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Casey Mulligan: Supply and Demand

The Supply and Demand (in that order) blog by Professor Casey Mulligan (University of Chicago) examines various economic issues like fiscal policy, labor economics, and industrial organization using basic economic tools. The blog has pivoted to cover more health economics lately.

Michael T. Maloney: A Few Memories

Michael T. Maloney passed away this week. We both loved applied price theory and golfed to the exact same handicap.We both liked sailing too and together sailed around Long Island in less than 24 hours. He frequently asked why we had to spend so much time scouring the ocean for our competition. To this day I don’t know how to answer this question coming from a first-class IO economist, but perhaps he did not want to imitate Ahab too much.I wish to find better pictures (Skip has several on...

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Misleading Baltimore Stats for Celebrating Lax on Crime

In 2020, the City of Baltimore stopped prosecuting "minor charges" such as drug crimes.  The headlines are that 2020 crime "went down a lot" from 2019.  Homicides fell by 13.Not mentioned is that, over a similar time frame (2020 Q1-Q3 vs 2019 Q1-Q3), "Opioid Intoxication Deaths" increased by 48 persons (at an annual rate).  That is an increase of 36 percent, compared to 21 percent for the rest of the state of Maryland or 3 percent for Baltimore 2018-2019. Of course a lot of unusual things...

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How Chicago Economics is Helping End a Pandemic: Interview with Murphy, Philipson, Topel

Covid-19 has disrupted much of human life, but Operation Warp Speed has drastically mitigated the costs of the virus. The $10 billion federal program launched in April 2020 encouraged and accelerated the development and mass manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, streamlined Federal approval for vaccines and their manufacture, and provided Federal funds for private vaccine research and advance-purchase orders.  COVID-19 vaccines are currently being administered to the general public at least...

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White House Attitudes toward Fraud: Evidence from 75 ERPs

Judging from their Economic Reports, few Presidents have given much thought to the problems of fraud.  When they do, typically private sector fraud is cited as a reason for government regulation.  Prior to 2019, ERPs rarely included analysis of incentives to prevent fraud, and never explained why those incentives would be different when the victim of fraud is a private entity as opposed to taxpayers.  Does this reflect a (noneconomic) view that fraud is a consequence of bad people rather...

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The Fallacy of the Heap Returns

The (il)logic of Obamaeconomics has returned:Each $100 of weekly unemployment bonus has hardly any negative effect (some might say "no statistically significant effect") on employment or GDP.Food stamp benefits have hardly any negative effect on employment or GDP.Rental assistance has hardly any negative effect on employment or GDP.Obamacare subsidies have hardly any negative effect on employment or GDP.Minimum wage increases have hardly any negative effect on employment or GDP.A new...

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Parler Competes Horizontally with Amazon, Apple, and Google?

Parler is a microblogging platform that was cut off from the internet by its web hosting service, Amazon.  Almost as drastic, Apple and Google took steps to prevent the use of Parler on their mobile operating systems.  Unlike Twitter, Amazon, Apple and Google do not describe themselves as microblogging platforms.  At first glance, these would seem to be vertical (i.e., supply chain) relationships with no potential to harm competition.  Wrong!For brevity, I will not go into the competitive...

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Updates on Parler’s War with Big Tech

Amazon turned off Parler’s servers last night, disconnecting Parler.com from the internet, and with it the social media accounts of almost 20 million people.Parler CEO also reported (yesterday AM on Fox Business) that attorneys, email, and other suppliers are refusing to supply his company.  Although he said that transferring the company's software and data could be done in about 12 hours, today he wrote that "We will likely be down longer than expected" because of the time it takes to find...

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White House Attitudes toward “Screening Agencies” (looking at you FDA)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been part of many conversations in 2020.  To the great frustration of tens of millions, it has to approve COVID tests and arguably applies the wrong (from economic and health perspectives) standards in doing so.  It is also tasked with approving COVID treatments and vaccines.  Vaccine approvals came much quicker than experts expected, although IMO not quickly enough.With few exceptions, economists have “long been aware that the agency causes...

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How Economics Helped End a Pandemic

]]> Last March Dr. Fauci explained to a Senate committee that “a vaccine … will take at least a year or year and a half” until it is administered to the general public. In his next testimony, he added, “I don’t give advice about economic things.”  If Dr. Fauci had paid more attention to economics, at least what had reached his own inbox in the prior year via the White House Staff Secretary, he would have understood how different vaccine development during a pandemic would be, and should...

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Look at Article II of the Constitution before Censoring Trump

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution says [emphasis added], Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress....I am not a lawyer, let alone Constitutional scholar.  I welcome such scholars to engage and clarify what follows (suspecting that most of these scholars are currently retained by either Rs or Ds and therefore...

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