by Tyler Cowen
on February 26, 2016 at 11:43 am
1. Timothy Taylor on the World Bank.
2. Assortative mating across disorders.
3. A model in which only preferences for prestige survive evolution.
4. Mortgages to buy pharmaceuticals? Paper is here.
5. Geographic average is over (NYT); “It’s almost like you are looking at two different countries…”
6. Oddest book title prize shortlist.
#3: ” Nothing else matters: Evolution of preference for social prestige”
Always wondered what that song was about.
“In short, the idea of the World Bank as a major player in global capital markets for low-income countries no longer fits with the facts of the world economy.”
OK then, retire the World Bank now. It was a bad idea at its inception.
2. This could contribute to explaining why certain traits persist despite (all other things held equal) harming survival and reproduction rates.
“A model in which only preferences for prestige survive evolution.”
Ah, I see someone’s been playing Crusader Kings 2.
I looked it up, and it looks intriguing.
Quality strategic games that do not require cardboard and dice — i.e., are electronic — are rare, in my experience.
1. It’s true that the original mission of the World Bank may no longer be relevant, but it’s also true that the World Bank is needed more today than when it was created. By that I mean that what happens there may soon happen here: in a shrunken world, problems know no borders. World public health is an appropriate analogy to world economic health: health concerns there are best addressed there since they can’t be restricted to there and will soon find there way here if not addressed there. And problems there, whether health or economic, travel fast.
3. Pinker cites someone else’s list of “universal’s” found across human cultures. “Status seeking” is there too.
Anons and random names are nice because they reduce status seeking as a motive.
#2. Another reminder to single men and women to meet the entire family before choosing a spouse.
But Silver Linings Playbook was such a sweet movie.
I’m being too terse.
During the bad old Gilded Age, wealthy families always tried to select “good breeding” for their children’s wifes/husbands. Consequently, mental illness acquired a huge social stigma and such relatives were locked away in attics or other places where nobody would find out about it. Especially in the upper class.
I don’t think we want to go back to that era. Genes for schizophrenia etc are only risk factors, not a guarentee offspring will be mentally ill. The risk is something like <5% that a person who has the genetic risk factor will develop schizophrenia. Same for most other disorders.
A mental illness gene in the family tree shouldn't be a reason to dump someone you otherwise care for, and really shows a shallow personality if that's the deciding factor in a relationship.
Hazel, ‘breeding’ or ‘good breeding’ referred to your manners, not your genes. People were locked away in asylums because schizophrenics are commonly unmanageable in ordinary circumstances. And, yes, the problem children of the early 20th century small town patriciate were known to the wider public.
People were looked away because doing so was in the narrow political or economic interests of those in power, just like those who lock young people in schools. Schizophrenics can be successful CEOs; the ones I know succeed more than normal people. Normal people lack creativity and ambition. They end up as nurses, and the only reason they earn any money at all is the healthcare system remains propped up by a misguided attempt to avoid WWII price controls.
People were looked away because doing so was in the narrow political or economic interests of those in power,
No, Dan. People were locked away in 1925 because they were too crazy to take care of at home and there wasn’t much else you could do with them. Large numbers of schizophrenics living at large in the community as we speak are on disability and looked after by family because they retain some serious deficits in their social skills and in the degree of order between their ears. The higher functioning will be in jobs which partake of technical skills and do not incorporate supervising others or interacting in ways that require being able to read people. You’re not going to make a CEO out of John Hinckley or Clayton Cramer’s brother.
I don’t think so. “Good breeding” was frequently used to mean “comes from a good family”, not merely “well-mannered”. A “good family” being one with a lot of noble ancestry. People would choose their spouses based on the quality of the family line, which would obviously encourage people to bury any hint of mental illness or other disabilities in the blood line.
This is even the premise of several 19th century novels.
I don’t think so. “Good breeding” was frequently used to mean “comes from a good family”,
A “good family” being one with a lot of noble ancestry.
A ‘good family’ or ‘background’ refers not to ‘noble ancestry’ but to your reputation in a given community, which requires (as a co-worker of mine put it) “three generations in the graveyard”, not some eugenic examination of your bloodlines or some analogue to a hereditary knighthood. All of my grandparents qualified. Eighty years in the same town and a moderate prosperity will do just fine for that.
I wasn’t referring only to breeding or offspring. I am also suggesting that if you want to know more about who your potential spouse is – or what he/she may turn out to be – get to know the family members. Your partner might have a lot more in common with her crazy sister or do-nothing brother than you realize.
Joseph Epstein once published some short fiction which had a father advising his son, “Get a look at her mother, ‘cuz that’s what you’re gonna get.”
That’s even worse. Now you’re stigmatizing people based on who their family members are, rather than out of concern for your potential offspring. Whatever else we’ve learned as a society, it’s to treat people as individuals and not judge them based on what their relatives are like.
Not stigmatizing, just want to reduce the risk of marriage problems down the road.
If dumping someone because they have mentally ill relatives isn’t stigmatizing, what is?
Always check the stable door for the name of the sire and dam.
If you’re in a used bookstore, always check to see if they have a miscellaneous category — i.e. books that don’t fit any of their other categories. Interesting stuff can end up there. That may be where I found my manual for funeral home directors which summarizes the funerary practices of pretty much any religion you would have been likely to encounter in the U.S. in the 1950’s. You just look up any religion, and this book tells you what to do.
#5 That picture of Camden sure looks depressing, and I’m not saying Camden isn’t distressed in a lot of ways, but Google Street View 603 Broadway, Camden, NJ 08103 and take a virtual stroll down the street. Not as bleak as the narrow image seems.
Camden’s a slum. That’s a function of poorly structured local finance (property taxes levied on slums), of placing police services at the municipal level rather than the county level, of institutionally otiose police, of otiose public sanitation (not sandblasting the grafitti and billing the owners), and disorder in schools. However, rejiggering the local tax systems, investing in police protection, hiring more street sweeping crews, and remanding disagreeable youths to day detention centers run by jail guards incorporates employing cops (disliked by liberal journalists) and people who do dirty blue-collar jobs (beneath the notice of liberal journalists unless you can build a sob story around them). Better to leave the seeds of the idea that ‘something isn’t working’ so local pols are motivated to hire more social workers and hustle for more housing vouchers, more school apparatchicks, more illiterates in community college, and make-work summer jobs programs.
What you describe is actually redistribution from wealthier, whiter suburbs to Camden — how else to pay for all these things? Police services in the city of Camden have been handled by the Camden County Police Department since 2013.
The dense settlement in Gloucester, Camden, and Burlington Counties has a population of about 900,000. About 8.5% of that number live in Camden. Income levels in the City of Camden are about 41% of the mean for the three counties. If the financing of ordinary municipal services (street maintenance, traffick engineering, water delivery, sewerage and drainage, trash collection, street sweeping, parks, athletic centers, municipal parking, branch libraries, fire protection, ambulance services, the planning department, the inspectorates enforcing the building and fire codes, and the city registries) in an average municipality relies on county revenue sharing for 30% of the total and municipal taxes and fees for 70%, maintaining tax assessments of mean severity in Camden City would require that the county governments finance 70% of common expenditures. Where I grew up, ordinary municipal services of the sort described set the public back just north of $1,400 per capita in a typical municipality. The necessary effective cross subsidy to Camden city would be about $85 per person or $225 per household in among those living outside Camden in the three counties in question, and within Camden city, you’d have to replace property taxes with an income assessment.
Now, and $85 cross-subsidy (or 0.2% of mean per capita personal income per annum) isn’t going to bother me. It bothers others, not because it cuts into their standard of living, but because they think the municipal government in question will waste the money (a serious concern), or because they despise slum residents and hold many fanciful notions about them, or because they’re adherents to vulgar Randianism (like the combox participant who told me that if people cannot pay their medical bills out of pocket they deserve to die in the gutter). Lots of people are in more than one of the foregoing categories. I’m irritated by lots of things, but cutting an $85 check or a $225 check so municipal employees can repair the water main outside the apartment building of one of the home health aides looking after my aunt at the local nursing home just doesn’t rate. YMMV.
The former CSA + New Mexico + rural western counties + coal mining
Why are we surprised? Not.
More so than today, by 1860 the South and North were two very different places.
#5 – a significant issue for this recovery is that after the spending of the short-term stimulus dollars, it was the private sector that drove the recovery. The private sector is interested in the new; new plants are easier to build on greenfields, and tech and other services want to be in denser, wealthier environments. Total public sector employment has fallen significantly, which hurts the more economically depressed places more, vs a bustling city where government taking up space does have a crowding out effect.
I think a big factor in all this, in addition to the general austerity that dropped public sector employment, is the lack of earmarks. Republicans can’t steer projects to depressed rural areas if there is an opposition to both projects in general and to earmarks in particular.
#2: Also known as looking for someone whose demons play well with your demons.
If you’re used to a certain behavior at home, you’ll seek out that behavior in a mate. I don’t see why disorders would be any different.
Also known as the ability to relate well to one another.
It seems that there is some data, besides countless novels and other human experiences, that women like narcissistic bad boys with issues. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3461843/Why-women-look-bad-boys-Brooding-looks-reveal-dark-triad-personality-traits-make-men-strong-fathers.html
Eh, men like narcissitic girls with issues, too, so it all comes out in the wash. Can’t have a damsel in distress without the distress.
Hmm, the correlation of female narcissism and hotness. Yes, hotter woman are more crazy. As a man you want to be like Goldilocks, and find one that’s just right. To much hottness, the more crazy, but who wants to marry an ugly girl (relative to you at least). One of the more amusing commentary about this is the Hot/Crazy Matrix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuI6GTY9eVc
A couple times, thinking “just crazy enough”, only to find over some time “Woops! Waaaay to crazy for me!” 🙂
We share a common enemy in the establishment.
One of the results is assortative mating ACROSS psychiatric disorders, which suggests seeking out “demons” other than your own.
The simple fact of being excluded from 80% of the dating pool might be relevant too. Beggars can’t be choosers and all … although hopefully the feeling of it isn’t like that for these people. E.g., FINALLY they meet someone who doesn’t run for the hills the moment they hear of a mental health diagnosis.
#5: Social hypochondria.
#3 What does it mean to act on preferences instead of behaviors? Doesn’t preference direct behavior? Also, is this paper saying if we want to maximize the extent to which our values are passed on, we just do whatever is most prestigious?
#5. Two of their categories- job growth and number of businesses- are measured by starting in 2010. Different areas could logically have had more (less) growth over that span partially due to the fact that they had larger (smaller) declines during the recession. Starting from the previous business cycle peak in 2007 would seem to be a more relevant measure.
Any “growth” statistics are also sensitive to differences in demographics and population growth in different parts of the country. Is the rate of employment growth really all that meaningful without also looking at the population itself?
#4 – Not just no, HELL no. Look at what happened to college tuition after student loans became more available. The minute you can mortgage your financial future for a life-saving treatment, all life saving treatments will require that you do so. There is no way this could end well.
1) World Bank loans are more targeted than he suggests. They do not target the entirety of the world’s absolute poor, but rather they target specific interventions in specific countries. Consider that India broadly eschews foreign involvement in its development strategies, immediately eliminating a very significant share of the global poor from the potential target group. Further eliminating all regimes which are deemed too corrupt or dictatorial to deal with, you are left with a much much smaller potential target group. Also consider that many of the world’s poor live in countries who do not face the sort of capital-raising constraints targeted by the World Bank.
While the argument that the World Bank is undercapitalized can still certainly be made, the case could not possibly be more exaggerated than is done by Timothy Taylor.
I agree with the argument that the World Bank’s technical expertise is its comparative advantage. Cooperation between national economists and Western economists on World Bank teams is sure to improve analytical capacity in many countries where such capacity is most lacking. Consider, for example, its involvement in many resource-rich countries in helping to develop credible macroeconomic management plans to deal with such things as Dutch Disease, poor resource allocations during booms, and to reduce the swings of resource allocations between boom and bust periods.
2) People with psychiatric disorders are likely to meet while institutionalized or as a part of social networking endeavours by community workers (which generally only includes counsellors and patients, not members of the community at large). Also, people with disorders are less likely to be negatively judged by other people with such disorders, and they can find commonality in their efforts to deal with their respective disorders. Similarly, the simple fact of being excluded from non-disordered mating markets implies that these people are more likely to match up in their smaller pool of disordered individuals. Consider that much of the population believes that a schizophrenic is a person who is generally on the verge of committing massive violence and who entertains all manner of irrational conspiracy theories, whereas another schizophrenic will not generalize from the more extreme cases.
5) Surprise! Areas which lost out in global competition in manufacturing are populated by people with few skills to thrive in the digital economy, and also lack access to social networks which will improve their employment and business prospects. The lack of financial resources and human capital serves as a barrier to their migration to other geographic areas and/or sectors of the economy.
2) I find this very interesting because it explains the prevalence of comorbidity across psychiatric disorders. Other than greater access to and acceptance of other disordered people, as Nathan W suggested, could complementaries in preferences and behaviors also be driving these patterns?
#5 I wonder how Kiryas Joel is recovering? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/nyregion/kiryas-joel-a-village-with-the-numbers-not-the-image-of-the-poorest-place.html
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