 rank football team in the nation coming out of college as a top pick but if you don’t have that back up to get you to the end zone your team isn’t gonna make it. Take the panthers for example No. 1 pick Cam Newton he’s is an all around good rookie 1847 yards passing which is by far the most as a rookie, but if he had a good receiving team to run the routes and get the ball the panthers would be better then a 1-5. That’s what i think

8 October 16, 2011 at 10:17 am

In China there are competitions to become a flight attendant, the desire for the job is that high. One factor from the labor supply point is the travel, young women enjoy traveling and consider the average wage and cost of flying. American women who are hot can earn higher wages and buy tickets, so there may not be as much supply. Also, consider the status of the job. It’s not a high status job anymore in the U.S.

My guess is that if a U.S. airline did hire only hot stewardesses, it might develop a small advantage. However, I recall a stewardess suing because she said she was fired for getting fat. And maybe they can pull it off, but I imagine there would be lawsuits if 80% of the stewardesses got fired after reaching age 28. It’s the lawsuits that ruin it for everyone.

Asian airlines destroy American airlines on service and hotness. The worst is to buy a ticket from an Asian airline and then learn that it’s codeshare and you end up on an American flight. Bait and switch!

K October 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

In older American movies, flight attendants were hot too. That was when flying was still a luxury good that could be afforded by elites. If the profit of air industry is high, they could attract pretty young girls by offering higher wages.

In China, compared with train transportation (not the bullet train), flying is still a luxury good. Bullet trains have pretty attendants too.

Jake October 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

Oh those unions! Because we know those multimillionaire executives don’t actually run the airlines, set standards of corporate conduct or hire and train managers to enact those policies. Perhaps we should hire some Chinese executives – they’ll certainly be cheaper for the shareholders.

crankee October 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

We don’t need to hire Chinese managers, we just need to allow Open Skies. If we allowed all airlines to operate domestically and made them free from US labor laws we would see how quickly the equilibrium would shift. It would just mean that a lot of older unpleasant FA’s would be retired and new fat ones with bad attitudes would never be hired.

Jay October 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Not like Americans, or the NYT cares much about the original football (the one where every player’s foot actually makes contact with the ball) but there was the West Germany v Austria 1982 World Cup match….

http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2010/06/15/game-theory-in-practice-scheduling-the-fifa-world-cup-group-stage/

James C October 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm

the NFL draft is marketed so that teams with losing records can still draw in fans throughout the season, only they cheer to lose rather than to win. of course many times the player the fans want their team to draft ends up being a bust. i remember the Houstin Texans having the number 1 draft pick and getting shredded by the media and their fans for taking Mario Williams over Reggie Bush and Vince Young. and now, years later, we know they made the right choice as Bush and Young have amounted to nothing in the NFL, whereas Williams is a Pro Bowler.

i find the draft is much more important in the NBA, where one player can turn a team from bottom dweller to a contender. it would pay off in dividends for intentionally throwing away a season if it meant drafting the next Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, etc.

Benny Lava October 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Not only that but people tend to pay more attention to “skill position” players like quarterbacks and wideouts, when the linemen are really the back bone of any great NFL team. The best quarterback will look bad if the offensive line can’t give any protection.

Peter October 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Markets in everything … there’s something far less drastic that women can do, which will vastly improve their appearance. In fact it’s not so much doing something, as *not* doing something.

Claudia October 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Peter, I find your advice to women a bit cryptic…and maybe that is best. I am quite sympathetic to the journalist’s concern about the training. Maybe if more women read Lissa Rankin’s (very approachable and funny) “What’s Up Down There?”: http://www.owningpink.com/lissa-rankin-md/books this market would shrink on it’s own.

rapscallion October 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

#3
If you view the macroeconomic modeling as useless, the Sargent and Sims article certainly confirms your priors.

On the one hand, answers to basic policy questions are, “not likely to be simple,” even though “An expansionary fiscal policy is probably what we need right now” (sounds simple to me). Although the definition of “expansionary fiscal policy” is far from clear because, “President Obama deserves praise for offering a “grand compromise” — including spending cuts and tax increases.”

Also, despite having no real advice to give, criticisms of their basic methodology aren’t well appreciated: “It doesn’t really make much sense to stand on the sidelines and take potshots at them,” he said. “If you don’t like the way they’re working, you should try to do better.”

The Hat of the Three-Toed Man-Baby October 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm

If you view rapscallion as a jackass, his post certainly confirms your prior. And that is true for most people, I suspect.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: