assorted links

Tuesday assorted links

1. What price Remdesivir?

2. Conor Sen catnip: “For example, people in New York travel 38% fewer total kilometers and visit 14% fewer block-sized areas than people in Atlanta.”  The paper has further interesting results.

3. What is the chance you know someone with coronavirus?

4. Pareto: the virtual start-up assistant.  A new product and company.  The founder is EV winner Phoebe Yao.

5. Case numbers and deaths in prisons, relative to what the models predicted.

6. A simple John Cochrane model of Covid-19.  And further commentary along similar lines.  Both recommended.  Again, we are actually getting somewhere with these.

7. Houllebecq on Covid-19.  And “How Yukon’s ‘one caribou apart’ physical distancing campaign became a sensation.

Monday assorted links

Sunday assorted links

Saturday assorted links

Friday assorted links

Thursday assorted links

1. The Sahara was once the most dangerous place on earth, and why were there so many carnivorous relative to plant-eating dinosaurs and was that a paradox (Correct link here).

2. This guy documents product placement.

3. Good John Cochrane post about university finances and endowments in particular.

4. Words from Holman Jenkins (WSJ): “Please, if you are a jour­nal­ist re­port­ing on these mat­ters and can’t un­der­stand “flat­ten the curve” as a mul­ti­vari­ate propo­si­tion, leave the pro­fession. You are what econ­o­mists call a “neg­a­tive mar­ginal prod­uct” em­ployee. Your non­par­tic­i­pa­tion would add value. Your par­tic­i­pa­tion sub­tracts it.”

5. Large clusters with low R.

6. Netflix will make another season of Borgen.

7. Swedish public opinion.  And Swedes deter park visitors with horse manure.

8. What can we learn from other coronaviruses?

9. Why so many asymptomatic cases in prison?  And more heterogeneities: why are eastern European death rates so low?

10. How they do things in Iceland.

Wednesday assorted links and non-links

1. New York City parents care about the quality of the peers when choosing a school for their kids, not the effectiveness of the school per se.

2. Secular stagnation vs. technological lull?

3. Dan Klein on Covid and Coase.

4. “Investors are betting, in part, that the Covid-19 crisis accelerates the already growing power of America’s corporate colossuses.” (NYT)

5. NYT covers Sweden.  In my view we still don’t know how well the Swedish experiment is working out, but a continuing verdict of “we still don’t know” does in fact favor Sweden relative to priors.  And Thomas Friedman (NYT) on Sweden.  And update on some Swedish numbers.

6. A reader email on why child abuse is not opposed more passionately: “Basically, I think it comes down to the problem of agency vs structure. The left (including myself) wants to emphasize that problems have large structural components so we need to change the system. However individual heinous acts don’t fit neatly into that paradigm. Plus, child abuse is pervasive enough that it is sort of structural itself, and talking about it can sound like blaming a community or demographic, or hitting close to racism.  No idea why the right doesn’t emphasize it more other than the idea that it’s somehow “traditional”?”

7. Mel Baggs, disability advocate, RIP (NYT).  Formerly known as Amanda Baggs.

8. Quarantine stereotypes (video, funny, some of it).

9. Will colleges lose twenty percent of their student body this year?  Solve for the equilibrium.

10. Jason Furman: “If you had told me we would have a massive pandemic I would have predicted an increase in health spending. Shows why you shouldn’t listen to me. Health spending down 4.9% in Q1 (not annualized). Responsible for nearly 1/2 of the overall GDP decline. Likely down much more in Q2.”  Correctly or not, that makes me feel better about the observed gdp decline.  I am not minimizing the import of the non-Covid extra death toll (which is what exactly? Is it net even positive?), but I already felt bad about that.

Tuesday assorted links

Monday assorted links

1. “We also looked Iceland-scale mass population testing (i.e. 0.7% of population per day). Such testing would be very helpful for monitoring the epidemic, but unsurprisingly it had a negligible impact on reducing transmission, because cases would be detected too late (if at all)”, link here.

2. Which workers bear most of the burden from social distancing policies?

3. This 1,000-Year-Old Mill Has Resumed Production Due to Demand for Flour.

4. “A model assuming continuous evolution of reproduction rates through imitation errors predicts fertility to fall below replacement levels if death rates are sufficiently low. This can potentially explain the very low preferred family sizes in Western Europe.

5. BMI is very hard to predict, even with an impressive data set of socioeconomic and genetic factors.

6. Graph of excess deaths in various locales, recommended, and Sweden far from the worst.  Bergamo ouch.

7. Was Portugal early to take care of the nursing home problem?  And Connecticut looking for a nursing home solution (WSJ).

8. Vaccine update.

9. Solving for the equilibrium: “Some of the millions of British workers furloughed during the coronavirus lockdown will be encouraged to take a second job picking fruit and vegetables, the government has said. Giving the daily COVID-19 briefing, Environment Secretary George Eustice said only a third of the migrant workers who normally picked fruit and vegetables were currently in the country.”

10. ComedyCellar podcast with me, Coleman Hughes, Yascha Mounk, others, audio / pod: and the link to youtube:

11. Which retailers generate the most physical interactions? (Big, internationally known chains)  Might the same be true for restaurants?

12. “The scenario of one million Covid-19 deaths is similar in scale to the decades-long HIV/AIDS and opioid-overdose epidemics but considerably smaller than the Spanish Flu of 1918. Unlike HIV/AIDS and opioid epidemics, the Covid-19 deaths will be concentrated in months rather than spread out over decades.”  Link here.

13. Spanish flu closings were short in duration and didn’t help much.

14. What community colleges do and do not know.  And a list of colleges’ plans.

15. New Mercatus call for Covid-19 short papers.

Sunday assorted links

Saturday assorted links

1. Star Wars backgrounds.

2. Why isn’t Florida doing worse?

3. Podcast with Chris Murray on the IHME model (have not heard it yet).

4. Iceland update, lots of data, useful pictures.

5. A French cluster: “The overall IAR was 25.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 22.6-29.4), and the infection fatality rate was 0% (one-sided 97.5% CI = 0-2.1).”

6. Might art houses hold the key to a cinematic comeback?

Friday assorted links

1. What do we know about superspreader events?  And indoor transmission in China.  And what Arnold Kling has come to believe.

2. “We show irradiance and in particular solar zenith angle in combination with cloudopacity explain COVID-19 morbidity and mortality growth better than temperature.”  Interesting, though still more interpretation is needed there.

3. Covid-19 in Haiti.  And what is Wuhan like right now?

4. In Germany, they consult humanities scholars about how to end the lockdown.  And from a French philosopher.  And we need blogs back for the pandemic.

5. “Southern New Hampshire University, known for being on the cutting edge of collegiate learning, plans to slash tuition for incoming freshmen as it drastically revamps how it conducts on-campus learning beginning in the fall.As part of the changes, tuition will be cut 61%, from $31,000 to $10,000 starting in the 2021-2022 academic year.”  Link here.

6. No strong statistical evidence for the BCG vaccine claim.

7. Is the internet economy going to crash as the real economy shrinks?  Several interesting points in that one.

8. de Rugy and Kling on government-backed lines of credit for small business.

9. Bundled insurance markets in everything: “COVID-19 insurance comes free with food delivery in Hong Kong now.”

10. Thread on the meaning of the new NY results.

11. Toward a theory of Tyrone.

12. Test different recovery levers.  And Zeynep speaks sense.

Thursday assorted links

Wednesday assorted links

Tuesday assorted links