Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas and Olivier Jeanne: Global safe assets
Sasha Issenberg: How Obama Used Big Data to Rally Voters
Josh Marshall: On the Road to Peak Stupid: "[T]here appears to be no limit to the appetite for or at least the supply of breezy contrarianism. But when it’s about kids getting shredded by in mass killings it’s even less appealing than it normally is. Which brings us to this now much-mocked article by Megan McArdle. After breezily rejecting all possible steps society can take… Megan McArdle … does have one practical idea: teach the kids to rush the gunman, mid-massacre… 'I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.' It’s true that in some cases, if a dozen or more people can rush a gunman at once there’s some chance they’ll overpower him. It’s also pretty certain a bunch of those people will get killed. But please don’t conclude by putting this forward as some sensible approach to school massacres after dismissing others as unrealistic or impractical. The whole lump of nonsense makes me wish purveyors of over-cleverness and hack think tank denizen garbage could be sent to a time out."
Gerben Bakker: How Motion Pictures Industrialized Entertainment: "Motion pictures constituted a revolutionary new technology that transformed entertainment—a rival, labor-intensive service—into a non-rival commodity. Combining growth accounting with a new output concept shows productivity growth in entertainment surpassed that in any manufacturing industry between 1900 and 1938. Productivity growth in personal services was not stagnant by definition, as current understanding has it, but instead was unparalleled in some cases. Motion pictures’ contribution to aggregate GDP and TFP growth was much smaller than that of general purpose technologies steam, railways, and electricity, but not insignificant. An observer might have noted that 'motion pictures are everywhere except in the productivity statistics'. 'So long as the number of persons who can be reached by a human voice is strictly limited, it is not very likely that any singer will make an advance on the £10,000 said to have been earned in a season by Mrs. Billington at the beginning of the last century, nearly as great as that which the business leaders of the present generation have made on the last'--Alfred Marshall"
Sarah Kliff: Implementing the Affordable Care Act: "‘It’s a massive, nine-month sprint.’ Officials in the states that received approval last week to run their own exchanges describe the effort as a huge undertaking, with much work still to be done…States must build Web sites that will tell consumers whether they are eligible for subsidized coverage and detail the cost of a plan’s premiums, based on factors such as age and smoking status. They must also create consumer support programs to work with Americans who might be purchasing insurance coverage for the first time…"
Frances Wooley: Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: The dirty secret of economics education: "It's hardly a secret to anyone who's worked in an economics department: a good number of students enrol in economics because they want to study something that seems vaguely useful, but they don't have the grades, or the mathematics and language skills, to make it in business or engineering…. They just want a qualification that will help them to get a job. At this time of year, while I'm marking final exams, I despair for them, yet I'm sympathetic to their plight. Is it so unreasonable for them to expect to get some useful, job related training at a university?… Realistically, the students who are struggling to pass third year economics courses are never going to be policy analysts or economic journalists. So what am I teaching them that would help them in the job market?… I don't teach spelling and grammar…. I don't teach students… accounting… or human resource management…. I teach mainstream microeconomics, which means I don't talk at all about the macroeconomy, or jobs and growth. Profits? In a competitive market, economic profits are equal to zero. Innovation? Technology is exogenous…. I called this post 'The dirty secret of economics education'. But, in fact, it's the dirty secret of post-secondary education more generally: we're teaching students what we want to teach. Sometimes that's what students want to learn. Sometimes it's not."
Rand Ghayad and William Dickens: What Can We Learn by Disaggregating the Unemployment-Vacancy Relationship?
@delong BTW FYI, "7 Economists" would be "Shichinin no Keizaigakusha"...— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) December 17, 2012
New proposal: deal must get "aye" votes from Rubio, Ryan, Portman, Ayotte, and Thune so GOP can't run from it like the 1990 budget deal.— Ethan Pollack (@ethanpollack) December 18, 2012