Assorted links

1. The Monty Python culture that is Norway.

2. Tim Harford on the limits of Big Data.

3. Can gratitude reduce costly impatience?

4. Education, in-state vs. out-of-state tuition arbitrage.  File under markets in everything.

5. Why has the price of limes quadrupled?

6. Proof by watercolor painting: “The Lamington, Australia’s famed dessert, was actually invented in New Zealand and originally named a “Wellington”, according to new research published by the University of Auckland.”

7. The extreme hazards of microbial sex (speculative).


Number 6 is an April Fool's joke from (I assume) the Guardian's Australian bureau - nb the byline of Olaf Priol = April Fool

2- I find it amusing that he talks about big failures in ancient presidential polls, while today we barely have to run elections, because Nate Silver tells us who is going to win.

That's a fine collection of April Fool posts.

I fail to see the joke on #2, please help =)

Looks like Tyrone has been spending a little too much time in enzed and has fallen for the evil Kiwi propoganda. Don't you believe it, mate!

In Germany, college towns are imposing taxes on students to entice them to register as residents there and not at their parents' hometown.
In the US, savvy businesspeople take money so people can register in their college towns.

#4-In-state vs. Out-of-State Tuition:

It is costly to enforce price discrimination, as Oliver Williamson has never tired of pointing out. Here, the price-discrimination is not in favor of those willing to pay less, but of those more deserving, in this case--by definition--in-state residents. What barriers are there to States giving residents scholarships, redeemable at any accredited or approved university [in the world]? The only [political] barrier seems to be State universities!

The idea is not from Nirvana: New York State had such Regents' Scholarships until SUNY was formed! I was a [small] beneficiary of such a Regents' scholarship.

Alaska does this, though I believe they are only redeemable at certain schools. Of course that is because the only even acceptable school in the state is UAF, and even most Alaskans can't handle a Fairbanks Winter.

Some might argue that there are positive externalities to having in-state universities that would be lost if residents took their scholarships out of state. After all, presumably the case for public funding of education relies at least in part, if not mostly, on an externality argument that taxpayers benefit from subsidizing someone else's education. The in-state vs. out-of-state issue would seem all the more pertinent since many college graduates end up finding jobs and settling near their college towns instead of moving back to their home states after graduation.

On the other hand, the resident scholarship has certainly been advocated at the K-12 level, where it's sometimes called a voucher. In that case, there is no lost positive externality since the private schools are located in the same state as the public schools. Even so, there indeed seem to be large political barriers from teachers unions.

I remember our daughter getting mailings from Alaska Southeast (Juneau) informing her that she'd been "pre-approved" -- all we had to do was send a check to reserve her spot.

On the plus side, this provided a nice example for us to discuss.

(my previous comment was supposed to be a reply to Roy)

#2 Ignorant commentary by someone who obviously doesn't understand any technological innovation past the year 1975. The reality these old statistical "rules" are tired and obsolete and the Valley has given us a revolutionary way of understanding every single aspect the world in exact detail.

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