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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.

Miles Kimball

Reihan Salam: What Fiji Can Teach America About Immigration

Read: How the Democrats lost their way on immigrationWhat should we Americans take away from Fiji’s recent history? For one, the priorities of immigration systems in desirable destination countries can have powerful effects on the decisions made by potential immigrants. Many thoughtful scholars, including Clemens, have argued that the best thing affluent market democracies can do regarding immigration is admit larger numbers of intending immigrants, both high skill and low skill, because...

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In Honor of Alan Krueger

I can’t do Alan Krueger justice in this post. But I can say something. Much has been written about Alan’s public career. I knew him best in graduate school, and only occasionally ran into him after that. Alan and I were classmates; we were both in Harvard’s Ph.D. program in Economics from 1983 to 1987. Alan was one of my classmates that I...

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Adam Harris: One Way to Stop College-Admissions Insanity: Admit More Students

College seats, overall, aren’t scarce by any means, but seats at selective institutions are—and purposely so. Institutions typically argue that keeping a steady, reasonably sized enrollment allows them to maintain high-quality services for students: student-teacher interaction, tutoring, and a vibrant campus culture. But scarcity has the added benefit of increasing an institution’s prestige. The more students who apply, and the fewer students who get in, the more selective an institution...

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Echo Huang: The East and West Have Very Different Ideas on Who to Save in a Self-Driving Car Accident

As countries race to put self-driving cars on road, these vehicles, like human drivers, will inevitably one day be in sole charge of split-second decisions that will result in life or death. Sometimes any decision will unavoidably cause harm to one set of people or another—the famous trolley problem. In that case, what human preferences should shape the algorithms that will decide what the car will do?Researchers from MIT’s Media Lab have found the answer to that can be quite different...

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Olivia Goldhill: Google Translate is a Manifestation of Wittgenstein’s Dictum that the Meaning of a Word is in its Use

More than 60 years after philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s theories on language were published, the artificial intelligence behind Google Translate has provided a practical example of his hypotheses. Patrick Hebron, who works on machine learning in design at Adobe and studied philosophy with Wittgenstein expert Garry Hagberg for his bachelor’s degree at Bard College, notes that the networks behind Google Translate are a very literal representation of Wittgenstein’s work.Google employees have...

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Q&A on the Idea of a US Sovereign Wealth Fund

Chris Campbell asked me some interesting questions about the idea of a US Sovereign Wealth Fund. Here they are, along with my answers. His questions are in bold. Afterward, I gives some related links and Chris gives an introduction to himself. 1.     What makes sovereign wealth funds such an exciting concept for countries to adopt and/or...

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