Thursday, December 24, 2009
A follow-up Conference in Honor of Paul Milgrom was also held, the speakers and their presentations are listed below:
Vijay Krishna (Pennsylvania State University): Auctions and Information[Presentation and Bibliography - PDF]
Larry Ausubel (University of Maryland): Auctions with Multiple Objects[Presentation - PDF] [Bibliography - PDF]
Panel Discussion: Market Design
Susan Athey (Harvard University) [Slides]
Preston McAfee (Yahoo! Inc.) [Slides]
Paul Milgrom (Stanford University) [Slides]
Alvin Roth (Harvard University) [Slides]
Stephen Morris (Princeton University): Trade and Information[Presentation - PDF] [Bibliography - PDF]
Bengt Holmstrom (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): Agency Models[Presentation - PDF] [Bibliography - PDF]
John Roberts (Stanford University): Organizational Economics[Presentation - PDF]
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
However, that was the last time anyone heard of contract theory or organizations or institutional economics from the Swedes until last October, when they cited Oliver Williamson and Elinor Ostrom for “major contributions to our understanding of economic governance” (if you don’t count Douglass North for his work in history to explain institutional and economic change, that is). Why such a long silence?
Here are some thoughts from the Economic Principles. At the end, it pointed out, and I totally agree that "It’s worth remembering, therefore, that economics is a very young science, and that it still has got a long way to go. If the Swedes have been cautious, it is because the larger framework of the economics of organizations remains, for the most part, an enormous black box."
Sunday, December 13, 2009
See the full story here. May him Rest in Peace.
Here are some remembrances from Samuelson's students.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
The U.S. government has spent billions of dollars bailing out troubled companies. Is it time for Uncle Sam to invest in new entrepreneurial firms as well? Professor Josh Lerner makes the case for limited government involvement in his book "Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed—and What to Do about It".
Key concepts include:
- Government support for entrepreneurial ventures could spur economic growth and support the struggling venture capital industry.
- For every successful public intervention there are many failed efforts, wasting billions in taxpayer dollars.
- Government can help in two ways: ensure that the economic environment is conducive to entrepreneurial activity, and provide direct investments.
- The Obama administration's track record on these matters is mixed.
- Academic literature in this area is comparatively sparse.
See the interview here.
Lecture notes are accessible as well as some of the recorded videos.
Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial Systems—and Themselves. By Andrew Ross Sorkin. (A riveting fly-on-the-wall account of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and what came afterwards).
Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World. By Liaquat Ahamed. (A history of the generation that invented the modern central banker. Winner of this year’s Financial Times/Goldman Sachs business book of the year award).
How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities. By John Cassidy. (A sharp look at the roots of the financial crisis that turns into an excellent history of economic thought).
Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the Tactics Behind China’s Production Game. By Paul Midler. (A useful analysis by a consultant who advises Western companies on what to do about China’s manufacturing problems. Many laboratories protect their reputation by hiding, rather than revealing, what they test and whistle-blowing is punished rather than rewarded).
For the entire list, see here.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
1. Twitter — The ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters
2. Obama — The word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare
3. H1N1 — The formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu
4. Stimulus — The $800 billion aid package meant to help mend the US economy
1. King of Pop –Elvis was ‘The King;’ MJ had to settle for ‘King of Pop’
2. Obama-mania — One of the scores of words from the Obama-word stem
3. Climate Change — Considered politically neutral compared to global warming
4. Swine Flu — Popular name for the illness caused by the H1N1 virus
5. Too Large to Fail — Institutions that are deemed necessary for financial stability
1. Barack Obama — It was Obama’s year, though MJ nearly eclipsed in the end
2. Michael Jackson — Eclipses Obama on internet though lags in traditional media
3. Mobama — Mrs. Obama, sometimes as a fashion Icon
4. Large Hadron Collider — The Trillion dollar ‘aton smasher’ buried outside Geneva
5. Neda Agha Sultan — Iranian woman killed in the post-election demonstrations
H/T to CARPE DIEM.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The special issue features seven papers on corporate governance that were presented in a meeting of the NBER’s corporate governance project. Each of the papers represents state-of-the-art research in an important area of corporate governance research. For each of these areas, we discuss the importance of the area and the questions it focuses on, how the paper in the special issue makes a significant contribution to this area, and what we do and do not know about the area. We discuss in turn work on shareholders and shareholder activism, directors, executives and their compensation, controlling shareholders, comparative corporate governance, cross-border investments in global capital markets, and the political economy of corporate governance.
H/T to Peter Klein.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
"Home is a documentary about Earth, humanity, nature, where we're going and what we've been. Shot in 54 countries with aerial footage it's a combination of all the navel-gazing movies we've seen lately like Planet Earth and Baraka. Like a guilty abusive adult, we're now taking a closer look at ourselves, what we've done to the planet and what we've to ourselves."
Friday, November 20, 2009
"Everywhere people ask: 'What can I actually do?' The answer is as simple as it is disconcerting: we can, each of us, work to put our own inner house in order. The guidance we need for this work cannot be found in science or technology, the value of which utterly depends on the ends they serve; but it can still be found in the traditional wisdom of mankind. "
H/T to the E. F. Schumacher Society Blog. See more insightful quotes from this book here.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
In his new book, Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays (see his interview here), lively and informed, Prof. Waldfogel illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste --to the shocking tune of eighty-five billion dollars each winter. He also seems to provide solid explanations to show us why it's time to stop the madness and think twice before buying gifts for the holidays.
While giving presents may lead to a huge amount of efficiency loss, and giving cash is considered inappropriate or cold, gift cards may probably become the best alternative -- which now represents up to a third of holiday spending. However, 10% of the value of gift cards goes unredeemed each year -- retailers could be more than happy because of this.
Anyway, it is up to you whether to buy this book or not, but when you decide to buy it, DO NOT give it as a holiday present to someone else, because that is all this book about.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Douglas Clement sits down with Kevin M. Murphy on inequality, technological change, economic growth and health.
Barron’s presents an interview with Burton Malkiel on overinvestment in certain stocks during a bubble and on Behavioral Finance.
H/T to Timothy Taylor, Editor of Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
This quote orginally from CS Lewis was stolen from my colleague Peter Boumgarden's Blog, The Captured Perspective. In that article, Peter mainly focuses on the relationship between language (what we speak) and reality (what we perceive), using love and religion as two concrete examples. Worth a read!
Monday, November 2, 2009
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
What a great theory of bad luck! More surprisingly, these geniuses also came up with some ideas to test this theory (also see here)!
Thanks to Nick for the pointer.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Watch the program here.
H/T: Short Sharp Science.
Monday, October 12, 2009
It's been a while since I made my first prediction. Now a warm and hearty congratulation to Prof. Williamson!
update: here is the phone interview with Prof. Williamson by Nobelprize.org when he got the prize.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Here is another way of looking at this: Since Obama can win the peace prize, so can a first year econ graduate student win the prize in economics! The following is from two Gregs, Katz and Mankiw (HT to Mankiw):
By GREGORY KATZ (AP)
The new president was hailed for his willingness to reach out to the Islamic world, his commitment to curtailing the spread of nuclear weapons and his goal of bringing the Israelis and Palestinians into serious, fruitful negotiations.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize 1984, said Obama's award shows great things are expected from him in the coming years.
"In a way, it's an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all," he said. "It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama's message of hope."
He said the prize is a "wonderful recognition of Obama's effort to reach out to the Arab world after years of hostility.
The new PhD candidate was hailed for his willingness to tackle difficult problems, his commitment to improving the economic system, and his goal of bringing efficiency and equality into harmony.
Professor Paul Krugman of Princeton, who won the prize in 2008, said Pfuffnick's award shows great things are expected from him in the coming years.
"In a way, it's an award coming near the beginning of the first year in grad school of a relatively young economist that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our economy a better place for all," he said. "It is an award that speaks to the promise of Mr Pfuffnick's message of hope."
He said the prize is a "wonderful recognition of Pfuffnick's essay in his grad school application."
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
VETERINARY MEDICINE PRIZE: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.
PEACE PRIZE: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.
ECONOMICS PRIZE: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks — Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and Central Bank of Iceland — for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa — and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.
CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from liquid — specifically from tequila.
MEDICINE PRIZE: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than sixty (60) years.
PHYSICS PRIZE: Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, USA, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, USA, and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, USA, for analytically determining why pregnant women don't tip over.
LITERATURE PRIZE: Ireland's police service (An Garda Siochana), for writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country — Prawo Jazdy — whose name in Polish means "Driving License".
PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for inventing a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.
MATHEMATICS PRIZE: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers — from very small to very big — by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).
BIOLOGY PRIZE: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Here is another post on Dawkins, somewhat old, but still relevant.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
In the original NK model (Kauffman, 1993), the parameter N stands for the number of alleles in the genome that can be either turned on or off, and K stands for epistatic connections – the linkages between the individual alleles. In organization research, the notion of alleles is replaced by individual decisions and epistasis by interdependence between those decisions. N then represents the number of decisions that have to be made and K controls how connected they are. Not surprisingly, as number of decisions and interconnections get larger and larger, we would nevertheless have to deal with more and more complex computational problems.
The "P vs NP" problem is argubly the most important problem dealing with computational complexities. It is also a central outstanding problem of computer science and mathematics (one of the seven Millennium problems). But in many cases, this problem is more or less described in an abstract and obscure manner and is often very difficult to understand. For students and young scholars who want to get a quick but deep impression on what the "P vs NP" problem is, and how it relates to internet security and limits of human knowledge, I would like to recommend you a wonderful talk on this topic - very little abstraction, highly approachable and amusing!
In this talk, Professor Avi Wigderson of Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, attempts to describe the problem's technical, scientific, and philosophical content, its status, and the implications of its two possible resolutions.
Watch it here.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"... there are two fundamental economic forces at work. One is that emissions are a classical prisoners’ dilemma...Second, tastes for amenities such as clean air appear to be normal goods, maybe even luxuries...thus, efforts to reduce emissions will grow as more and more countries prosper sufficiently that their inhabitants are willing to forgo consumption for cleaner air, etc. So, from an economic perspective, the most realistic way to fewer carbon emissions and (per my assumption) less climate effects is through the aggressive promotion of activities that promote growth: free trade, democracy, economic freedom, reduced taxes, regulations and tariffs, protection of property rights. . . . Interestingly, freeing individuals to pursue their interests is likely the best practical/realistic approach to what, at first blush, seems like a classical case for collective action. "
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
"Chronicling the rise and fall of efficient market theory and its century-long role in the making of the modern financial industry, the book is both history and intellectual whodunit. It brings to life the people and ideas that forged modern finance and investing, from the Great Depression and into the financial calamity of today. It’s a tale largely about professors, but professors who made and lost fortunes, battled fiercely over ideas, beat the house in blackjack, wrote bestselling books, and played major roles on the world stage. It’s also a tale of Wall Street’s evolution, the power of the market to generate wealth and wreak havoc, and free-market capitalism’s recurrent war with itself. "
On the policy side, he also pointed out, that conceited economists and policy makers often got the problems so wrong that the current state of the dominant views has to change. Perhaps we need to re-embrace Keynes as the pendulum continues to swing.
via Mankiw. Here is some alternative view.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
This Time is Different, by Carmen Reinhart & Ken Rogoff
The Match King, Frank Partnoy
Lords of Finance, by Liaquat Ahamed
The Myth of the Rational Market, by Justin Fox
House of Cards, by William Cohan
In Fed We Trust, by David Wessel
Animal Spirits, by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller
Free, by Chris Anderson
Waste, by Tristram Stuart
Supercorp, by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
How the Mighty Fall, by Jim Collins
Why Your World is About to Get a a Whole Lot Smaller, by Jeff Rubin
Clever, by Gareth Jones
Imagining India, by Nandan Nilekani
Good Value, Stephen Green
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
From the latest issue of the Economist, "Two recent papers—one by James Heckman of Chicago University and Sergio Urzua of Northwestern University, and another by Angus Deaton of Princeton—are sharply critical of this approach. The authors argue that the causal effects that instrumental strategies identify are uninteresting because such techniques often give answers to narrow questions. The results from the quarter-of-birth study, for example, do not say much about the returns from education for college graduates, whose choices were unlikely to have been affected by when they were legally eligible to drop out of school. According to Mr Deaton, using such instruments to estimate causal parameters is like choosing to let light 'fall where it may, and then proclaim[ing] that whatever it illuminates is what we were looking for all along.' "
However, "proponents of instrumental variables also argue that accurate answers to narrower questions are more useful than unreliable answers to wider questions." This sounds true, however, just as Prof. Deaton argues, and it also seems to me, that instrumental variables may encourage economists to avoid “thinking about how and why things work”. More deeply, "striking a balance between accuracy of result and importance of issue is tricky".
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
You can watch this lecture online.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Many of his ideas in this lecture are coming from his earlier published book, Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics, which was selected by the Economist magazine as one of the best books published in 2008.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
In the talk, Romer suggests that we rethink sovereignty (respect borders, but maybe create new systems of administrative control); rethink citizenship (allowing perhaps for voice without residency as well as residency without voice); and rethink scale (instead of focusing on nations, focus on new cities). If nations are willing to experiment along these lines, they can create new places, places that can give more people access to the kind of rules that they would like to live and work under, and places that can sustain the historical process of entry and innovation in national systems of rules.
Romer has already launched a website, Charter Cities, for further exploration and eventual application of this idea.
The Strategy Research Initiative began as an informal gathering of mid-career strategy scholars in the hinterlands of Nova Scotia in 2007. The goal of the gathering was to create an organization of like-minded colleagues dedicated to the creation of institutions designed to advance research in strategy.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
1. Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (2007).
2. Nathan Rosenberg and L.E. Birdzell, Jr., How the West Grew Rich (1986).
3. Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997).
4. John Nye, War, Wine and Taxes (2007).
5. Douglas Irwin, Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free Trade (1996).
6. Kevin O’Rourke and Jeffrey Williamson, Globalization and History (1999).
7. Jeffry Frieden, Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century (2006).
8. Barry Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System, second edition (2008).
9. Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, The Commanding Heights (1997).
10. Paul Blustein, The Chastening (2001).
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Home Crisis Investigation|
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
1. "Because the price of going across goes down, and the behavior obeys the Law of Demand."
2. "Because the Pareto optimal allocation is on the tangency of the other side of the street."
3. "It is the result of a unique SPE of the alternating bargaining game, the second chicken agrees the offer immediately in the first period and passes across."
4. "Although it is off the equilibrium path, going across is a best response to its own belief."
Good luck to those Macro prelimers!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Here is a podcast from Econtalk.
Monday, May 18, 2009
53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.
Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.
Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for those who do not invest, 40% say capitalism is better while 25% prefer socialism.
There is a partisan gap as well. Republicans - by an 11-to-1 margin - favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
"[Saez's] work attacks policy questions from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, on the one hand refining the theory in ways that link the characteristics of optimal policy to measurable aspects of the economy and of behavior, while on the other hand undertaking careful and creative empirical studies designed to fill the gaps in measurement identified by the theory. Through a collection of interrelated papers, he has brought the theory of taxation closer to practical policy making, and has helped to lead a resurgence of academic interest in taxation."
Also see here.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
"Cable and satellite television have grown rapidly throughout the developing world. The availability of cable and satellite television exposes viewers to new information about the outside world, which may affect individual attitudes and behaviors. This paper explores the effect of the introduction of cable television on gender attitudes in rural India. Using a three-year individual-level panel dataset, we find that the introduction of cable television is associated with improvements in women's status. We find significant increases in reported autonomy, decreases in the reported acceptability of beating and decreases in reported son preference. We also find increases in female school enrollment and decreases in fertility (primarily via increased birth spacing). The effects are large, equivalent in some cases to about five years of education in the cross section, and move gender attitudes of individuals in rural areas much closer to those in urban areas. We argue that the results are not driven by pre-existing differential trends. These results have important policy implications, as India and other countries attempt to decrease bias against women. "
Source: "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women’s Status in India." Robert Jensen and Emily Oster. Forthcoming in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Several "ontological constraints" he pointed out during the talk are quite illuminating. Here is one example, namely the "feeling of knowing", which is original put forward in a well-crafted book "On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not" by Robert Burton.
Read the following excerpt at normal speed. Don't skim, give halfway through, or skip to the explanation. After reading, ask yourself how you feel about the paragraph. Does it make any sense? Then proceed to read the clarifying word, reread the paragraph. You will probably notice some shifts in your mental mind.
A newspaper is better than a magazine. A seashore is better than the street. At first it is better to run than to walk. You may have to try several times. It takes some skill, but it is easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Once successful, complications are minimal. Birds seldom get too close. Rain, however, soaks in very fast. Too many people doing the same thing can also cause problems. One needs lots of room. If there are no complications, it can be very peaceful. A rock will serve as an anchor. If things break loose from it, however, you will not get a second chance.
Is this paragraph comprehensible or meaningless? Feel your mind sort through potential explanations. Now watch what happens with the presentation of a single word: kite. As you reread the paragraph, feel the prior discomfort of something amiss shifting to a pleasing sense of rightness.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The list is divided into 18 sections, each of which covers a substantial field of research. Books dominate the reading list, but shorter articles summarizing the main arguments of these books can usually be found. Articles are included in cases where books covering the same issues are not available. In the readers some of the texts mentioned here are reproduced. The readers provide a very good overview of this field, and it is also in these one can find reprints of many of the most important, classical as well as contemporary, contributions in economic sociology.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Here is the interview.