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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

Wednesday assorted links

1. Vitalik Buterin fellowships in existential safety. 2. I wanted to send this article to someone, yet no one is really an appropriate recipient, so I am putting it here (NYT). 3. Chess problem of attacking Queens is solved. 4. Memorial to a Swedish life.  Very good (and sad). 5. The rise of the biohacker (FT, the framing is excessively negative, but an interesting piece nonetheless). 6. Yes taxes really do matter (Mankiw). 7. New (free Kindle) book: The Essential UCLA School of...

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My Conversation with Amia Srinivasan

I am pleased to have had the chance to do this, as in my view she is one of the thinkers today who has a) super smarts, b) breadth and depth of reading, and c) breadth and depth of thinking.  That combination is rare!  That said, I don’t quite agree with her on everything, so this exchange had more disagreements than perhaps what you are used to sampling from CWT. Here is the transcript and audio.  Here is part of the CWT summary: Amia joined Tyler to discuss the importance of context...

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One Billion Vaccinations in a Month!

The news on world vaccinations is good. As of late September of 2021 we have vaccinated 3.43 billion people (2.51 billion people with 2 doses). Even more impressive over the last 30 days the world vaccinated one billion people. That is a tremendous achievement. There are about 7.9 billion people in the world so 44% of the world has had at least one dose and nearly a third of the world population has  had two doses. We are on track to fully vaccinate 70% of all adults in 2021 and most of the...

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The NYTimes on the FDA and Rapid Tests

In July of 2020 I wrote in Frequent, Fast, and Cheap is Better than Sensitive: A number of firms have developed cheap, paper-strip tests for coronavirus that report results at-home in about 15 minutes but they have yet to be approved for use by the FDA because the FDA appears to be demanding that all tests reach accuracy levels similar to the PCR test. This is another deadly FDA mistake. …The PCR tests can discover virus at significantly lower concentration levels than the cheap tests...

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How economists use gdp to think

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column.  Here is one bit: An appreciation of GDP helps keep things in perspective. Say there is some social or economic trend you dislike or think dangerous. One inclination would be to try to visualize that trend as a share of GDP. Most things are a pretty small fraction of GDP, reflecting the scope and the robustness of the U.S. economy. In one sense America is a vast and sprawling system of shopping malls, restaurants, factories, coffee shops,...

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Claims about columns

Like I said, I never wanted to be a columnist, but no one did when I started back in 2000. Sure, there were columnists around then, some of whom still write for the Guardian (Jonathan Freedland, Martin Kettle, Polly Toynbee), some of whom sadly don’t (Martin Wollacott, Hugo Young). But column-writing was seen as something of a private members’ club: elitist, dusty and distant. Back then, young journalists wanted the fun, scrappy jobs: investigative reporter, music reviewer, features writer....

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Tuesday assorted links

1. Comprehensive look at why the labor share of income is declining. 2. “Our results indicate that higher education liberalizes moral concerns for most students, but it also departs from the standard liberal profile by promoting moral absolutism rather than relativism. These effects are strongest for individuals majoring in the humanities, arts, or social sciences, and for students pursuing graduate studies.”  Link here. 3. New evidence of continuing vaccine effectiveness.  And...

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The Kids Are Also Polarized

Adolescents used to identify with a party but polarization was muted by a general warmth towards authority figures. Today, however, the warmth is gone and adolescents are as polarized as adults which has implications for future polarization and generalized distrust. New paper by Iyengar and Tyler (note the data is pre-pandemic): We have shown that the onset of partisan polarization occurs early in the life cycle with very little change thereafter. Today, high levels of in-group favoritism...

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Intergenerational mobility with race and measurement error

A large body of evidence finds that relative mobility in the US has declined over the past 150 years. However, long-run mobility estimates are usually based on white samples and therefore do not account for the limited opportunities available for non-white families. Moreover, historical data measure the father’s status with error, which biases estimates toward greater mobility. Using linked census data from 1850-1940, I show that accounting for race and measurement error can double estimates...

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More on Ireland during World War II

A few more points: 1. Since both Germany and Britain maintained embassies in Dublin, Ireland became renowned during the war as “one of the whispering-galleries of Europe and a natural centre of for intrigue and spying of every kind.” 2. Fuel was so scarce that private motoring virtually ceased by 1943, and even public transport was problematic. 3. The War threw Ireland back into a state of almost complete cultural isolation. 4. In some odd ways the existence of Northern...

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