Results for “Larry Summers”
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Friday assorted links

1. Chimpanzees enjoy horror movies, and they do not turn away or cover their eyes when watching.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; I’ve always been a fan.

3. George Borjas reexamines the wage impact of the Marielitos (pdf).  And Terry Tao makes another big splash.

4. Gary Becker’s last paper? (pdf), on intergenerational mobility.

5. Larry Summers leads economists’ statement on universal health coverage in Lancet.

6. Carl Schorske passes away at 100.

Infrastructure words of wisdom

The chief problem with our airports is not (pace Larry Summers) that they’re not as sleek and modern as the vast white elephants you’ll find in East Asia. Rather, it is that they are congested, and the reason they are congested is that the federal government doesn’t provide for market-rate pricing for take-off and landing slots. This straightforward reform would greatly increase the productivity, not to mention the pleasantness, of our aviation system. Yet it doesn’t involve spending billions of dollars and cutting ribbons, so politicians are by and large not interested.

That is from Reihan Salam.

Monday assorted links

1. The Essential Hayek, by Don Boudreaux.

2. Claims about dementia.

3. www.clickhole.com is a funny site and probably the best critique of the web I have seen.  Here is Slate on the site.

4. Larry Summers on TPP makes perfect sense.  I haven’t seen anything on the anti- side coming close to this level of analysis, and in a short column at that.

5. There is a skills gap and the Beveridge curve has shifted.

6. How and why Facebook automates.

7. Scott Sumner has two excellent posts on state taxes, here and here.

Thursday assorted links

1. More on why greater unionization won’t make much of a dent in inequality.

2. What happens when you crash the Ivy League for four years without registering?

3. The professionalization of fourth grade sports.

4. How standards of living have evolved over time, the real stuff.

5. Thomas Edsall on Larry Summers and populism.

6. Who gets the Sweet Briar endowment?

7. New data on what finger length might mean.

8. Ryan Decker is taking a job at the Fed.

Who are the most influential economists?

Everyone is up in arms over the list supplied by The Economist.  I won’t go through those debates.  Let me just note that for all the talk of wonk this, data that, and Generalized Method of Moments this that and the other, every now and then the best algorithm is simply Asking Tyler Cowen.  So here are, in no particular order, the most influential economists circa 2014:

1. Thomas Piketty

2. Paul Krugman

3. Joseph Stiglitz

4. Jeffrey Sachs

5. Amartya Sen

Basta.  Of course Yellen and Draghi are extremely influential as central bankers, but in the way Paul Volcker was, so that is a different list, albeit a more important one.

I would add several comments:

a. Piketty does very very well for marginal impact in 2014, but probably would/will do less well over broader time spans, even if you think his work will hold up.

b. Krugman is a clear winner for the United States.

c. Stiglitz, Sachs, and Sen have most of their influence outside of the United States.

d. Larry Summers is influential among economists and the intelligentsia and is one possible choice for number six, with Dani Rodrik as another, or maybe drum up the leading Islamic theorist on sukuk.  But Summers is not so influential with casual observers, which in some ways puts him as the opposite of Stiglitz (in his current incarnation).

e. There is no right-wing or center-right economist on the list.  See the EJW symposium on why there is no Milton Friedman today.  Krugman is probably the most politically conservative figure among the top five.

f. Behavioral economics as a whole is quite influential, but with no single dominant figure of influence.  In actuality Cass Sunstein (not formally an economist) and Richard Thaler might globally be #1 in the behavioral area, followed by Daniel Kahneman.

Assorted links

1. The economic consequences of sexual violence.

2. What to expect when you give your first job talk (I’d like to see John Cleese make the same video).

3. Richard Posner on rabbis and hard liquor.

4. 25 years after the fall of the Wall, unemployment in East vs. West Germany.

5. Larry Summers in the FT on how to deal with Ebola and other public health emergencies looking forward.

6. How much does a Michelin star still affect restaurant profits?

Assorted links

1. The tallest cow in the world?

2. Scott Sumner on exports.

3. New learning on the speed and breadth of the Industrial Revolution (pdf).

4. China upgrade markets in everything.  And interview with Marc AndreessenShould China make its big cities bigger yet?

5. Do travel restrictions limit pandemics?

6. Contrary to a behavioral econ claim about threshold earnings, taxi drivers in fact have positive elasticity of supply.

7. Elisa New (wife of Larry Summers) has a poetry MOOC from Harvard, Larry will appear to discuss economics and poetry with her.

Some of the most important sentences in economics

This is from Larry Summers and Lant Pritchett:

…knowing the current growth rate only modestly improves the prediction of future growth rates over just guessing it will be the (future realized) world average.  The R-squared of decade-ahead predictions of decade growth varies from 0.056 (for the most recent decade) to 0.13.  Past growth is just not that informative about future growth and its predictive ability is generally lower over longer horizons.

The main point of this paper is to argue that Chinese growth rates will become much lower, perhaps in the near future, here is a summary of that point from Quartz:

Summer and Pritchett’s calculations, using global historical trends, suggest China will grow an average of only 3.9% a year for the next two decades. And though it’s certainly possible China will defy historical trends, they argue that looming changes to its  authoritarian system increase the likelihood of an even sharper slowdown.

The piece, “Asiaphoria Meets Regression Toward the Mean,” is one of the best and most important economics papers I have seen all year.  There is an ungated version here (pdf).  I liked this sentence from the piece:

Table 5 shows that whether or not China and India will maintain their current growth or be subject to regression to the global mean growth rate is a $42 trillion dollar question.

And don’t forget this:

…nearly every country that experienced a large democratic transition after a period of above-average growth…experienced a sharp deceleration in growth in the 10 years following the democratizing transition.

As Arnold Kling would say, have a nice day.

Assorted links

1. Questions about devolution and Scottish independence, good treatment, more than just the usual.

2. Little North Korea.

3. This is fascinating or how totally wrong is their idea of a “moral act.”

4. Does the geographic variation in health care spending tell us anything at all?

5. How far are we from automated lip reading?  What should you not say in front of a CCTV?

6. Larry Summers on allowing the export of American oil (pdf).

7. How Google’s self-driving car did on a real road test.

Assorted links

1. Very good Krugman column on why Scottish independence is a dangerous idea.

2. History of the Darien Project.

3. “They’re manipulating all of us.”

4. Do limited health network plans in fact control costs?

5. Larry Summers on secular stagnation and the importance of the supply side.

6. Is American military spending equal to that of the rest of the world?

7. What would happen if we liberalized U.S. oil exports?

Assorted links

1. Cohen and Scheinmann on Israeli strategy in Gaza.  And a theory of how Hamas acted out of weakness.  And Vox considers Israel’s strategy.

2. The psychology of first impressions.  Lots of examples at that link.

3. Is Ethiopia the next China?  Or just the next Vietnam?

4. Was the Concorde an evolutionary dead end?

5. Sadly John Blundell has passed away.  He was always a great encouragement to me and I am sorry to hear he is gone.

6. What happened to Inoki?  Lots, in fact.  And Bryan Caplan re-reads Catcher in the Rye.  And the FT essay prize.

7. More on Swedish vouchers.

8. Larry Summers on secular stagnation, Ex-Im, and TPP.