Craig Palsson does economics on YouTube — Market Power

His channel is Market Power, and he promises new economics videos every Tuesday.  Here is the associated Twitter account for the channel.  Here is his video “How much does vibranium cost in the Marvel movies?”:

Here is another video “How much is an Oscar nomination worth?

And I am pleased to announce that Craig is a newly minted Emergent Ventures fellow.  He also is an economic historian, and has lived for two years in Haiti, both big pluses in my view.


By the by: how much time do contemporary superheroes and superheroines (even those possessed of quick reflexes) require to don their masks and costumes before responding with heroic spontaneity?

(Superman wore his get-up under his street clothes every day, a concession to office decorum at The Daily Planet, but how many changes a week did he ever make to his Superman garb?)

Looks as if it might take our contemporary heroes and heroines a good quarter-hour just to be sure all the buttons are buttoned, the zippers zipped, the Velcro fastened, et cetera, before they can strike the first heroic pose with dramatic lighting and stirring musical accompaniment: hard to believe that their spontaneity of response is not compromised by costume considerations.

Batman and Iron Man need their suits to fight though. Captain America? Not so much, but then again he tends to spring into action without his costume.

I don't watch the Oscars. I doubt they choose films based on quality but rather on a narrow bias. I don't consider and Oscar as a good reason to see a movie. Many years ago when Siskel and Ebert were on TV and giving thumbs up/down I would always pay attention. If they gave two thumbs down I knew it was a good movie. Ditto for the Oscars.

After some NFL games you can occasionally see players trying to take off their somewhat tight jerseys. Often they help each other. Now imagine Spider-Man and Supergirl just getting dressed, in those skin tight outfits. No wonder medieval knights needed an entourage of handlers and helpers.

Craig needs to check his white male privilege.

Iron Man just presses a button. Hulk isn't a costumed hero. Thor dresses like a god pretty much all the time. The none of the Xmen need to change. I thought you had a point until a whole 2 seconds of thought made me realize you didn't really have one.

None, I'm sure, except perhaps possibly maybe the point that the grandeur and grandiosity summoned or conferred by elaborate costumes in the panels of comic book universes (especially when dramatic images are translated to movie format--see image atop this page) seem to overawe heroes'/heroines' characters and accomplishments both, especially when the action is gauzed over with pyrotechnics and helplessly synchronized to pulse-pumping soundtracks.

(I take it that this is the Black Panther we see above, but for the life of me, I can't say what acts of heroism he performed once he got his toilet together.)

The better question - as I'm sure we can all agree - is how many indigenous pygmy African tribes were destroyed, oppressed and relocated by the rise of Wakanda? How much has Vibranium mining damaged their environment? What about all those slaves? Are the mining foreman paid a "living wage"? What about the Vibranium monopoly (they horde it you know...gotta keep those prices high)? Why aren't they doing more to keep black-market vibranium off the international illicit arms market? Why aren't they doing more about Antarctic "Blood-Vibranium"?

Wakanda's Vibranium operations are a MASSIVE causer of climate-change!!!

Good questions. Presumably answered in the sequels. Not.

Still much, much less than the coal used by China and the United States. I say this as a development economist who is long term optimistic about the GDP trend, population growth, tax regime, and human capital development of Wakanda. See the recent papers by Lee and Stan for more background on the new ground the T'Challa administration is exploring for new areas of growth. This is not an economy doomed with a resource curse.

It's institutions still lag. Power is too concentrated in the executive and there isn't a strong mechanism for meritocratic selection. Still, if it had more immigrants from the West, I'm sure diversity would triumph.

Hey, didn't you do that paper on high energy radiation a few years back? Did that go anywhere?

Wakanda has the world's most meritocratic election process. You want to be leader, you wrestle for it. Our executive has political power in proportion to their physical power. We don't have weak leaders as a result. Wakanda is welcoming to immigrants. We ask the ones that want to stay to learn the latest science and technology to keep our economy and military the world's strongest. King T'Challa himself has a PhD in physics from Oxford and expects the utmost from Wakanda's citizens.

TC: "He also is an economic historian, and has lived for two years in Haiti, both big pluses in my view." - only if he's white and non-Haitian, otherwise he's a nativist.

Bonus trivia: economic historians get no respect; Brad Delong post from this month: "So perhaps what Larry means is that smart, honest, honorable economists like the fifteen he name-checks—Janet Yellen, Raghu Rajan, Bob Shiller, Paul Krugman, the late Jim Tobin, Bill Nordhaus, Partha Dasgupta, Amartya Aspen, the late Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty, the late Milton Friedman, Andrei Shleifer, Dick Thaler, the late Charlie Kindleberger, a guy who really, really does not belong in that company, ..." - really, really? Really? ouch! Delong does not like ordinary people using non-formal math being economists, it hurts the mystique?!


You now, there was an interesting quote from a Post article this morning - 'Schlapp added, “It’s harder for a donor to make an impact in a social media world where a guy with a large Twitter following might have more sway than the guy with a large savings account.”'

A clever donor, however, just might donate in order to help a guy get a large Twitter following, because sway is really a matter of perspective in the end.

Though in all fairness, twitter is not anywhere near as influential as the sort of resources i360 uses to ensure the proper data support to those causes it supports.

Which, oddly enough, no longer includes the Republican Party, according to that article. Prompting a cynical person to suggest that is because Trump will end up cratering the Republican Party, and even heavy funders of the tea party movement are appalled at what is going on.

Or at least don't want their name attached as they bring up a new generation of untainted - and well vetted - public policy advocates.

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.

Is "cratering the Republican Party" something you would view as a positive?

My small-I independent definition of cratering the Republican Party includes covertly liberal losers like Flake, McCain, Romney, Ryan.

In fin, one of Trump's (numerous) super powers is to spread dementia among geniuses like yourself.

Prior’s “dementia” isn’t that. It’s tendentiousness and an unhealthy obsession with GMU. And it predates Trump by decades.

I see.

Trump's super power is give felony sentences to people around him. He also gives really good head to the Saudis.

Your blog lacks any way to find articles. There are only the headers FAQ and Blog. Blog shows nothing. Yet there are articles (the ones for the YT videos). Perhaps this is Chrome-only.
I really like when there's an archive, that shows all entries on one endlessly scrolling page, like in SSC. I hate clicking on a thing to load a next page like on MR.
This however is the worst system:

(maybe there's still time to prevent a future great blog from having a horrendous archive; have to get them early)
Gotta admit, though:
"Marginally Improving Thinking at the Margin" is a pretty sick slogan.

The Culture that is America: Superheroes, money, and stripping Third World of its natural resources. What's not to love?

I thought the video about the value of an Oscar interesting. He considered both the inherent value and the publicity value. Michael Jackson paid $1.5 million for the GWTW best picture Oscar. Like Jackson himself, the Oscar has gone missing. But get this: the Academy opposes free markets. Now, if the holder wishes to sell an Oscar, she may only sell it back to the Academy. For $10. Every recipient has to sign a contract with the restriction. I suppose one might say that the free market in Oscars is gone with the wind.

Surely you could arrange an "indefinite loan" of the Oscar?

Jackson hasn’t gone missing, he’s dead.

As for the lack of a free market in Oscars: I can’t sell the library books I borrow either. So what?

Curious why living in Haiti is a "plus"? I suppose TC also believes having unprotected sex with HIV+ people is also a "plus". Virtue signalling runs amok. Without the details about how his living there has impacted the LOCAL community, I see no reason to mention where he lives as being anything other than useless information. We had an exchange executive who moved to Ohio from Mexico for two years with his family (2 or 3 kids and wife). He was offered the chance (after extending his stay twice) to become a permanent U.S. green card holder (retaining his position) or moving back to the "wonder" of Mexico City. Why, I asked, would ANYONE want to have their family live and grow up with the dramatically inflated risks that living there exposes them to? How is Haiti different? So, family aside, what does this guy do which is likely to have any long-term effect of the sorry state that is Haiti?

Li, this is your most bizarre comment. Is the anti-China stuff getting to you? If it helps, you're one of the good ones that don't lie, cheat or steal American technology and business.

Snark comes to Marginal Revolution.

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