Assorted links

1. How to keep your job, by Tyler Cowen.  This recommendation works only in some sectors, not all.

2. Carlo Maria Cipolla's Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.  Arguably some of them are…stupid.

3. How do we know NBA players are trying harder in the playoffs?  Can you find a good quantitative metric?  What does this imply for labor economics and JB Clark?

4. Should we let private equity hold a majority stake in banks?  Read this piece and be tempted by the idea…

5. Will Kindle DX save newspapers?  Probably not.

6. The Flores "hobbit" had really long feet; probably a separate offshoot then!


#2 would be a lot funnier if the author had a shred of writing ability.

"How to keep your job" is excellent.

How to keep your job shows how you are an academic that really believes in simple introductory economic theory, nothing more.

Can you show me a real world example of wages and jobs having opposite signs? The only one I know of is the Japanese bonus system, but that was an integral part of the life time employment package.

It clearly did not happen in the US depression as wage and employment changes had the same sign every year from 1929 to 1940 but the transition year of 1933.

"How to keep your job, by Tyler Cowen."

Um, weren't you defending the ridiculously high salaries for the incompetent buffoons who screwed up at AIG? Seems counter to your advice here. I thought the Cowen advice was: when you are patently horrible at your job, demand more money!

The hobbit confirmation as a separate species changes a lot about our understanding of the "out of Africa theory", as well as brain size and intelligence.

How to keep your job shows how you are an academic that really believes in simple introductory economic theory, nothing more.

Years ago my father was called into a meeting with senior management where the awkward topic of getting "fresh blood" into his position came up. They wanted to terminate him but he negotiated a new position with a lower salary. And he's not an economist.

Tyler's disclaimer is important, though. In especially large and bureaucratic firms where it is difficult to monitor employees, a request for a salary cut could be a very bad signal. It shows you are not confident in your future prospects and skills and could trigger the reaction, "Who is this loser? Obviously we don't need him around." If you are a manager in such a firm, the strategy may work better.

gorobei, he worked in the human resources department of a mid-sized consumer durables manufacturer.

1. The hobbit was not out of extreme proportions, especially when considered in light of the Austromelanesian population around Flores.

2. It is not settled science that the hobbit is a new species. For example, there is good evidence that the hobbit had a developmental disorder, maybe Laron Syndrome.

For further info on both these points, see "Pygmoid Australomelanesian Homo sapiens skeletal remains from Liang Bua, Flores: Population affinities and pathological abnormalities " PNAS September 5, 2006 vol. 103 no. 36 13421-13426 at

I think he's saying it could be done. It probably isn't done because of the stigma. No playa is going to bench themselves even if it is best for the team.

Maybe there should be a lottery system or some other way to establish anonymity.

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