Thursday assorted links

1. Noah Smith responds on market power.  I say concentration alone doesn’t mean much; that’s been accepted since the 1970s, and I still see no evidence for market power showing up as retail output restrictions at a higher pace, and that is the most direct and welfare-relevant prediction of the theory.  Without that evidence, the story doesn’t have support, and the burden of proof is on that side of the argument.  (Furthermore I am worried that they don’t even mention this test, much less perform it.)  And if intermediate input market power doesn’t “trickle down” into consumer goods output restrictions…it’s like that proverbial tree falling the forest.

And here is a Matt Yglesias dialogue with the authors, I haven’t heard it yet.

2. There is a world championship in Excel spreadsheets, and it was just won by a 17-year-old from northern Virginia.

3. Robin Hanson’s Age of Em TED talk.

4. Andrew Batson on Chekhov’s Sakhalin Island.

5. Julia Galef lists (but does not endorse) unpopular ideas.  I agree with very few of them, by the way, but they are intrinsically interesting to ponder.  What also strikes me is the implicit terms of debate, mostly moves toward greater social liberalism.  How about Christian or extremely non-egalitarian ideas?

6. Are “walking marriages” disappearing in Sichuan?


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