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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

Recognizing Opportunity: The Case of the Golden Raspberries—Taryn Laakso

3 days ago

Golden Raspberries

I am pleased to be able to share a guest post from my friend Taryn Laakso from my Co-Active Leadership Program Tribe. I like her story about golden raspberries. Here it is:My partner’s backyard has a great patch of raspberry plants. Last summer, I was excited to know we’d be getting some fresh berries during the summer because we’d be moving in together and I would get a chance to pick berries and make some jam! My bubble of excitement quickly burst when he laughed and mentioned he never gets any ripe berries off the bushes because either the birds or the bunnies take all the berries as soon as they ripen. I was bummed out but

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Econolimerick #3

4 days ago

“When the scales that you balance are general,All of animal, vegetable and mineral,If but one’s out of whack,You’ll mess up the whole pack,And your trust may become quite ephemeral.” For the economics behind this limerick, see:Don’t miss my other econolimericks:

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Christian Kimball: Doubting Thomas

5 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. Doubting ThomasThe Octave Day of Easter or Sunday after Easter is variously called White Sunday, Renewal Sunday, Low Sunday (Anglican; 20th century Roman Catholic), Divine Mercy Sunday (21st century Roman Catholic), Antipascha (Orthodox), or Thomas Sunday (especially among Byzantine Rite Christians). By any name, the traditional gospel reading for this day is the story of Doubting Thomas.In John 20 (but not the other Gospels) we read about Thomas who said Except I shall see in his hands the print of

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Econolimerick #2

6 days ago

“High inflation, high spending, or both,Are the beaux to which many are troth,But to stop the Great Stall,For demand overall,Rates in red would appeal to a Goethe.”

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4 Types of Heterogeneity that Offer a Bit of Extra Hope for Keeping the Pandemic Under Control without Blanket Lockdowns

6 days ago

Yesterday, in “On the Herd Immunity Strategy” I wrote:Before we have a vaccine for COVID-19, there are three alternatives to lockdowns: Massive testing (where tracing can substitute to some extent for number of tests)—see for example “Seconding Paul Romer’s Proposal of Universal, Frequent Testing as a Way Out”Treatment improvements—for example, it is possible the monoclonal antibodies might work really wellHerd immunity of key subgroups of the population—see for example “How Does This Pandemic End?”That post and “How Does This Pandemic End?” emphasized how spread of COVID-19 among groups (especially the young) that have relatively low personal

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On the Herd Immunity Strategy

8 days ago

Before we have a vaccine for COVID-19, there are three alternatives to lockdowns: Massive testing (where tracing can substitute to some extent for number of tests)—see for example “Seconding Paul Romer’s Proposal of Universal, Frequent Testing as a Way Out”Treatment improvements—for example, it is possible the monoclonal antibodies might work really wellHerd immunity of key subgroups of the population—see for example “How Does This Pandemic End?”I have been frustrated by the relative dearth of forthright discussions of a strategy of going for herd immunity of key subgroups of the population. This relative dearth of forthright discussion is unfortunate, because I

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Jerome Powell on How Money is Created

9 days ago

Link to the tweet shown abovePelley: Fair to say you simply flooded the system with money?Powell: Yes. We did. That’s another way to think about it. We did. Pelley: Where does it come from? Do you just print it?Powell: We print it digitally. So as a central bank, we have the ability to create money digitally. And we do that by buying Treasury Bills or bonds or other government guaranteed securities. And that actually increases the supply of money. We also print actual currency and we distribute that through the Federal Reserve Banks.

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Dave Baillie: Calibrate Your Compass

10 days ago

Link to the Amazon page for “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl

One of the best things about the Co-Active Leadership Program I am now a student in is the tight bonds one forms with the other members of one’s “tribe.” I have seventeen new friends that I am very proud of. Dave Baillie is one of them. Dave is a combination of great personal power, great personal warmth and great desire for a deeper understanding of the human condition. Today, I am pleased to be able to add guest post from Dave to the guest posts from my other new friends you can see links for at the bottom. Here is Dave:Sitting on my patio in southern California, it is now

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Emily Oster on Understanding the Confusions that Can Arise from False Positives and False Negatives in Antibody Tests

11 days ago

A health worker process the COVID-19 antibody test on May 5 in Torrance, California.
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Don’t Take a Year Off From College Just Because Classes Are Online

That Viral Mask Study Was Done on Hamsters

I Need a Hug

What Is the Point of Temperature Checks?

A version of this article appeared on the website COVID-Explained.

When people discuss testing for COVID-19 antibodies—“serology testing”—there is a lot of talk about false positives, about “sensitivity,”

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The Federalist Papers #10 A: Conflicts Arising from Differences of Opinion Are an Inevitable Accompaniment of Liberty—James Madison

12 days ago

Partisanship is an inevitable accompaniment to democracy. Partisanship can be more or less unpleasant, and more or less destructive of friendly relationships, but it will be there. In the Federalist Papers #10, James Madison argues that we can’t get rid of what he calls “faction (which we might define as energetic differences of opinion that affect politics) but that we can mitigate the baleful effects of faction. The beginning of the Federalist Paper #10 details some of the baleful effects of faction: violenceinstabilityinjusticeconfusiondisregard of the public goodviolation of the rights of those in the minorityoverbearing lawsdistrust of

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Econolimerick #1

16 days ago

“Of all the things that are taught,As if to know it you ought,One of long pedigree,Is the U-Shaped AC,But the reasons behind it are rot.” To back this up, see:

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An Inexpensive Cold Sore Treatment That Doubles as an Antiseptic Towelette

17 days ago

I have been trying to focus many Tuesday diet and health posts lately on things that can be immediately useful during the pandemic we are in. Here is something that is prosaic, but genuinely useful. Some people have had trouble finding all of the antiseptic wipes they want. Benzalkonium Chloride wipes seem to still be available. I assume that Benzalkonium Chloride is lethal to the novel coronavirus, but don’t know for sure. (Here is a recent article that is relevant.) What I can vouch for is the usefulness of these Benzalkonium Chloride wipes for another use. Like a large fraction of Americans, I am subject to periodic outbreaks of cold sores.

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Who is Doing New Research in the Time of COVID-19? Not the Female Economists—Noriko Amano-Patiño, Elisa Faraglia, Chryssi Giannitsarou and Zeina Hasna

18 days ago

Noriko Amano-Patiño, Elisa Faraglia, Chryssi Giannitsarou, Zeina Hasna 02 May 2020

While countries around the world are experiencing dramatic declines in economic activity as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, academic economists seem to have accelerated their production of research papers. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 shock has provided economists with an unprecedented opportunity to study the different economic and social implications of drastic policy measures that were unthinkable only a few months ago. But who are the economists exploiting this opportunity? Our analysis suggests it is neither women nor midcareer economists.
It is widely recognised that a confluence of factors has created an unfavourable environment for women in the labour

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The Wisdom of Jerome Powell

19 days ago

For the video above: YouTube link; Brookings link; link to full text on the Federal Reserve Board websiteCrises often reveal the strengths and weaknesses of leaders. Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell’s April 9, 2020 speech on COVID-19 and the economy impressed me. Let me highlight some passages in his speech that struck me as especially wise. First:None of us has the luxury of choosing our challenges; fate and history provide them for us. Our job is to meet the tests we are presented.According to Rod Dreher, this echoes Gandalf:A young man once confided to a religious elder his anxiety over the hard times in which he was living. This is natural, said the elder, but such things are beyond our control: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”In fact, the

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Miles Kimball’s Discussion of “When to Release the Lockdown: A Wellbeing Framework for Analysing Benefits and Costs,” by Layard, Clark, De Neve, Krekel, Fancourt, Hey and O’Donnell

22 days ago

Richard Layard, Andrew Clark, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Christian Kekel, Daisy Fancourt, Nancy Hey and Gus O’Donnell are to be commended for doing a transparent cost-benefit analysis based on well-being of a key dimension of the policy choice we now: how long to continue the lockdowns. And Paul Frijters is to be commended for an excellent discussion of this paper, arguing that despite their bottom line that lockdowns should be ended soon, that Layard et al. are too kind to lockdowns. Let me offer some comments that might point out some aspects of the issue that might not be fully apparent from reading the Layard et al. paper and Paul Frijters’s

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Vicky Biggs Pradhan: The Lost Art of Curiosity

24 days ago

The primary theme of Positive Psychology is that mental health is not just about fixing problems—it is also about building strengths. In this vein, I have found Co-Active coaching and Co-Active leadership training to be one of the most powerful tools for building strengths and for tackling psychological problems of the sort that almost every human being has. I believe in this approach; I have voted with my feet by becoming a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (on top of my job as an economics professor) and by participating in the Co-Active Leadership Program. As I have already begun to do (see the links at the bottom of this post), I plan to

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The Federalist Papers #9 B: A Large Confederation May Be More Politically Stable Than a Small Nation—Alexander Hamilton Cites Montesquieu

26 days ago

Alexander Hamilton considered Montesquieu to be in such high regard among his readers that in the Federalist Paper #9, he takes pains to parry Montesquieu’s praise of small nationsto trumpet Montesquieu’s praise of confederationsto argue that it is OK to have the federal government interject itself into state governments to a considerable extentto argue that it is OK to have more populous states have more votes in the federal government.The subject to which Alexander Hamilton applies this treatment of Montesquieu is the “enlargement of the orbit” of the type of republican systems that existed within each of the states:To this catalogue of

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The Economist: China Aims to Launch the World’s First Official Digital Currency

27 days ago

Apr 23rd 2020SHANGHAICENTRAL BANKS have had a busy pandemic. Along with injecting vast amounts of money into the financial system, they have cleaned vast amounts of it—literally. From America to South Korea, central banks have quarantined and disinfected potentially contaminated banknotes. This hassle should make them all the more interested in a digital-currency pilot now under way in China. If successful, it could change how central banks manage both liquidity and physical cash.Dozens of central banks have started looking at whether to issue digital currencies. But only a few have run trials and none has gone as far as China, which appears set to become the first country to put a central-bank digital currency (CBDC) into limited use. China’s four largest commercial banks began internal

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Paul Romer: Roadmap to Responsibly Reopen America

April 29, 2020

Will Our Economy Die From Coronavirus?

Paul Romer and Alan M. Garber, The New York Times, March 23, 2020

Testing Is Our Way

Paul Romer and Rajiv Shah, The Wall Street Journal, April 02, 2020

From Singapore: Why We May Need to Think Bigger

Aaron E. Carroll, The New York Times, April 14, 2020

a monumental effort of political

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Can Fasting Help Fight the Coronavirus?

April 28, 2020

Since I wrote “Fasting Helps Avoid Collateral Damage in Fighting Bacterial Infections; Glucose Helps Avoid Collateral Damage in Fighting Viral Infections” about the potential dangers of being in a fasted state at the acute stage of COVID-19 when the immune system is hyperactive and immune system processes could do damage to own cells, I have been interested in possible other effects of fasting at other stages of infection. On this, note that the acute phase when one’s immune system is hyperactive is likely to be under a doctor’s care, so decisions then can probably be outsourced to that doctor; effects at other stages are more likely to be

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