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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

Lies vs. silence?

That is the contrast in my latest Bloomberg column.  The claims about the Republicans are more widely circulated in educated circles, so here is the section on the Democrats: Given the greater deployment of intellectual argument, smart, educated people are exposed to a more persuasive case for Democratic positions. But there is a danger in this asymmetry: when Democratic ideas are not working or are poorly designed. Rather than constructing brazen untruths, the Democratic intelligentsia...

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Saturday assorted links

1. How to write a book, circa 2021. 2. Cowen’s Second Law what the hell is this? 3. Why are non-alcoholic spirits so expensive? 4. Markets in everything: out of order watches. 5. On Todd, the church, and the cousin marriage hypothesis. 6. A new youngest grandmaster ever? 7. The education freedom program — should students have the right to take a class at any university whatsoever? The post Saturday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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Prescription Only Apps????

Scott Alexander has a good post on prescription only Apps. Trouble falling asleep? You could take sleeping pills, but they’ve got side effects. Guidelines recommend you try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia (CBT-i), a medication-free process where you train yourself to fall asleep by altering your schedule and sleep conditions. …Late last year, Pear Therapeutics released a CBT-i app (formerly “SHUT-i”, now “Somryst”) which holds the patient’s hand through the complicated...

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What I’ve been reading

1. David Thomson, A Light in the Dark: A History of Movie Directors.  One of the best attempts to make the auteur notion intelligible to the modern viewer, he surveys major directors such as Welles, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Godard and others.  Stephen Frears is the dark horse pick, and he recommends the Netflix show Ozark.  I always find Thomson worth reading. 2. Wenfei Tong, Bird Love: The Family Life of Birds.  Now this is a great book, wonderful photos, superb analytics and bottom-line approach...

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Friday assorted links

1. Alexey Guzey has a new non-profit — New Science — which seeks to revitalize science funding. 2. Wealth inequality is not the same as consumption inequality.  Relevant for capital gains tax issues. 3. Noah: “My unified theory of COVID denial is “fear management”. People who weren’t used to being afraid of things suddenly had something to fear, and didn’t know how to deal with it, and felt ashamed, so they denied COVID in order to try to convince...

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What should I ask Alexander the Grate?

No typo there, nor has backward time travel been invented.  I will be doing a Conversation with him, and here is a brief summary: He has lived on various heating grates in Southwest D.C. for almost all of his homeless life, which is why he introduced himself as “Alexander the Grate,” when he and I first met in 1983. Several years ago, he told me this: “The bottom line is that the urban homeless in Washington, D.C., don’t create structures. We can’t because of the restrictions. Rather, we...

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India Delays the 2nd Dose; Delaying 2nd Dose Improves Immune Response; Fractional Dosing

India has delayed the second dose to 12-16 weeks. In other news, delaying the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine appears to improves the immune response (as was also found for the AstraZeneca vaccine). The latter is a news report based on a press release so some caution is warranted but frankly this was always the Bayesian bet since most vaccines have a longer time between doses as that helps the immune system. As Tyler and myself both argued, the short gap between the first and second dose...

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The Economist on Patent Waivers

A good statement from The Economist: We believe that Mr Biden is wrong. A waiver may signal that his administration cares about the world, but it is at best an empty gesture and at worst a cynical one. A waiver will do nothing to fill the urgent shortfall of doses in 2021. The head of the World Trade Organisation, the forum where it will be thrashed out, warns there may be no vote until December. Technology transfer would take six months or so to complete even if it started today. With the...

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David Brooks on how wokeness will get watered down

But as the discourse gets more corporatized it’s going to get watered down. The primary ideology in America is success; that ideology has a tendency to absorb all rivals. We saw this happen between the 1970s and the 1990s. American hippies built a genuinely bohemian counterculture. But as they got older they wanted to succeed. They brought their bohemian values into the market, but year by year those values got thinner and thinner and finally were nonexistent. Corporations and other...

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The gender confidence gap in economics

From Heather Sarsons and Guo Xu, in the new AEA Papers and Proceedings: Women are 7.3 percentage points less likely to provide extreme judgments (column 1). In terms of magnitude, this gap is economically large. Compared to the mean of the dependent vari-able (19.8 percent), this corresponds to a gap of 36 percent. The gap is somewhat smaller for the self-reported confidence level but still nontrivial (column 3). On average, women tend to report a confidence score that is 0.221 points lower...

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