Category: Data Source
Some of the nation’s largest metropolitan regions have become increasingly segregated in the last 30 years, underscoring racial inequalities that have led to poorer life outcomes in Black and brown neighborhoods, according to a study released Monday by the University of California Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute.
The study found that 81% of regions with more than 200,000 residents were more segregated in 2019 than they were in 1990, despite fair housing laws and policies created to promote integration.
Some of the most segregated areas included Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit in the Midwest and New York, northern New Jersey and Philadelphia in the mid-Atlantic.
Conversely, large metropolitan regions that saw the biggest decrease in segregation included Savannah, Georgia, San Antonio and Miami.
Southern states have lower overall levels of segregation, and the Mountain West and Plains states have the least
…the magnitude of the earnings disparities along the perceived attractiveness continuum, net of controls, rivals and/or exceeds in magnitude the black-white race gap and, among African-Americans, the black-white race gap and the gender gap in earnings.
1. It is often the educated (and often left-wing) coastal elite that commits the most lookism and also enforces it through internal norms of dress, thinness, etc.. Yet they are so desperate to believe they are better people than competing white interest groups (amazing how unself-aware they are about how obvious this is) that they just don’t want to bring looksism to your attention. Upon presentation, this will receive the “yes, that’s bad too” treatment, and then it won’t be talked about any more. Looksism will continue unabated, and indeed it may intensify as some other isms decline.
2. It is worth keeping this information in mind when trying to hire people or find untapped sources of talent.
Mask-wearing has been a controversial measure to control the COVID-19 pandemic. While masks are known to substantially reduce disease transmission in healthcare settings (Howard et al 2021), studies in community settings report inconsistent results (Brainard et al 2020). Investigating the inconsistency within epidemiological studies, we find that a commonly used proxy, government mask mandates, does not correlate with large increases in mask-wearing in our window of analysis. We thus analyse the effect of mask-wearing on transmission instead, drawing on several datasets covering 92 regions on 6 continents, including the largest survey of individual-level wearing behaviour (n=20 million) (Kreuter et al 2020). Using a hierarchical Bayesian model, we estimate the effect of both mask-wearing and mask-mandates on transmission by linking wearing levels (or mandates) to reported cases in each region, adjusting for mobility and non-pharmaceutical interventions. We assess the robustness of our results in 123 experiments across 22 sensitivity analyses. Across these analyses, we find that an entire population wearing masks in public leads to a median reduction in the reproduction number R of 25.8%, with 95% of the medians between 22.2% and 30.9%. In our window of analysis, the median reduction in $R$ associated with the wearing level observed in each region was 20.4% [2.0%, 23.3%]. We do not find evidence that mandating mask-wearing reduces transmission. Our results suggest that mask-wearing is strongly affected by factors other than mandates. We establish the effectiveness of mass mask-wearing, and highlight that wearing data, not mandate data, are necessary to infer this effect.
Here is the link and source.
Data released by the Labor Department this morning show that last month, 61.6 percent of the working-age population were active in the labor force, either working in jobs or looking for them. That is essentially unchanged from the summer of 2020.
The second most significant statistic is that wages are soaring. In May, average wages grew at a 6.1 percent annual rate. In April, they grew at an 8.7 percent annual rate.
Combined, these two statistics tell much of the story of the economy this spring: Employers are boosting wage offers in order to attract and retain workers, who are increasingly difficult to attract and retain. This is a situation you’d expect with employers’ demand for workers growing much faster than workers are returning to the labor market. Labor demand is booming, and labor supply is not keeping up.
Here is more from Michael Strain.
In 2000 nearly a third of the combined value of the world’s 1,000 biggest listed firms was in Europe, and a quarter of their profits. In just 20 years those figures have fallen by almost half. Europe is a place for companies such as Amazon and TikTok to find customers, not a base for local firms to conquer the world…
Of the world’s 142 listed firms worth over $100bn, 43 were set up from scratch in the past half-century, 27 in America and ten in China. Only one was in Europe: sap, a German software group founded in 1972. Half of Europe’s richest ten billionaires inherited fortunes spawned long ago; in America nine of the top ten are wealthy solely because of companies they founded.
Here is more from The Economist. This is all the more reason for the United States to boost allowed emigration from the European Union. It is also an object lesson in which are the true barriers to trade, often including language, culture, and national borders, even in the presence of (nearly) free trade.
Finally, the proportion of equilibrium play increases significantly until fifth grade and stabilizes afterward, suggesting that the contribution of age to equilibrium play vanishes early in life.
Here is more from Isabelle Brocas and Juan D. Carrillo, forthcoming in the JPE.
The standard economic analysis of product-line pricing by Mussa and Rosen (1978) implies that higher-quality varieties command higher absolute mark-ups. It is widely claimed that this property does not apply to wine lists. Restaurateurs are believed to overprice the second-cheapest wine to exploit naïve diners embarrassed to choose the cheapest option. This paper investigates which view is correct. We find that the mark-up on the second cheapest wine is significantly below that on the four next more expensive wines. It is an urban myth that the second-cheapest wine is an especially bad buy. Percentage mark-ups are highest on mid-range wines. This is consistent with the profit-maximising pricing of a vertically differentiated product line with no behavioral elements, although other factors may contribute to the price pattern.
We found that across states, a doubling of population size is associated with a 22 to 33 percent increase in regulation.
The relationship between regulation and population is surprisingly robust- it also holds for Australian states and Canadian provinces, and based on the limited data we have seems to hold across countries too (for instance, the “free market” United States has 10 times as many regulations as Canada- just as it has 10 times the population).
What is less clear is why this relationship is so strong. Mulligan and Shleifer attribute it to a fixed cost of regulating; larger polities can spread this cost over more people, making the average cost of regulating cheaper, so they do it more. We note two other explanations: larger polities might have more externalities worth regulating, or if regulation produces concentrated benefits and dispersed costs, a larger population could make it harder for those harmed by regulation to organize collectively to oppose it.
That blog post is based on work from James Bailey, James Broughel and Patrick McLaughlin, the latter two my Mercatus colleagues, written by James Bailey.
This paper studies the relationship between religious liberty and economic freedom. First, three new facts emerge: (a) religious liberty has increased since 1960, but has slipped substantially over the past decade; (b) the countries that experienced the largest declines in religious liberty tend to have greater economic freedom, especially property rights; (c) changes in religious liberty are associated with changes in the allocation of time to religious activities. Second, using a combination of vector autoregressions and dynamic panel methods, improvements in religious liberty tend to precede economic freedom. Finally, increases in religious liberty have a wide array of spillovers that are important determinants of economic freedom and explain the direction of causality. Countries cannot have long-run economic prosperity and freedom without actively allowing for and promoting religious liberty.
Via the excellent Kevin Lewis.
The paper’s subtitle is “Genetic Links between Risk-Taking and the Likelihood of Holding Managerial Positions.” It is hard for me to verify or assess this kind of result, but I pass it along for its interest:
Do genes determine who will become managers? Using the UK Biobank data, we study the phenotypic and genetic correlations between the likelihood of holding managerial positions and physical, cognitive, and mental health traits (n = 297,591). Among all traits we examine, general risk tolerance and risky behaviors (e.g., automobile speeding and the number of sexual partners) have the strongest phenotypic and genetic correlations with holding managerial positions. For example, the genetic correlation between automobile speeding and being managers is 0.39 (P = 3.94E-16). Additionally, the genetic correlations between risk-taking traits and being managers are stronger for females. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) shows holding managerial positions is associated with rs7035099 (ZNF618, 9q32), which has been linked to risk tolerance and adventurousness. Overall, our results suggest individuals with risk-taking-related genes are more likely to become managers. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first GWAS of the genetic effects on leadership.
That is from a new paper by Jinjie Lin and Bingxin Zhao. Via a loyal MR reader.
Career earnings growth in the U.S. more than doubled between 1960 and 2017, and the age of peak earnings increased from the late 30s to the mid-50s. I show that a substantial share of this shift is explained by increased employment in decision-intensive occupations, which have longer and more gradual periods of earnings growth…Experience takes longer to accumulate in high variance, non-routine jobs.
That is from a new working paper by David J. Deming. One implication is that AI leads to lots of angry, frustrated, left-wing young people, and a cementing in of the gerontocracy.
From Heather Sarsons and Guo Xu, in the new AEA Papers and Proceedings:
Women are 7.3 percentage points less likely to provide extreme judgments (column 1). In terms of magnitude, this gap is economically large. Compared to the mean of the dependent vari-able (19.8 percent), this corresponds to a gap of 36 percent. The gap is somewhat smaller for the self-reported confidence level but still nontrivial (column 3). On average, women tend to report a confidence score that is 0.221 points lower than men. This corresponds to a gap of 4 percent when evaluated against the mean...
The results show that both men and women are less confident when asked questions outside of their field but that a confidence gap persists. For example, while men are 5 percentage points less likely to give an extreme answer when speaking on a topic out-side of their primary field, women are 9.2 per–centage points less likely to do so (column 1). For the measure of confidence, men are on aver–age 0.585 points less confident when speaking on a topic outside their primary field (column 2). Once again, that confidence gap is significantly larger for women. We would expect women to be less confident than men when answering questions outside of their field if women actually have a narrower range of expertise than men do. The results, however, do not change when we control for the respondents’ breadth of expertise using RePEc data and allow breadth to vary by gender. More importantly, accounting for the differential confidence when moving beyond one’s own field “explains away” the level effect of gender.
…it appears that the confidence gap emerges when women are speaking on topics on which they might be less informed.
I would be curious to see if similar results hold for bloggers (blog commenters?) and Op-Ed writers, or whether it is “the Margaret Thatcher syndrome” at work.
The underlying dataset of the portal is open-access and has information on total cases, deaths, estimated reproductive rate, total clinics and hospitals at the district level. Our hope is that residents of high-risk district will adjust behavior if their area has a precariously increasing reproduction rate over time. Even better if aid and medical support that many organizations are mobilizing at an impressive pace could be allocated based on district-level evidence. District-level bureaucrats can incorporate this additional information in planning their pandemic response (most of us have read about the striking example of what the District Collector of Nandurbar was able to achieve to prepare against the second wave). Finally, central and state governments could tailor their pandemic response given the obvious paucity of resources and time based on district-level risk estimates.
Overall, knowing where the virus will strike next can help save lives — by guiding behavior change, local public health measures, and allocation of scarce resources.
This is an important resource. Anup Malani, Satej Soman, Sabareesh Ramachandran, Ruchir Agarwal, Sam Asher, Tobias Lunt, Paul Novosad, and Aditi Bhowmick are some of the people working on this.
A randomized-trial of community-level mask promotion in rural Bangladesh during COVID-19 shows that the intervention tripled mask usage and is a cost-effective means of promoting public health.
Here is the underlying NBER working paper.