Assorted links

by on January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Where in the store should you place the condoms?

2. Paul Krugman on inequality and recovery and Stiglitz.

3. Are all prices in Norway this high?

4. Tim Duy on inflation in Greece, but sorry falling inflation of a few scant percentage points doesn’t do the trick, nor does the 1% deflation which finally arrives at the end of the energy-subtracted series.  For a simple point of comparison, the rate of U.S. price deflation in 1932 was greater than ten percent with overall deflation running at about twenty-five percent over a period of a few years.  More recently, Japan had nine straight years of core CPI deflation and Greece cannot even manage anything close to that.  Just what is the Greek Phillips Curve supposed to look like?

5. Where Chinese growth is coming from.

6. Shruti R. on James Buchanan.

7. Fake economist fools Portugal (for a while).

dearieme January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

Where in the store should you place the condoms? On the bananas of course.

Urso January 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

The first sentence of that abstract: “Condom purchasing is an important preparation for condom use. ”

English Comp classes should be required for all science grad students. Every semester, if need be.

boba January 21, 2013 at 7:12 pm

English composition for Dutch scientists? The authors are Dutch, not sure of the nationality of the editors. As an aside, I saw in a Amsterdam t-shirt shop, a shirt with the image of a skull wearing a military beret, with the slogan: American Commando, Speak English or Die. And one other thing, “Every… , if need be…” Every hear of Muphry’s Law?

prior_approval January 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

But is Tim Duy being obtuse? Inquiring inflationists – or deflationists, depending on the measurement – are curious.

bluto January 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

Oh 4chan how boring the internet would be without you.

boba January 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm

That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the lede, then I see the galloped to the rescue. But behind the chalet, my holiday’s complete, and I feel like William Tell, Maid Marian on her tip-toed feet, pulling mussels from a shell… ( Source. )

Andrew' January 21, 2013 at 11:53 am

7. Fake economist fools Portugal

Real economists are pissed because that is their job.

Yancey Ward January 21, 2013 at 12:15 pm

+1000

Naser January 21, 2013 at 11:57 am

you mean: “are all prices in Norway this low?”

JWatts January 22, 2013 at 11:22 am

Or more pedantically, what is the exchange rate between Kroner’s and Facebook likes? Without knowing the exchange rate, how do we know what the cost actually is?

Sebastian H January 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I’m probably misunderstanding a key term, but can Greece really have massive deflation while their currency is still the euro? Aren’t they small enough that they are along for the ride wherever the euro goes and no matter how inappropriate it may be?

Yancey Ward January 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I am sorry, but what is the argument for Greece being better off out of the Euro- is it that they can then inflate, or is it that they can then deflate?

Rahul January 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Precisely. I’m confused too how the comparisons with US / Japan neglect Greece’s not having its own sovereign currency.

Tom E. Snyder January 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Fake economists having been fooling the US for decades (see Keynes, John Maynard and Krugman, Paul).

Wimivo January 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Hear ye, hear ye, random internet hack exposes 22nd most cited economist in the world as “fake economist”

Bill January 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Re: Where should you place the condoms in the store?

One of the findings was that women were embarassed to purchase them, were sensitive about asking for condoms if they were behind a counter, etc.

But, they were willing to purchase items that increased the sensuality of the experience.

So, how would you structure a purchase without an embarrasing request: tie products.

With a personal lubricant purchase, you get some free condoms inside the package. You could have personal lubricant packages with and without condoms, and I bet you would have more purchases with the former, and more overall condom purchases, bundled and unbundled.

travisallison January 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Regarding Greece:

1) Imports make up 21% of GDP. Those prices aren’t going to fall and perhaps given Greece’s economic situation, no one wants to invest capital to produce those goods at cheaper prices (assuming they could even do so with wage stickiness and rising taxes).

2) Commodity prices haven’t fallen a lot. A significant portion of US deflation in the 30s was because of collapsing commodities. That’s not the case in Greece.

3) How much of the inflation for the past 5 ex-energy has been due to increased taxes and wage stickiness. Have wages been indexed upward due to union contracts?

Dave Barnes January 21, 2013 at 1:15 pm

“Where Chinese growth is coming from.”
From herbal remedies for penis enlargement sold over the internet.
Where else?

Andre January 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm
zbicyclist January 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm

#1 Condoms in the baby food aisle is one possibility.

http://www.collegehumor.com/picture/6806578/condoms-sold-next-to-baby-food

Seriously, the authors’ recommendation for multiple places in the store seems like a cop-out. It doesn’t seem practical for this type of category.

Alexei Sadeski January 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Indeed.

Placing condoms in multiple locations around the store may increase the amount purchased? Woah, how insightful! I wonder if this would work for other, more profitable items as well!

ThomasH January 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I don’t understand why high investment is supposed to be a problem for country X (for China), unless one can make the argument that the investment has a zero or negative rate of return. If a large percentage of GDP is being invested poorly THAT will be a problem for future growth. But with labor force falling, doesn’t capital deepng have to accelerate to keep the growth rate up?

ThomasH January 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

“deepening”

JWatts January 22, 2013 at 11:29 am

“I don’t understand why high investment is supposed to be a problem for country”

I don’t think high investment is the suspected problem, but suboptimal investment.

Large investments that yield 1% long term returns aren’t bad in abstract. However, if they displace investments yielding 2%, the country won’t be as prosperous in the long term.

superdestroyer January 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Is the question that Krugman and Stiglitz raising really a question of wasted human capital of is it more nuance in that the U.S. cannot or will not identify talent in the poor and middle class. Sending millions more poor people to college will probably do little for the economy other than create more jobs of adjunct faculty. However, identifying students from poor families who have a high chance of succeeding at the highest levels but will probably not get the chance is a very different question.

I suspect that elites like Krugman have been around nothing but other elites for so long that he has forgotten how dumb most Americans really are and how few of them are really talented enough to add to the economy.

Steve January 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I think you underestimate hard work and opportunity compared to talent. The opportunities available to the poor are greatly different than those of the rich.

Brian Donohue January 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Meh. “the U.S. cannot or will not identify talent in the poor and middle class.”

It is my understanding that members of the poor and middle class come equipped with brains that enable them to figure this out for themselves- especially the talented ones.

I have heard within poor families, a strategy of “loading up resources on the talented one” is not uncommon.

Miley Cyrax January 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

@3

It’s almost as if girls like attention the way guys like sex…

axa January 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

#1: of course, you solve everything by good placing. ever heard of human capital? friendly staff that does not bullies people would help. in this case machines are way better than humans.

Claudia January 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

2. Krugman’s follow up is thoughtful too: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/more-on-inequality/ He makes many good points and having previously looked into this question some, I would agree that the bits of evidence come out on his side. Of course, the economics could be swamped by other concerns.

Donald Pretari January 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Those Condoms might be more useful if they’re placed on a penis.

nobody important January 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm

#1. I liked the first line of the abstract: “Condom purchasing is an important preparation for condom use.”

FYI January 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Wow, is this Krugman finally coming back to the economics arena? I don’t even remember the last time he wrote a piece that was non-partisan – much less one that is against something being pushed by the pink Intelligentsia!

Maybe there is hope for everyone after all.

JWatts January 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm

+1

Tom T. January 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Notice that the abstract states that precisely 69 men answered the survey about condom placement.

Sam January 22, 2013 at 1:34 am

The goal is to get people who are shy or embarrassed about sex to purchase condoms. Obviously, you don’t require people to ask for them, or place them in clear sight of the shop assistant. Equally obviously, you don’t put them in the girly aisle by the tampons, because men won’t go there. So put them next to the toothpaste, and have automated checkouts so that embarrassed condom purchasers don’t have to interact with a human.

Ed D January 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

I remember being unable to find them and having to ask the young lady pharmacist. She directed me to the Dental Hygiene section.

Greg January 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm

RE: Greek Inflation
When I read this I thought that it probably has to do with imports making up a large share of Greek consumer spending. So I looked up some data and did a simple calculation. Imports of ‘merchanted goods’ and ‘general merchandise’ were approximately 36% of Greek consumer spending in 2011. I do not know how that compares to other countries, but it certainly seems like alot. Additionally, Greek consumers have to compete with export demand from the rest of the EZ (Greece’s trade deficit has been shrinking after all) , which is having less severe demand side problems. So it just seems like a case of Greece being confined to a relatively narrow spread from overall Eurozone inflation, since Greece is way to small of an economy for its falling income (no matter how severe) to appreciably influence the EZ inflation rate. Add to that rising energy costs and I could be just as suprised that Greek inflation is not higher.

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