Wednesday assorted links

1. Dominant assurance contracts and the blockchain.

2. Financial incentives and social incentives.

3. Should Netflix “speed up” movies?

4. A Duke job market paper taking a sympathetic look at income-sharing agreementsJoshua Jacobs.

5. “I find that lowering the level of [NIMBY] restrictions in California back to its level in 2000 results in a large reallocation of labor. The state’s population rises by 45%, while the income gap and house value gap between California and the rest of the U.S. falls by 3.7% and 2.7%, respectively.”  From Don Jayamaha, on the job market from NYU.  Updated paper link here.

6. My overrated vs. underrated segment for NPR.


5. So population would have risen 45% and the cost of housing would have decreased only negligibly? That almost makes NIMBYism sound rational.

Assuming any economies of scale, this is the wrong conclusion.

There is a massive welfare gain in workers moving to high productivity areas and commuting less. Commuting is a deadweight loss due to housing restrictions.

We are unintentionally creating transaction costs where tech companies need to shift to Austin, Texas. It’s expensive and unnecessary. NYC has already lost thousands of back end jobs for the same reason.

The equilibrium is that sales is in SF NYF and everything else is in the south.

5. “I find that lowering the level of [NIMBY] restrictions in California back to its level in 2000
California is completely different today then in 2000, twenty years is a long time in California.

I interpret NIMBY as "not expanding city/[sub]urban land area".

The investment in expanding urban land area slowed in the decades before 2000 and then effectively stopped.

There are new and future "big cities" in California, but their growth is slower because transportation connections to the megacity they would normally provide new housing to is not being built either before or after.

Consider the slowly being constructed high speed rail, currently under construction in the central valley. Even without it being close to providing service to the terminal in the heart of SF, its focusing developers on points along the line, which will gain value when the connection is made in a decade or three.

California for a century of rail then freeway construction grew rapidly in buildable land area around every station or exit. But that requires taking of land and government spending (imputed for rail, eg "free" land with resources, like timber).

2 - Both financial and social incentives are important.

Conrad uses Marlow to expound a similar conclusion in Heart of Darkness.

"No, I don't like work. I had rather laze about and think of the fine things that can done. I don't like work - no man does - but I like what is in work, the chance to find yourself. Your own reality - for yourself, not for others - what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means."

#2, If it's a desecration for Netflix to provide a means for viewers to speed up or slow down movies, will novelists also want to control the rate at which readers turn the 'pages' on their e-books?

3: This is hilarious. Netflix is looking to give people more options, so of course lefties are enraged. And it goes without saying that Tyler plays right along, pretending that a company is actually changing something, when they are merely giving customers an option.

Please print all this out and bronze it for future generations.

This option actually drives me nuts, because I can't stand how slow Netflix shows already are. They lack the constraint of TV and have lost the discipline. If this becomes easy for the user to utilize, I'm scared Netflix will get sloppier still.

Amusing seeing these Grade B arteests complain about this. They think people are obsessing over their "art", when people are in fact passively watching their shitty movies as they smoke weed, eat ice cream, vege after work, and fuck their dates.

Judge Apatow net worth: $90 million. Business owner.
Aaron Paul net worth: $16 million.

You people are weird.

I will continue to watch movies and TV shows on Netflix the way they were meant to be watched: on my five-inch phone screen, three minutes at a time, in between checking my email and my RSS feed, with the sound turned off and the closed captions on, on the bus during my morning commute.

#6. I was expecting for TC to exercise more restraint on UR/OR economists. Of course it depends on how your value scale/ranking works, but seems to me that most economists are rated as zero (if for no other reason than the vast majority of economists are unknown to the general population). So if Economist A has a zero rating and it would be say a 0.001 (because s/he significantly contributed to creating or fixing a project, plan, or budget somewhere important) if we only knew. And if you use "% Underrated" as the scale then 0.001 divided by 0 is much larger than say Adam Smith being rated a 1 and deserving a 100. As I think about the "game", it appears to require Elitism. Because unless we accept the idea that we can construct the complete set of elements in the category (e.g. people, places, epochs, things, etc.) then we can't know which element ranks highest (or lowest) based on any (non-tautological) scaling/ranking.

Tyler said on NPR that "median income in Chile has gone up by about 50% over the last decade" yet it's real GDP per capita has only increased by 25%. The BBC shows Chile's real median monthly income was 340,000 pesos in 2014 and 380,000 pesos in 2018 for a 12% increase those years.

Tyler must mean nominal income has increased 50% since 2008.

5. Add 45% to a population of 40,000,000? 18,000,000 million more people in an overcrowded state? No thanks! Oh, there is plenty of open space up in them thar hills? You mean in the urban/wildland interfaces where many of the catastrophic fires occur? No thanks once again.

It's a good thing nobody takes this sh*t seriously. Seriously! You gotta be kidding!

"The state’s population rises by 45%": how does he allow for the extra demands on infrastructure that would result? You know; roads, dams, water lines, sewers,electrical grid, power stations, all that stuff? Oh, and high speed trains.

Right, and all this construction would have to happen in 14 years (restrictions rolled back to 2000 levels, model calibrated at 2014).

15M people moving to California in 14 years? His model seems to assume that cities and transportation are non-congestible goods. And in addition to the public goods and infrastructure that deariemie lists, there's also the task of providing private goods for 1M people additional people per year i.e. building housing, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.

The slow down in infrastructure building slowed before 2000 so by 2000 little new was completed afterward.

Projects planned in the 70s would still be adding capacity in the 90s, but not much after. Most projects had 50% or more Federal funding.

This Federal funding was available to all states willing to provide the match. Rural america only had to match 10% while urban areas footed often half the costs.

Texas is the only state where the state is spending lots of money. Lots on tollway.

#3: Finally! I had had to move my Netflix viewing to my computer, where I was already able to speed up my viewing. Netflix viewing was losing out to audio book listening where it's easy to speed up.

6. Marx as most overrated economist... But was he an economist?

Netflix just needs to sell this option as “rap for movies”. They are simply empowering their users to create new works of art.

Tyler, who are the most underrated and most overrated harmonica players (divided by diatonic and chromatic, and by genre, please)?
Is Neil Young overrated, underrated, or correctly rated?

2. Wow, the Slate Star Codex guy seems to have a better grasp of economics than Duflo and Banerjee (whose NYTimes op-ed was pretty weak). #thegreatforgetting

That was my reaction as well.

[Alert! Pure Mood Affiliation snark] It must be NIMBYism that has driven so many Californians to build homes in places like Paradise, resulting in the blackouts. :)

#2. I thought the article on financial incentives was self-confirming. The incentive for writing it was almost surely a desire for "status, dignity, social connections." (virtue-signaling), not financial gain.

In the context of their empirical work, it makes sense to reject simple economic incentives to get people to adopt treated mosquito nets or better application of fertilizer. Likewise it makes sense to suspect that the recent "Tax Cuts for the Rich and Deficits Act of 2017" will not produce a paroxysm of additional work and entrepreneurship by the upper 0.01% who reaped its benefits. Still, their works seems to be better interpreted as an insight into the optimal design of incentive systems -- financial and non-financial -- rather than a general theory of the non-utility of financial incentives.

What Tax Cuts for the Rich happened? SALT deduction functioned as a raise for the wealthy.

Don't tell me you're still living in la-la-land?

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