Tuesday , April 7 2020
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The author Tyler Cowen
Tyler Cowen
Tyler Cowen is an American economist, academic, and writer. He occupies the Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics as a professor at George Mason University and is co-author, with Alex Tabarrok, of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution. Cowen and Tabarrok have also ventured into online education by starting Marginal Revolution University. He currently writes the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times, and he also writes for such publications as The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, and the Wilson Quarterly.

T. Cowen: Marginal Revolution

World 2.0 — “There are decades where nothing happens, and weeks where decades happen”

This is from a very able and perceptive correspondent: World 1.0 World 2.0 110 successive months of job growth 10 million jobless claims in 2 weeks 10 year bull market across sectors Winners and losers with extreme outcome inequality Full employment 30% unemployment Base rate thinking First principles thinking Physical Digital Office by default Remote by default Office for work Office for connection, community, ecosystem, makerspaces Suit, tie, wristwatch, business card...

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Measuring the Cost of Regulation: A Text-Based Approach

We derive a measure of firm-level regulatory costs from the text of corporate earnings calls. We then use this measure to study the effect of regulation on companies’ operating fundamentals and cost of capital. We find that higher regulatory cost results in slower sales growth, an effect which is mitigated for large firms. Furthermore, we find a one-standard deviation increase in our preferred measure of regulatory cost is associated with an increase in firms’ cost of capital of close to 3%...

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Friday assorted links

1. Scott Alexander reviews Toby Ord’s The Precipice, about existential risk. 2. Pooled testing in Germany. 3. A critique of the Paycheck Protection Program — it might help already stable restaurants the most.  See also this tweet storm. 4. Should we pivot to a service trade agenda? 5. Full paper assessing health care capacity in India. 6. Claims about Covid and the future economics of cultural institutions. 7. I could link to Matt Levine every day, but do read this one on...

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That was then, this is now: Palantir privacy edition

Data-analytics company Palantir Technologies Inc. is in talks to provide software to governments across Europe to battle the spread of Covid-19 and make strained health-care systems more efficient, a person familiar with the matter said. The software company is in discussions with authorities in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the person said, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are private… European Union Commissioner Thierry Breton said Monday that the bloc...

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How many lives is hospitalization saving in the pandemic?

Do we have evidence that hospitalization of COVID19 patients is actually saving significant numbers of lives? I’ve now seen multiple studies suggesting that up to 80 or 90 percent of patients who end up on ventilators ultimately die.  At this point, I guess there’s no way to know if the other 10 percent would have lived without the ventilators.  From what I can tell, most other hospitalized patients are getting supplemental oxygen, IV fluids and antibiotics.  I have not seen any evidence on...

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The fiscal multiplier during World War II

WWII is viewed as the quintessential example of fiscal stimulus and exerts an outsized influence on fiscal multiplier estimates, but the wartime economy was highly unusual. I use newly-digitized contract data to construct a state-level panel on U.S. spending in WWII. I estimate a relative fiscal multiplier of 0.25, implying an aggregate multiplier of roughly 0.3. Conversion from civilian manufacturing to war production reduced the initial shock to economic activity because war production...

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How can a programmer help bleg?

I appreciate your frequent high quality work on covid 19.  I’m assuming you’re more plugged into various endeavors to fight covid 19 than I am, so I wanted to ask you for some suggestions. For someone who has strong technical and analytical skills, but little domain-specific knowledge about pandemics, virology, or any of the other manufacturing challenges the world faces right now, what are some of the projects someone could most easily start or contribute to that would have the...

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Thursday assorted links

1. Haircuts for airlines.  And time to prepare for voting by mail. 2. David Piling (FT) wonders whether India and Africa should do full lockdown. 3. Redundancy, not reshoring, is the key to supply chain security. 4. “Our classification implies that 34 percent of U.S. jobs can plausibly be performed at home.” 5. Why was it so hard to raise the coronavirus alarm? (the yappers are one reason, btw — are you one of them?) 6. Under these calculations, an average coronavirus death...

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America’s regulatory state is failing — we can’t even give money away

Top U.S. banks have threatened to give the federal government’s small-business rescue program a miss on concerns about taking on too much financial and legal risk, five people with direct knowledge of industry discussions told Reuters… Their main concern is that the Treasury Department has said it expects lenders to verify borrower eligibility, and take steps to prevent fraud, money laundering and protect customer information under the Bank Secrecy Act, sources said. Banks are worried...

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New issue of Econ Journal Watch

Lots of economics, remember what that is?  Here is the link, check out the contents.  Topics include bracero labor, lone shooters, film incentive programs, FDA liberalization, should Ed Leamer get a Nobel Prize, reviewing money and banking textbooks, and much more. The post New issue of Econ Journal Watch appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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