Tuesday assorted links

by on September 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Robert H. Bates, The Development Dilemma: Security, Prosperity, & a Return to History, provides an interesting look at Kenya vs. Zambia with regard to state capacity, and drawing some parallels to earlier England vs. France.

2. Stephen Williamson on the Phillips Curve.

3. Catching up on the Chinese economy.

4. The science of producing new colors.

5. Do groups lie more than do individuals?

1 Per Kurowski September 12, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Do groups lie more than individuals? Yes! Groupthink puts lies on steroids.

Just look at how the members of that mutual admiration club we know as the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision, when engaging in incestuous groupthink convinced most of the world with that lie that holds that what is ex ante perceived as risky, translates into being dangerous ex post… this even when all empirical evidence points to the opposite, namely that what is really dangerous for bank systems is what is perceived as very safe and can thereby cause large exposures.

http://perkurowski.blogspot.com/2016/04/here-are-17-reasons-for-why-i-believe.html

2 JWatts September 12, 2017 at 1:19 pm

“#3: However, a small number of key input categories have very large say triple digit year over year price increases. Coal and steel, though other base inputs have experienced similar price increases, are the major examples. ”

Does that convoluted phrasing translate to saying that the price of coal and steel doubled last year in China?

3 Mark Thorson September 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm

I can’t speak for steel, but I was surprised to learn recently that China had pulled ahead of the United States in having the largest recoverable coal reserve. It’s staggering how much coal they are now estimated to have. The coal shortage in China seems to be an artificial shortage, created to reduce air pollution. And yes, it has driven up prices.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2017/09/06/2003677870

I would guess steel is a similarly unfavored industry for air pollution reasons. If China could outsource steelmaking to other countries, that would also help clear the sky in Beijing.

4 Li Zhi September 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

#4. I’m sure that the “millions of dollars” worth of dyes that he’s given away for free were made in his basement lab on evenings and weekends with material he purchased (or otherwise acquired) personally. Otherwise, the costs are carried by someone. A modern synthetic organic lab is very expensive to supply, operate and maintain. Yet he “doesn’t care” about money. I take that to mean that he lets someone else worry about (and pay for) his “work”.

5 Lanigram September 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

#5) Well, duh!!! That pretty much explains the behaviour of Hillary Clinton and her gang of cheats, liars, and thieves!

To prove it, all we have to do is look at her emails! Oh, wait…I forgot…

Oh well, it’s a moot point anyway,

6 Brian Donohue September 12, 2017 at 2:31 pm

#2 “Most committee members think the fed funds rate will be above 2% by the end of 2018…”

I’m willing to make book on this deluded nonsense. The FOMC has consistently missed low for a decade now, and that ain’t gonna change soon.

7 Hazel Meade September 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm

#5. Perhaps more accurately stated as: In-group members are more likely to lie to out-group members than in-group members are to lie to other in-group members. The in-group probably has some sort of honesty norm within the in-group, but that honesty norm doesn’t hold for the out-group. Instead an ingroup will support and justify lying to the outgroup. But it won’t support the individual member lying to other in-group members.

Also, should be noted that the ingroup might be a smaller ingroup within a larger ingroup. So the larger group might have a norm of behaving honestly, but the smaller in-group might justify lying to people outside the smaller ingroup, overriding the larger group’s honesty norm. Like prioritizing family over tribe, tribe over nation, nation over everyone else. I wonder if this effect is stronger in some culture than others – i.e. cultures where loyalty to blood is paramount.

8 Adrian Ratnapala September 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm

I only read the abstract so I can’t make an interpretation. I assumed the lies were, in all cases, told to the experimenter or to some proxy the put in place that appeared neutral. But I take your point: there is a potential correlate, that whatever social set-up the experimenters varied will also vary the extent to which the person being lied to is seen as “in” or “out”.

9 Govco September 12, 2017 at 10:17 pm

I think that explains a significant chunk of poll responses, although it’s more titty-twisting than lying.

10 Careless September 13, 2017 at 12:29 am

Don’t worry, if you read the abstract and understood it, you’re miles ahead of Hazel.

11 George September 12, 2017 at 5:52 pm

I’m confused….so many economists say we have a tight labor market, because of the unemployment rate. Setting the lower labor participation rate aside, why is anyone analyzing this using only numbers from the US? Labor is abundant and cheap. Plenty of businesses can get labor abroad if they need it…not here, but there is a thriving cross-country movement of plenty of manufacturing and services. The world is full of underemployed people, just not here. Well, that’s not the problem it would have been 40 years ago, now is it?

12 Thiago September 12, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Hazel is a work of perfidy, of vindictiveness, of a secret attempt to poison the presuppositions of life – a bad work. The preaching of chastity remains an incitement to anti-nature: I despise everyone who does not experience Hazel as an attempted assassination of basic ethics.

13 anonymous reply to Thiago September 13, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Well Alice from the Brady Bunch was a lot like Hazel, and she was hardly perfidious at all. As for Hazel herself, how one misses the gentle humor of the daily cartoon strips of yesteryear! Perhaps the praise of chastity, my young friend, had more benefits than you imagine.

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