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Miles Kimball

Miles Kimball

Miles Kimball is Professor of Economics and Survey Research at the University of Michigan. Politically, Miles is an independent who grew up in an apolitical family. He holds many strong opinions—open to revision in response to cogent arguments—that do not line up neatly with either the Republican or Democratic Party.

Articles by Miles Kimball

Alexander Trentin Interviews Miles Kimball about Macroeconomic Stabilization: Negative Rates and Sovereign Wealth Funds

1 day ago

I am grateful for permission to reproduce the text of this interview here on my blog. I have been pleased with all of Alexander Trentin’s interviews of me. The previous interviews are here:Also, let me highlight this piece by Alexander:What follows is Alexander’s newest interview of me:Miles Kimball, economics professor at University of Colorado Boulder, argues for negative rates and sovereign wealth funds to stabilize the economy.Miles Kimball: “Sovereign wealth funds could stabilize financial markets and would earn money by profiting from high risk premia.”Professor Kimball, the Fed kept interest rates last week unchanged. What is your

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Beatrice Cherrier: Is Economics too Mathematized?

2 days ago

17/ Then refined proof with French math econ Debreu. Collaboration shows how, in spite of sharing axiomatics, their conceptions of right uses of math was ≠. Debreu raised as a Bourbakist, thus emphasizing rigor & generality, even arguing w/ Arrow against “forced interpretations”

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Freakonomics: The Story of Bananas

3 days ago

The story of bananas told by Freakonomics podcast #375: “The Most Interest Fruit in the World,” is fascinating. According to the podcast, one reason that bananas are as inexpensive as they are is that almost all the bananas we see are clones: the Cavendish variety. As a result, techniques for dealing with those bananas can be standardized. Unfortunately, the fungus that knocked the Gros Michel or “Big Mike” clones from their top banana spot is coming for the Cavendish clones. It looks like the fungus can be defeated by adding or editing genes to match key genes of another variety of bananas that doesn’t have all the desirable properties of

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John Locke: Usurpation is a Kind of Domestic Conquest, with this Difference, that an Usurper Can Never Have Right on His Side

5 days ago

Chapter XVI of John Locke’s 2d Treatise on Government: Of Civil Government, “Of Usurpation,” has a very simply point, expressed in the title above. By simple usurpation, John Locke means taking a role in a government one is not entitled to, without otherwise changing the form of the government. Increasing the power of that role beyond what that role is entitled to would be tyranny added to usurpation: §. 197. AS conquest may be called a foreign usurpation, so usurpation is a kind of domestic conquest, with this difference, that an usurper can never have right on his side, it being no usurpation, but where one is got into the possession of

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Neil Lewis Jr.: Has Gender Stereotype Threat Declined?

7 days ago

4/12. Those concerns, by the way, still come to mind when giving talks at predominantly White academic conferences. So the notion that such concerns could be cognitively distracting enough to undermine performance made/makes a lot of sense to me, and that so many studies found

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Deeper Negative Rates Can Ward Off Secular Stagnation

8 days ago

I have often avoided the term “secular stagnation” on this blog because its meaning is ambiguous. Is “secular stagnation” just another term for a liquidity trap, does it mean forces that lower the real interest rate, or does it mean a slowdown in productivity growth?Negative interest rate policy that paper currency policies that can reduce the rate of return on paper currency below zero are the straightforward solution to a liquidity trap: the liquidity trap is simply gone once one changes

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Beatrice Cherrier: Is Economics Ideological?

9 days ago

Please don’t call Kuhn post-modernist. He antedates it and AFAIK had nothing to do with it, even if he implied some sort of "relativism" of social knowledge. Say rather, that he sociologized the philosophy of science, or theory of knowledge, or something like that?

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Kevin D. Hall and Juen Guo: Why it is so Hard to Lose Weight and so Hard to Keep it Off

10 days ago

As an economist, I love Kevin Hall’s and Juen Guo’s approach to energy balance and weight loss. In their paper “Obesity Energetics: Body Weight Regulation and the Effects of Diet Composition,” they emphasize right away that calories in and calories out are endogenous:Weight changes are accompanied by imbalances between calorie intake and expenditure. This fact is often misinterpreted to suggest that obesity is caused by gluttony and sloth and can be treated by simply advising people to eat less and move more. …Obesity is often described as a disorder of energy balance arising from consuming calories in excess to the energy expended to

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A Liberal Turn in the Mormon Church

12 days ago

The dictum “Everything is relative” can sometimes steer people wrong, but seeing things in relative terms is one important perspective. Using “liberal” and “conservative” to mean socially liberal and socially conservative in the usual political sense, the Mormon Church remains quite socially conservative, but it has recently taken a liberal turn. One of the most important recent changes is one that is not easily visible to non-Mormons and has probably been in the works for some time: a change in the language of the Mormon temple ceremonies to be more nearly gender-neutral. Highly gender-asymmetric language had been a stone in the shoe of

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John Bruner: The Latest Technology isn’t Enough—You Need the Business Model to Go with It

13 days ago

Manufacturing executives today are confronted with an enormous variety of promising new technologies, ranging from artificial intelligence to connected machinery to 3D printing, all of them offering some combination of cost savings, quality improvements and increased flexibility. It is tempting to think that a manufacturer could modernize itself simply by replacing its old processes with new ones that feature these technologies. But the historical record suggests that isn’t enough.

As we describe in our paper The Digital Factory Report, we can turn for an analogy to the late 19th century, when managers rushed to electrify their factories. Electrification seemed like an obvious productivity boost, but it failed to produce any notable gains for more than three decades. Just before

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Alexander Bogomolny: Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles

14 days ago

Back in 1996, Alexander Bogomolny started making the internet math-friendly by creating thousands of images, pages, and programs for this website, right up to his last update on July 6, 2018. Hours later on July 7th he passed away. His friend Nassim Taleb announced the devastating news. "He was of the few saints you meet in life: he gave more, much more than he took." Alex’s family and friends have asked the Wolfram Foundation to serve as a steward for continuing maintenance and updates to the site, more details to come.Twitter, Facebook

|Contact|
|Front page|
|Contents|

Copyright © 1996-2018 Alexander Bogomolny

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What Monetary Policy Can and Can’t Do

15 days ago

Sluggish, Sticky, Inertial Inflation. There are two big problems with many academic models used to think about monetary policy. First, optimal monetary policy papers often do not include investment in the model. (See “Next Generation Monetary Policy.”) Second, a large share of all sticky price models lack any inflation inertia: if a substantial shock hit the model economy, inflation would instantly jump to a new and quite different value. One model that does have inflation inertia in it is the model in Greg Mankiw and Ricardo Reis’s paper “Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve.” The

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John Cassidy: The High-Stakes Battle Between Donald Trump and the Federal Reserve

16 days ago

In Donald Trump’s world, there is always another person responsible for his woes, and, as Kirstjen Nielsen, the departing Secretary of Homeland Security, just discovered, that person often ends up getting fired or forced out. But what if Trump doesn’t have the power to dismiss the object of his anger, or he fears blowback from Congress and the financial markets? Then you get the White House’s current campaign to undermine the independence of the Federal Reserve and its head, Jerome Powell.For months now, Trump has been publicly railing against the Fed. In private, Bloomberg reported, he has been asking his aides if he can fire Powell, a sixty-six-year-old Republican banker who was confirmed at the start of last year. (According to legal experts, the question is a murky one.) On Friday,

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Layne Norton Discusses the Stephan Guyenet vs. Gary Taubes Debate (a Debate on Joe Rogan’s Podcast)

17 days ago

157 minutes to listen the Stephan Guyenet vs. Gary Taubes debate on Joe Rogan’s podcast is a bit much for me right now. If you want to see the video of the whole podcast yourself, here it is:However, I did read Layne Norton’s review of the debate, shown at the top. Let me engage with the scientific issues Layne raises. I want to be clear that I am not in this post defending or attacking anything that Stephan Guyenet or Gary Taubes said or didn’t say in the podcast itself. I’ll only be talking about my own views and Layne’s views as he expressed them in his review. Evidence on the Effect of Insulin on Calories Out. The biggest criticism I

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Even a Just War Cannot Make It Right to Govern without the Consent of the Governed or to Dispossess Those in Conquered Territory

19 days ago

In the first two sections of Later on in Chapter XVI of John Locke’s 2d Treatise on Government: Of Civil Government, “Of Conquest,” he makes the easy case that “An Unjust War Cannot Win Any True Right to Rule,” as I wrote about two weeks ago. In the remainder of Chapter XVI, John Locke makes the more complicated case that a just war cannot make it right to govern without the consent of the governed or to dispossess those in conquered territory. This puts John Locke on the other side of the argument from Bibi Netanyahu. Bibi hopes to have his coalition prevail again so he can be the Prime Minister of Israel for the fifth time. If he gets a

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Supply and Demand for the Monetary Base: How the Fed Currently Determines Interest Rates

22 days ago

Before October 3, 2008, the interest rate the Fed paid on excess reserves was zero, because it was only on that date that the Fed received authority to pay a nonzero rate on excess reserves. Since for market equilibrium, it is the amount of interest paid on the last dollar of reservers that matters most, I will simplify by calling the interest rate on excess reservers simply the interest on reserves (IOR). As you can see from the top graph, during that period when the Fed was limited to an

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Maria Popova–What Makes a Hero: Joseph Campbell’s Seminal Monomyth Model for the Eleven Stages of the Hero’s Journey, Animated

23 days ago

If you find any joy and value in what I do, please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good lunch. For more than 12 years, Brain Pickings has remained free (and ad-free). It takes me hundreds of hours a month to research and compose, and thousands of dollars to sustain. Your support really matters.

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surprise me

Sunday

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On Exercise and Weight Loss

24 days ago

Many studies show that exercise is relatively ineffective for weight loss. (See the article I retitled in my flagging as “Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina: Why You’ll Be Disappointed If You Are Exercising to Lose Weight, Explained with 60+ Studies.”) In this post, I want to give a possible theory about why. I will build on the idea that “Obesity Is Always and Everywhere an Insulin Phenomenon.” I need the insulin-centric theory I will explore also to explain why exercise seems to be helpful in avoiding weight gain. On that score, exercise that increases muscle mass and more muscle tone means there is more muscle more ready to take up blood

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Maria Popova–How to Read Intelligently and Write a Great Essay: Robert Frost’s Letter of Advice to His Young Daughter

25 days ago

If you find any joy and value in what I do, please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good lunch. For more than 12 years, Brain Pickings has remained free (and ad-free). It takes me hundreds of hours a month to research and compose, and thousands of dollars to sustain. Your support really matters.

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Sunday

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Teens are Too Suspicious for Anything But the Truth about Drugs to Work

26 days ago

Link to the article above

In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell tells the story of a very promising proto-campaign against teen smoking that took advantage of teenagers’ desire to show their independence of the norms of adult society. The ads highlighted how tobacco executives lie and deceive, so that not smoking is a way to stick it to the Man. Why would you want to smoke when evil liars are trying to get you to? In Malcolm Gladwell’s story, the campaign never got off the ground because it was deemed too offensive to tobacco executives. But this story showcases the importance of telling teens something they will

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Maria Popova: Advice on Writing from Emily Dickinson’s Editor

27 days ago

If you find any joy and value in what I do, please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good lunch. For more than 12 years, Brain Pickings has remained free (and ad-free). It takes me hundreds of hours a month to research and compose, and thousands of dollars to sustain. Your support really matters.

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♥ $3 / month
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surprise me

Sunday

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You’ve Heard of p-Hacking; Teppo Felin, Mia Felin, Joachim I. Krueger, and Jan Koenderink Warn of Surprise Hacking

28 days ago

Disbelief is not an option. The results are not made up, nor are they statistical flukes. Daniel Kahneman (2011, p.57) on perceptual priming researchMany perception experiments—like stage magic—engage in what might be called “surprise-hacking.” Like magicians, investigators first divert the attention of experimental subjects with some kind of task, priming stimulus, or competing cue. They then go on to point out how humans are blind to things that should be obvious. This type of surprise-hacking has allowed cognitive scientists to claim that there is an epidemic of human perceptual blindness, irrationality, and delusion.The famous “gorilla” experiment provides an excellent example of magic-like surprise-hacking (Simons & Chabris, 1999). Participants were asked to view a video clip of

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The Costs of Inflation

29 days ago

I have never felt that the traditional treatments of the cost of inflation have the right emphasis. Here is what I would highlight for the costs of inflation:Messing with the Price System. Prices are the central working parts to a remarkable and crucial coordination system for production and distribution of goods and services. The price system lets purchasers be aware of the costs and sellers be aware of the benefits of goods and services. Firms don’t all adjust their prices at the same

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Jenny Anderson: Disadvantaged Schools Don’t Need Smaller Classes—They Need Better Teachers

March 27, 2019

Great teachers have a huge impact on kids. Research has shown that students with highly effective teachers (those in the 90th percentile) learn 1.5 years’ worth of material in a year, while students with teachers in the 10th percentile learn just half a years’ worth of material in the same period. “No other attribute of schools comes close to having this much influence on student achievement,” Eric Hanushek, an economist at Stanford University, told the Economist.The students who stand to benefit the most from the most effective teachers are those in disadvantaged schools. But a new report from the OECD finds that in many countries, including France, the Netherlands and the US, just the opposite is happening: Disadvantaged schools have less qualified or less experienced teachers, compared

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