Thursday , March 4 2021
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Tag Archives: Economics

Canada Moves to First Doses First

The Canadian province of British Columbia has moved to First Doses First (as I suggested they would) with a four month (not three as in Great Britain) delay on the second dose. Quebec is already using FDF. I believe that the rest of Canada will follow shortly: Also on Monday, the province announced it is extending the time between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to four months. The change, as well as Health Canada’s approval of a third vaccine, means every eligible person in...

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The English Data Support First Doses First

A new study from Public Health England shows that both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine work well from the first dose. If that sounds familiar it’s because the results are similar to those found in Scotland. The results cover all adults in England aged 70 years and older (over 7.5 million people). Vaccination with either a single dose of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccination was associated with a significant reduction in symptomatic SARS-CoV2 positive cases in older adults with...

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The Gregory Clark working paper

I wanted to present this paper to you all, here is the abstract: Economics, Sociology, and Anthropology are dominated by the belief that social outcomes depend mainly on parental investment and community socialization. Using a lineage of 402,000 English people 1750-2020 we test whether such mechanisms better predict outcomes than a simple additive genetics model. The genetics model predicts better in all cases except for the transmission of wealth. The high persistence of status over multiple...

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A Biden Plan for World Vaccination

Canada has approved the AstraZeneca vaccine. The US has not. The US has paid for an AstraZeneca factory in Baltimore and stockpiled millions of doses. The US should lease the factory to Canada or simply make the doses available for export. The same factory will also produce the J&J vaccine so it’s possible that there is some small opportunity cost. Exporting vaccine to our close ally, trading partner, and neighbor, however, would create significant political, economic, and health...

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Lynne Kiesling and Vernon Smith on Texas electricity

How can the resilience of ERCOT’s grid be improved without resorting to costly regulatory mandates that may or may not yield benefits? ERCOT could implement clear market rules requiring natural gas generators to have firm supply contracts in order to be certified as an eligible resource for emergency conditions. Plant owners have incentives to do so because they would have market access under high-price conditions where their performance would more than compensate them for the insurance cost...

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Following the science? — the show so far

As the pace of recovery quickens, and most balance sheets continue to look decent, it seems increasingly obvious that $1.9 trillion is too much to spend.  We are spending at least $1 trillion too much, with very little investment to show for it, and $1 trillion is a lot of money.  Heaven forbid they should make part of the stimulus dependent on future macroeconomic variables, which is what science would suggest. New CDC school opening guidelines fail to “follow the science.”...

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Is all that extra money trapped in high asset prices? (no)

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column.  Here is one bit: The hypothesis is that a lot of this new money got funneled into asset price markets, rather than being spent on goods and services. Measured rates of price inflation for consumer goods have remained stubbornly below 2%. This view is misguided. First, dollars are not “trapped” in one sector of an economy, unable to be spent in other areas. If for instance equity prices are very high relative to food, people will sell equities...

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Market Design to Accelerate Vaccine Supply

Market design to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine supply is my new paper in Science, co-authored with Camilo Castillo, Michael Kremer, Eric Budish, Susan Athey and others. We make three vital points. First, governments invested much less than our group advised. We spent trillions on fiscal support and maybe $20 billion or so on vaccines, far too little. Nevertheless, the 3bn courses we have (conservatively) in 2021 capacity is worth on the order of $17.4 trillion or $5800 per course. If advance...

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My Caribbean podcast with the excellent Rasheed Griffith

One hour, fifteen minutes, almost all of it about the history and culture and economic future of the Caribbean, here is the audio.  It starts with Rasheed interviewing me, but later becomes more of a back-and-forth dialog, covering Cuba, Trinidad, Barbados, the best music from Jamaica, why Haiti has failed so badly, whether the Caribbean will be Latinized, and much more.  This one is pretty much entirely fresh material and I enjoyed doing it very much. Rasheed is from Barbados, he is a very...

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Duke is a Trademark Bully!

Duke University has gone to incredibly and absurd lengths to contest other people’s trademark applications. For example, Duke opposed the following marks by filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board : “The Dude Diet” for a diet-related website “Kuke” for electronic products “Goluke” for clothing “Le Duc” for food and drink services they have even tried to claim they own “devil” and filed oppositions against: “Werdo” with this scribbled image of a devil for...

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