Saturday , September 25 2021
Home / Tag Archives: Economics

Tag Archives: Economics

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...

Read More »

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...

Read More »

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,...

Read More »

MRU Around the World

Here’s a message I received from Amol Shaila Suresh: Hi Prof. Alex, Last year, I started preparing for entrance exams of India’s premiere universities for masters in economics. I am an ‘engineering’ undergrad, turned to development sector. When I decided to do masters in economics, I had a huge 6 years educational gap and was amateur to the field. Mrs. Ashwini Kulkarni (whom you visited in Nashik, India to understand onion market) recommended me to check out...

Read More »

Sales Tax Collections in Fargo and Grand Forks

Sales tax is always an interesting topic. There is always the political angle of “we pay too much in taxes” and the whole “do we get value for taxes we pay.” These are all reasonable arguments that I love to watch as part of policy debates. When I start to look at data, call it the exploratory phase, I like to run graphs and other data analysis by others as much as I can. (This usually means my wife gets asked to check my work.) Now I caution this is still exploratory, so I am not ready...

Read More »

Covid and intertemporal substitution

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one bit: Before the vaccines came along, it made great sense to enforce masking norms. If infections could be shifted into the future, an eventually vaccinated citizenry would be much better protected. There is a less obvious corollary: Those same mask norms make less sense when large numbers of people are vaccinated. Masking still will push infections further into the future, but if the vaccines become marginally less effective over...

Read More »

Operation Warp Speed: A Story Yet to be Told

Operation Warp Speed was by far the most successful government program against COVID. But as of yet there is very little discussion or history of the program. As just an indication I looked for references in a bunch of pandemic books to General Perna who co-led OWS with Moncef Slaoui. Michael Lewis in The Premonition never mentions Perna. Neither does Slavitt in Preventable. Nor does Wright in The Plague Year. Nor does Gottlieb in Uncontrolled Spread. Abutaleb and Paletta in Nightmare...

Read More »

The Ig Nobel Prizes

The Ig Nobel Prize in Economics this year went to Pavlo Blavatskyy for Obesity of politicians and corruption in post-Soviet countries: We collected 299 frontal face images of 2017 cabinet ministers from 15 post-Soviet states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). For each image, the minister’s body-mass index is estimated using a computer vision algorithm. The median...

Read More »

My appearance on the Ezra Klein Show

Talking with Ezra is always both fun and enlightening for me, here is his partial summary of the episode: So we begin this conversation by discussing the case for and against economic growth, but we also get into lots of other things: why Cowen thinks the great stagnation in technology is coming to an end; the future of technologies like A.I., crypto, fourth-generation nuclear and the Chinese system of government; the problems in how we fund scientific research; what the right has done to...

Read More »

Secret Danish markets in everything

Denmark has paid the UK an undisclosed sum to accept 23 Afghan refugees who worked as interpreters for the Danish state for eight years. According to a report by Swedish broadsheet Svenska Dagbladet, the interpreters were granted a residence permit in the UK after twelve of them had their visa applications to Denmark rejected and eleven wanted to travel to the UK themselves. Even though the interpreters were technically employed by the British military, they worked for the Danes, wearing...

Read More »