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Tag Archives: economists

Jones and Fernández-Villaverde update

Chad Jones and Jesús Fernández-Villaverde have updated their SIR model with social distancing. A part I find very intriguing is that they impute the infection rate and the reproduction rate from death rate data. The infection rate (I_t)  is given by [I_t = frac{1}{delta gamma} left( frac{d_{t+2}-d_{t+1}}{theta} - d_{t+1} right)] where the greek letters are parameters they estimate by fitting the path of deaths over time, and (d_t) is the daily death rate. Though deaths only happen a few...

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Schmitz on monopoly

Jim Schmitz has released the first salvo in what promises to be a monumental work on monopoly, titled Monopolies Inflict Great Harm on Low- and Middle-Income Americans. (I love titles with answers and no colons.)Today, monopolies inflict great harm on low- and middle-income Americans. One particularly pernicious way they harm them is by sabotaging low-cost products that are substitutes for the monopoly products. I'll argue that the U.S. housing crisis, legal crisis, and oral health...

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Markets work even in crisis

A lovely result of the corona virus outbreak has been how we see stifling aspects of regulations. Right left and center are figuring out that the regulations need reform. Now, the forces for regulatory stagnation are always strong, so the insight may fade with the virus. Still, let us enjoy it while it lasts.The trouble with regulations is that, unlike "stimulus," the action is all in minute detail not grand sweeping plan.John Goodman writes in ForbesThe Americans for Tax Reform calculates...

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An SIR model with behavior

Following my last post, the SIR model has been completely and totally wrong. Answers follow from assumptions. It assumes a constant reproduction rate, and the virus peters out when sick people run in to recovered and immune people. That's not what's happening -- people responded by lowering the contact rate, long before we ran in to herd immunity.I speculated last time about a model in which people respond to the severity of the disease by reducing contacts. Let's do it. (Warning: this post...

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Romer: if virus tests were like sodas; a modest extension

Paul Romer has a lovely post, If virus tests were like sodas. (HT Marginal Revolution.) Go enjoy the whole thing. It's short. A few excerpts and a suggested addition:Imagine a world in which the only way to get a soda is to get your doctor to write a prescription. It costs $20 per can. Your insurance company pays. ...Because they have to keep total costs from running out of control, insurance companies, health care providers, and government regulators have cobbled together a system that...

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