The worthies on the closing of the browser tabs.Nice comparison of vacant housing to transitional unemployment, in an American context. Filing this one away here for the next time somebody notices a few empty houses and decides that policy should do something about it. It comes up too often. Susan Edmunds over at Stuff looks at household income distributions; the piece includes a short bit from me on AHC- and BHC- incomes. Universities need to lift their darned game. AUT not only caved at the last minute to pressure from the Chinese Embassy to pull the rooms booked for a memorial event for the Tienanmen Massacre, they also (and I just cannot stress enough how stupid this is) failed to redact the name of the lecturer who had booked the rooms when the documents were released under OIA. I
Eric Crampton considers the following as important: academia, assorted links, China, copyright, experimental economics, Google, Housing, Inequality, New Zealand, RBNZ, Regulation, Rush, sugar
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- Nice comparison of vacant housing to transitional unemployment, in an American context. Filing this one away here for the next time somebody notices a few empty houses and decides that policy should do something about it. It comes up too often.
- Susan Edmunds over at Stuff looks at household income distributions; the piece includes a short bit from me on AHC- and BHC- incomes.
- Universities need to lift their darned game.
- AUT not only caved at the last minute to pressure from the Chinese Embassy to pull the rooms booked for a memorial event for the Tienanmen Massacre, they also (and I just cannot stress enough how stupid this is) failed to redact the name of the lecturer who had booked the rooms when the documents were released under OIA. I hope that lecturer does not have family living under the Communist dictatorship. Utter muppetry. Newsroom's since blanked out the name but what the hell.
- International students at Auckland University from China cannot be expected to feel safe there unless the University takes a stronger stand in support of their international students - and especially when the Chinese embassy is lauding the pro-Communist student who shoved the student who was supporting the protesters in Hong Kong.
- I dunno what the answer is here. Stronger emphasis on freedom of speech in international student orientation events and policies expelling students who become violent in debate with other students could be part of it. But universities are massively dependent on foreign students, disproportionately from China. Capped domestic tuition fees have the universities seek money where they can - from full-fees paying foreign students. The government has to cap tuition fee increases because students don't really pay them - the government does. The first year's free, the rest is funded by loans that are marked down by about 45% the second they're issued. Every tuition fee increase increases the government's liability through the student loan portfolio. So you get this self-reinforcing mess that the government cannot afford to cover the education costs for the volume of students it wants to go through the universities and is unwilling to have students pay their own way a bit more, so pushes the universities to get international students to cover the bill. That builds in vulnerabilities when stuff like this happens.
- If you wanted to build a house out of straw bales and eco-friendly materials, good luck getting it signed off and consented. "Oh, the market fails to provide eco-friendly alternatives!" Yeah, well, if the government won't sign off on the standards, then you get messes.
- Elsevier is expensive; the UC libraries no longer subscribe to them. So the excellent Ted Bergstrom is organising volunteers to put together running tables of contents of those journals with links through to faculty website copies of the final edited versions of their own papers. Superb.
- I don't get why the Reserve Bank wants to ban anyone who knows monetary and macroeconomics from serving on the monetary policy committee, but that looks to be what they're doing. It's hard to come up with good explanations. The piece at Interest has some minor comment from me.
- Running field experiments? Watch out for this: the presence of the foreigner as experimenter changes behaviour.
- Google might yet build itself a city development in Toronto. It looks pretty neat.
- I also give a couple warnings about a 'virtual shopping' study finding that people in a fake supermarket are responsive to sugar taxes. In the real world, people stock up when things are on special, and buy less when it isn't, so short-term price responsiveness isn't the same thing as long term consumption changes.
- A mammoth listening task: Jordan Hoffman ranks 180 Rush songs. The ranking is very defensible, though I'd have moved Dreamline and Time Stand Still up the list a bit and pushed Working Man down the list. Almost all of the songs are on Spotify; here's a playlist, from lowest to highest ranked. And Hoffman is absolutely correct in his top pick (again: 1 here is the lowest-ranked. You work your way up). UPDATE: It looks like the embedded playlist can only run the lowest-ranked 100; click through to the web player to get the full list.