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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

Data on Asian Genes that Discourage Alcohol Consumption Explode the Myth that a Little Alcohol is Good for your Health

1 hour ago

Link to the Lancet article shown above. All images in this post are from this article. Many people have taken comfort from news reports suggesting that moderate drinking is healthy. The top three graphs in the panel below, from a recent study of hundreds of thousands of Chinese drinkers and non-drinkers, confirm the kind of stylized facts that have led people to believe this. As the authors of “Conventional and genetic evidence on alcohol and vascular disease aetiology: a prospective study of 500 000 men and women in China” describe these results, … conventional epidemiology showed that self-reported alcohol intake had U-shaped associations with the incidence

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Claudia Sahm’s Anti-Recession Rule

1 day ago

Calling a recession in real time isn’t easy, even for the pros. in March 2008 (my 2nd time forecasting at the Fed, yikes!) Dave Stockton, our director, put a recession in the staff forecast. It came out in the April forecast and then back in the next one for the duration …

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Chris Kimball: Grief in the Journey

2 days ago

I am pleased to have another guest post on religion from my brother Chris. (You can see other guest posts by Chris listed at the bottom of this post.) Below are Chris’s words. When he writes “Church,” it means the Mormon Church, but those who have been in other churches or faiths may have had similar experiences.I read a short article in Psychology Today titled “Four Types of Grief Nobody Told You About” (And why it’s important that we call them grief). I turned to the article out of curiosity and thinking about recent and not-so-recent deaths that affected me. What I found was surprisingly applicable to people I know in faith crisis. I

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The Tree of Life Web Project: A Cool Website Implementing a Giant Cladogram

3 days ago


Mammals, reptiles (turtles, lizards, Sphenodon, crocodiles, birds) and their extinct relatives

Michel Laurin and Jacques A. Gauthier

Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Phylogeny modified from Laurin & Reisz (1995) and Lee (1995); the position of Mesosauridae follows Modesto (1999). Node names follow Gauthier et al. (1988b) and Gauthier (1994). The position of turtles (Testudines) is uncertain; some authors place them approximately in

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JP Koning on Ill-Considered Government Policies Standing in the Way of the Emergence of the Digital Cash that Can Eliminate Any Lower Bound on Interest Rates

5 days ago

I have always been impressed with JP Koning, both for his blog Moneyness and for the insights he has on Twitter. Now he is also posting fascinating pieces on the website of the American Institute for Economic Research. I show two above, with links at the bottom of screenshots. These two share the theme of government agencies—without sufficient thought—standing in the way of the development of the digital cash that could reduce the footprint of physical cash and thereby make it easier to

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Miles Kimball on Diet and Health: A Reader’s Guide

7 days ago

The list of links to my posts on diet and health has become too long to continue putting at the bottom of each new diet and health post. So I will begin referring to this post for a categorized list of those links. I will keep updating this categorized list of links as I write additional diet and health posts. Take a good look at the list. I have high hopes that you can find something useful to you in it. I. The BasicsII. Sugar as a Slow PoisonIII. Anti-Cancer EatingIV. Eating TipsV. Calories In/Calories OutVI. Other Health IssuesVII. WonkishEvidence that High Insulin Levels Lead to Weight GainFramingham State Food Study: Lowcarb Diets

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How Lael Brainard is Helping Keep the Fed from Abandoning Financial Stability

8 days ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As a U.S. Federal Reserve governor, Lael Brainard gets only one vote on proposals that come before the central bank’s board. Over the past year, she has used it to combat the Trump administration’s efforts to ease rules for Wall Street. FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard speaks at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brian SnyderBrainard has broken ranks six times with other governors, voting against measures that she says would unnecessarily weaken regulations put in place after the 2007-2009 financial crisis. She told Yahoo Finance last week that she was concerned “we may be whittling away at that core resilience of our financial system.” A review of her votes

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John Locke on Monarchs (Or Presidents) Who Destroy a Constitution

9 days ago

John Locke, in Chapter XIX of his 2d Treatise on Government: Of Civil Government, “Of the Dissolution of Government,” lists four ways in which a monarch can subvert the constitution of a nation in a way that effectively undoes the government and so eliminates any obligation to obey the unconstitutional pretense of a government that replaces the legitimate government:Ruling by decree instead of duly enacted legislationPreventing the legislature from meeting or constraining free speech and free deliberation within the legislatureStealing or fixing electionsGiving people to a foreign powerBy “monarch” I am referring to the “single hereditary

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Linguist Nick Enfield Explains Why It’s OK to Say “Um” and “Uh”

11 days ago

In a study of how people talk in English, the linguist Mark Liberman analyzed a massive database of spoken language and found that one in every sixty words people pronounce is either um or uh. Depending on how fast you talk, this means you are producing two to three of these ‘fillers’ per minute.Why do we do this? An obvious answer is that we use these fillers when we are momentarily unable to say what we want to say. We might be having trouble remembering a word or a name, or formulating our thoughts, or we might have reason to be hesitant. But there is more to it than this. Just having a problem finding the words you want to say is not enough reason to say something like um out loud. You could just as well stay silent for a moment while you work away in your head to sort out what you are

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Dan Ariely: The Power of Morning, Time Together and Positive Feedback

12 days ago

Dan Ariely has a weekly advice column in the Wall Street Journal based on Behavioral Economics. I felt all three bits of advice he gave in his April 23, 2019 column were especially useful, so I wanted to share them here. First, Dan suggests tackling especially tough tasks as one’s first big work item in the morning. He describes this as … taking advantage of the clarity and energy that most people enjoy in the morning to tackle a problem that is important, complex and difficult …I have been finding that things that seem daunting the evening before seem doable in the morning right after I have finished other basic parts of my morning

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Beatrice Cherrier—History of Economics Tweetstorms: An Index

13 days ago

Over the past 2 years, I have written some tweetstorms or threads on such and such history of economics topics. I used to list them on an apps that has recently closed, so here is a list (click on pictures or the links and scroll down to read the whole thread).
I sometimes write tweetstorms to articulate some ideas or test the narrative structure of a paper that I’m writing, or to draw attention to a paper or a book I enjoyed, or more often, to bundle a series of pieces by historians of economics. These tweetstorms are therefore often filled with links to seminal work by economists and to recent contributions by historians, and can be used as reading lists.

Teaching the History of Economics through debates (a series)
The syllabus and some thoughts on a history of economics course I

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Is 10,000 Steps a Day More Than is Necessary for Health?

14 days ago

Japanese has a one-syllable word for 10,000: man. An early wearable stepcounter had the trade name manpokei, or “10,000-step measuring device” in Japanese. The article above, “Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women,” theorizes that this is the origin of the idea—and default setting for many step-counting devices—that 10,000 steps a day has some magic to it in fostering health. But in a large study of older women (who had an average age of 72), the decline in bad health events seemed to level out at about 7500 steps.What is more, when relating steps per day to health, it is hard to tell whether

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Twelve Leading Economists Nominate Research that Shaped our World in 2018

15 days ago

At the end of every year, culture critics get to compile best of the year lists. At Quartz, we decided they shouldn’t get to have all the fun. Just like films and albums, economics deserves a little year-end reflection.To identify the economics research that mattered most in 2018, Quartz decided to call in some help. Just as we did last year, we enlisted some of the greatest minds in economics today, including two Nobel prize winners.We asked these economists to name the study they thought was the most important or intriguing of 2018, along with their thoughts on the research. The chosen studies capture the concerns of 2018, with subjects ranging from criminal justice to how to best design an auction.Here are their picks:(Received two nominations)Institutions of authors: University of

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Charlotte Graham-McLay—New Zealand’s Next Milestone: A Budget Guided by Well-Being

16 days ago

I am proud that the Well-Being Measurement Initiative, headed by Dan Benjamin, Ori Heffetz, Kristen Cooper and me, is involved in this New Zealand effort. In the summer of 2015, I spent three weeks at the New Zealand Treasury working on this effort. Data collection is slated to take place this summer. I do not see guiding policy by well-being as inherently left-wing. It only becomes left-wing when important aspects of well-being that are especially important to those on the right are omitted from data collection. In our approach, we strive to include a wide range of aspects of well-being.

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Ancient Beers Can Be Recreated Today

17 days ago

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CU Boulder lecturer Travis Rupp has a unique career that’s likely the envy of many: He explores and recreates ancient and not-quite-as-ancient beers – from the Gordium area of ancient Turkey to the United States’ first president – all while teaching Greek and Roman archaeology, art history, Egyptology, and Roman history at CU Boulder. Host Ken McConnellogue chats with Rupp about the Ales of Antiquity, his research into the hands-on study on ancient beer and his travels across the globe to find these remarkable ancient recipes.
How a love of history and brewing came together for this fascinating and fun research.
Rupp’s overall research

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Larry Summers Says the Fed Should Move Fast to Cut Rates

19 days ago

The European Central Bank and the Reserve Bank of Australia have announced more monetary stimulus. Larry Summers says the Fed should follow suit, in his latest Washington Post op-ed: The best way to take out recession or slowdown insurance would be for the Fed to cut interest rates by 50 basis points over the summer and by more, if necessary, in the fall. A serious recession anytime in the next few years would encourage populism and polarization at home, and reduce American influence and strength in the world as well as damaging the global economy. It is clear in retrospect that the Fed was too slow in responding to gathering storms during

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Competition from Generic Insulin Would Do a Lot to Reduce Medical Costs; But Reducing the Incidence of Type II Diabetes by Changes in the American Diet Would Do Much More

21 days ago

The social welfare benefits from improving the American diet (and the diet for most other countries) are large. One of the most important diseases fostered by a bad diet is Type II diabetes. In the article shown above, “Biohackers With Diabetes Are Making Their Own Insulin” Dana G. Smith gives this figure:Diabetes has become the most expensive disease in the United States, reaching $327 billion a year in health care costs, $15 billion of which comes from insulin.Dana explains the two forms of diabetes this way: Insulin enables cells in the body to use glucose circulating in the blood as fuel. People with Type 1 diabetes don’t produce

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Josh Barro—Why New York Can’t Have Nice Things: It Costs 3 Times More to Build a Subway Station in New York than in London or Paris. What If We Could Change That?

22 days ago

Illustration: Zohar Lazar

Imagine being able to get from the North Bronx to the Financial District in less than half an hour by train. Or being able to take a train straight from Peekskill or Greenwich or White Plains that, instead of terminating at Grand Central, ran straight through the city — stopping in midtown, at Union Square, in the Financial District, in Downtown Brooklyn, and then proceeding on to JFK airport — offering a one-seat ride to most any place you might need to commute to.

If you live in London, you won’t have to imagine it for long: London is nearly finished with work on Crossrail, a megaproject that will funnel commuter trains from London’s eastern and

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John Locke: The Obligation to Obey the Law Does Not Apply to Laws Promulgated by Invaders and Usurpers Who Do Not Have the Consent of the Governed

23 days ago

If one regards the Witenagemot as the legitimate 11th century body to decide who the King of England should be in cases of contested succession, then William the Conqueror was a usurper. But I’ll bet John Locke regarded many of the successors to William the Conqueror as legitimate rulers. How can that be? The key is that anyone who ascended to the throne from a power politics point of view as the successor to a usurper has the opportunity to make their case to the people to become a ruler by the consent of the governed. Back then, this was not always done by submitting to an election, but still involved trying to appeal to the people. For

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Harvard’s Digital Giza: Exploring Ancient Egypt Online

24 days ago

Digital Giza | Home

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The Giza Project gives you access to the largest collection of information, media, and research materials ever assembled about the Pyramids and related sites on Egypt’s Giza Plateau.

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Mark Fontana, Stephen Lyman, Gourab Sarker, Douglas Padgett and Catherine MacLean: Using Machine Learning to Predict Outcomes for Joint Surgery

25 days ago

Back to Top | Article Outline
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are increasingly collected as a means of measuring healthcare quality and value before and after elective total joint arthroplasty (TJA) [10, 34]. While measuring PROMs is an important step toward more patient-centered care, the mere determination of whether a patient’s score goes up or down after an intervention is insufficient to determine whether that intervention was effective. What really matters is whether a patient’s score changed by a sufficiently large margin, that is, whether an improved score constitutes a minimally clinically important difference (MCID, sometimes called a “minimally clinically important change” or “minimally clinically important improvement”) [27, 30]. The MCID is

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Andrew Burton and Miles Kimball on the Rise of the Nationalist Right

26 days ago

Miles, do you agree with the full thesis of the article that you just quoted from?— Andrew Burton (@burtonad) May 25, 2019
Yeah, I didn’t have you down as someone who wants to amplify this thesis (with which I agree): “[T]he countries which keep producing these shocks are every bit as racist, xenophobic and discriminatory as their voting habits suggest.”— Andrew Burton (@burtonad) May 25, 2019

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Crafting Simple, Accurate Messages about Complex Problems

28 days ago

Image source. #1 image from googling “complexity of obesity”

image source. #2 image from googling “complexity of obesity”

image source. #3 image from googling “complexity of obesity”

Today is the 7th anniversary of this blog, "Confessions of a Supply-Side Liberal." My

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Disregard for truth as a Sign of a Totalitarian Impulse

May 26, 2019

I find this ⁦⁦@BostonGlobe⁩ headline offensive. The young scholars and teachers who were attacked in this space do not need the MFA or any other HWI (historically white institution) to “confirm” that their experiences were real. Do better Globe. pic.twitter.com/nxVF38vC8O— Dr. Melissa McDaniels (@mmcdanielsphd) May 25, 2019
The headline: “MFA confirms offensive remarks from patrons, bans two members.”Link to the tweet above. Link to a more recent Boston Globe article about the incident.I responded to Melissa McDaniel’s tweet above with these tweets:It is dangerous to our society when finding out and verifying the truth is denigrated. Racism and sexism are real. Proving that they reared their ugly head in a particular instance is a valuable service in fighting them.Let me say that in

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