## NOTEBOOK: Books &c....

https://archive.org/stream/apologiestothucy00sahl#mode/2up

Chalmers Johnson: MITI and the Japanese Miracle_ https://archive.org/details/mitijapanesemira00chal

Historia Augusta: Aurelian http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Historia_Augusta/Aurelian/1*.html

Joe Studwell: How Asia Works https://delong.typepad.com/files/studwell.pdf

Josiah Ober (2009): Epistemic democracy in Classical Athens: Sophistication, Diversity, and Innovation https://www.princeton.edu/~pswpc/pdfs/ober/080901.pdf: "Analysis of democracy in Athens as an 'epistemic' (knowledge-based) form of political and social organization. Adapted from Ober, Democracy and Knowledge, chapters 1-4...

Franz de Waal: Primates and Philosophers : How Morality Evolved https://archive.org/details/primatesphilosop00waal

Walter Jon Williams: Quillifer the Knight https://books.google.com/books?id=Dd20DwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_book_other_versions#v=onepage&q&f=false...

Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling http://www.gutenberg.org/files/6593/6593-h/6593-h.htm

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (2012): Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty https://books.google.com/?id=2dlnBoX4licC

Xenophon: Anabasis http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1170/1170-h/1170-h.htm...

Pseudo-Aristotle: Oeconomica https://ia600201.us.archive.org/9/items/oeconomica01arisuoft/oeconomica01arisuoft.pdf...

Xenophon: The Economist http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1173/1173-h/1173-h.htm...

Josiah Ober: The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason http://www.classics.berkeley.edu/people/sather/josiah-ober https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jiqa9d9x3brvogu/AACQs2icHAN5_qMbS7cCvw8xa?dl=0:

Wayne E. Lee (2016): Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History https://books.google.com/?id=hbyYCgAAQBAJ: https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/wayne-e-lee-2016-_waging-war-conflict-culture-and-innovation-in-world-history_-excerpts-when-in-1996-lawrence.html

Susan M. Sherwin-White and Amélie Kuhrt (1993): From Samarkhand to Sardis: A New Approach to the Seleucid Empire https://delong.typepad.com/files/samarkhand.pdf

Pierre Briant (2002): From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire https://delong.typepad.com/files/briant-cyrus.pdf

Karen Charlton: The Heiress of Linn Hagh https://books.google.com/books/?id=AqLDrQEACAAJ...

#booksworthreading


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Dee Garretson: Oasis Station (Torch World) (unlimited)

Seanan McGuire: The Unkindest Tide (October Daye Book 13)

Dee Garretson: The Gargoyle in the Seine (unlimited)

Kent Holsinger: Lecture Notes in Population Genetics

M.A. Hernán and J.M. Robins: Causal Inference

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: How Democracies Die https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1524762938

Bill Hiatt: The Serpent Waits

Lisa Gray: Thin Air

Jessie Mihalik: The Queen's Gambit

Stoney Compton: Incident in Alaska Prefecture

## + + + +

Joe Studwell: How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region

Adam Rutherford: A Brief History of Everyone Who Has Ever Lived

Vera Tobin: Elements of Surprise: Our Mental Limits and the Satisfactions of Plot

Andy Kessler: Running Money

David Anthony: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language

Ganesh Sitaraman: The Public Option

Julian Jackson: DeGaulle

Tobin Straumann: 1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler

James Grant: Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian

Partha Dasgupta: Economics: A Very Short Introduction

Philip Auerswald: The Code Economy: a 40,000-Year History

Julian Jackson: The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940

Tacitus: The Histories

Tacitus: The Annals

Olivier Blanchard: Macroeconomics

Charles Sykes: Fail U.: The False Promise of Higher Education

Benjamin Carter Hett: The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic

Charles Sykes: How the Right Lost Its Mind

Sean Carroll: Spacetime and Geometry

Erik Tarloff: Face-Time

Myke Cole: Legion vs. Phalanx

DS100: Principles and Techniques of Data Science #book

Nicholas Lardy: The State Strikes Back: The End of Economic Reform in China?

Donald Sassoon: The Anxious Triumph: A Global History of Capitalism, 1860-1914

Gary Forsythe: A Critical History of Early Rome

Alexander Hamilton: Report on the Subject of Manufactures

Hernan Galperin and Andrea Alarcon: The Future of Work in the Global South

James H. Oliver: The Ruling Power: A Study of the Roman Empire in the Second Century after Christ through the Roman Oration of Aelius Aristides

## List

Robert C. Allen (2011): Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0199596654

Aelius Aristides: The Roman Oration

Richard Baldwin: The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization 067466048X http://amzn.to/2oNLoUN

John Bell: Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics

Danny Blanchflower: _Not Working: Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone?

Heather Boushey, J. Bradford DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum: After Piketty 0674504771 http://amzn.to/2oB68DT

Anya Von Bremzen: Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0307886832

John Carreyrou: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1524731668

Sean Carroll: The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself 0525954821 http://amzn.to/2qk3BdO

Myke Cole: Legion versus Phalanx: The Eic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy

Michael Cook and Patricia Crone: Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World

Patricia Crone: Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam

Patricia Crone: Pre-Industrial Societies: Anatomy of the Pre-Modern World https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1780748043

Patricia Crone: Slaves on Horses: The Evolution of the Islamic Polity

Gareth Dale: Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0231541481

Partha Dasgupta: Economics: A Very Short Introduction https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0191578282

Melissa Dell: Ancient Economy Slides https://www.dropbox.com/s/s9p1ujixhli65fr/lecture3_4.pdfhttps://delong.typepad.com/melissa_dell_ancient_economy_slides.pdf

DS100: Principles and Techniques of Data Science #book

Arthur Eckstein: Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome

Moses Finley: The Ancient Economy https://delong.typepad.com/files/ancient-economy.pdf

Gary Forsythe: A Critical History of Early Rome

Hernan Galperin and Andrea Alarcon: The Future of Work in the Global South

Annette Gordon-Reed: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0813933560

Benjamin Graham and David Dodd: Security Analysis 0071592539 http://amzn.to/2oBxAlc

E.M. Halliday: Understanding Thomas Jefferson https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0060957611

M.A. Hernán and J.M. Robins: Causal Inference

Alexander Hamilton: Report on the Subject of Manufactures

W. V. Harris: Roman Power: A Thousand Years of Empire https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1107152712

Ann Harrison et al: The Factory-Free Economy: Outsourcing, Servitization, and the Future of Industry 019877916X http://amzn.to/2oBbJKq

Willem Jongman: Gibbon Was Right https://delong.typepad.com/jongman-gibbon-was-right.pdf | Jongman, Jacobs, and Goldewijk: Health and Wealth in the Roman Empire https://delong.typepad.com/rome.pdf

Guy Gavriel Kay: A Song for Arbonne https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1101667435

John Maynard Keynes: Essays in Persuasion https://books.google.com/books?isbn=134959072X

Ellen Kushner et al.: Tremontaine: https://www.serialbox.com/episodes/arrivals-94a25974-53a3-414d-9dfd-a01f3a2a1dba

Nicholas Lardy: The State Strikes Back: The End of Economic Reform in China?

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: How Democracies Die https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1524762938

Arkady Martine: A Memory Called Empire

Anastas Mikoyan: Book of Tasty and Healthy Food https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0615691358

James Oakes: Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South

James Oakes: The Ruling Race

James H. Oliver: The Ruling Power: A Study of the Roman Empire in the Second Century after Christ through the Roman Oration of Aelius Aristides

Martha L. Olney: Macroeconomics as a Second Language 0470505389 http://amzn.to/2qbJv6i

Charles Petzold: The Annotated Turing

Gary Provost: Beyond Style

Greg Sargent: Uncivil War

Donald Sassoon: The Anxious Triumph: A Global History of Capitalism, 1860-1914

Kathryn Schulz (2010): Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0061997935

William L. Shirer: Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1557094934

Peter Temin: The Roman Market Economy https://delong.typepad.com/temin2013.pdf

Bryan Ward-Perkins: The Fall of Rome; and the End of Civilization https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0191622362

Kevin Wignall: To Die in Vienna

Patricia Wrede: Dealing with Dragons

## Great Books in Economic History and Related Disciplines

DRAFT: Course Syllabus: The Research Frontier in Economic History: A "Recent Great Books" Approach

Joachim Voth and J. Bradford DeLong

Current Version at:

This Is an Older DRAFT Version:

Jan 17: Organization Meeting

Jan 24: Philip Hoffman: Why Did Europe Conquer the World? http://amzn.to/29qmfd7

Jan 31: Peter Temin and Joachim Voth: Prometheus Shackled: Goldsmith Bank and England’s Financial Revolution after 1700 http://amzn.to/29kqXMc

Feb 14: Robert Allen: The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective http://amzn.to/29kOUhz

Feb 28: Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson: Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality since 1700 http://amzn.to/29xpaVm

Mar 14: Richard Baldwin The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization http://amzn.to/2icGZHV

Mar 21: Stanley Engerman and Kenneth Sokoloff: Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: Endowments and Institutions. http://amzn.to/29pRxlx

Apr 4: Peter Temin (2012): The Roman Market Economy http://amzn.to/2b72BG6

Apr 18: Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind http://amzn.to/2j4tkHj

Apr 25: Sven Beckert: Empire of Cotton: A Global History http://amzn.to/2jrdin8

Feb 28: Steven Radelet: The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World http://amzn.to/29rguNR

Feb 28: Richard von Glahn: The Economic History of China: From Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century http://amzn.to/29jBkwt

May 9: Joseph Henrich: The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter http://amzn.to/29iHVeh

May 16: Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein (2014): The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492 http://amzn.to/2aKTV3X

May 23:

May 30: Sven Beckert: Empire of Cotton: A Global History

June 6: William Goetzmann, Money Changes Everything

June 13: de Cecco on State Capacity

June 20: Stasavage, Taxing the Rich

June 27: Wrigley, Coal...

Lawrence Katz and Claudia Goldin: The Race Between Education and Technology

Maxine Berg (1980): The Machinery Question and the Making of Political Economy 1815-1848 #books

Dietrich Vollrath: Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success https://books.google.com/books?isbn=022666600X

Philip Auerswald: The Code Economy: A Forty-thousand-year History https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0190226765

Richard Baldwin: The Globotics Upheavel

Lindsay Buroker: Dragon Tear

Kiera Cass: The Selection

Barbara Chase-Ribaud: Sally Hemings; A Novel https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1569766797

Patricia Crone: Pre-Industrial Societies: Anatomy of the Pre-Modern World https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1780748043

Gareth Dale: Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0231541481

Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling https://www.masterclass.com/classes/neil-gaiman-teaches-the-art-of-storytelling

Annette Gordon-Reed: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0813933560

E.M. Halliday: Understanding Thomas Jefferson https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0060957611

John Judis: The Nationalist Revival: Trade, Immigration, and the Revolt Against Globalization https://books.google.com/books?isbn=099974540

Guy Gavriel Kay: A Song for Arbonne https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1101667435

Keri Leigh Merritt: Masterless Men https://books.google.com/books?isbn=110718424X

Kevin O'Rourke: A Short History of Brexit https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0241398339

Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1557094934

Kevin Wignall: To Die in Vienna

Muir Rory: Wellington: The Path to Victory 1769-1814
Tobias Buckle: Trove
Robert Harris: Munich: A Novel
Kieran Healy: Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction
Edward Watts: Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny
Jean Stevenson: Tisiphone's Quest
Maia Szalavitz: Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction

https://www.icloud.com/numbers/0dOfdwW8iQmdtMPVANxqXErNA

Dan Davies on financial fraud is certainly the most entertaining book on Economics I have read this year. Highly recommend itcold Chris Dillow: Review of Dan Davies: Lying for Money: "Squalid crude affairs committed mostly by inadequates. This is a message of Dan Davies’ history of fraud, Lying For Money.... Most frauds fall into a few simple types.... Setting up a fake company... pyramid schemes... control frauds, whereby someone abuses a position of trust... plain counterfeiters. My favourite was Alves dos Reis, who persuaded the printers of legitimate Portuguese banknotes to print even more of them.... All this is done with the wit and clarity of exposition for which we have long admired Dan. His footnotes are an especial delight, reminding me of William Donaldson. Dan has also a theory of fraud. 'The optimal level of fraud is unlikely to be zero' he says. If we were to take so many precautions to stop it, we would also strangle legitimate economic activity...

Kieran Healy: Data Visualization

Hour of Need (Scarlet Falls Book 1) - Kindle edition by Melinda Leigh. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Amazon.com: Black Dawn (Blood on the Stars Book 8) eBook: Jay Allan: Kindle Store

A Way Through the Wilderness: The Natchez Trace and the Civilization of the Southern Frontier

Amazon.com: The Good Years: From 1900 to the First World War eBook: Walter Lord: Kindle Store

*Joseph Schumpeter(1953): History of Economic Analysis https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1134838700

Marshall Berman: All That's Solid Melts into Air http://delong.typepad.com/files/berman_marshall_all_that_is_solid_melts_into_air_the_experience_of_modernity.pdf

Nicola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer: A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0691184925

C. J. Sansom: Tombland https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0316412457 #books

*Adrian Wooldridge and John Micklethwait(2004): The Right Nation: Why America is Different https://books.google.com/books?isbn=024195889X

Alan Grfeenspan and Adrian Wooldridge: American Capitalism: A History

Marshall Berman: All That's Solid Melts into Air http://delong.typepad.com/files/berman_marshall_all_that_is_solid_melts_into_air_the_experience_of_modernity.pdf

Charles Stross(2018): The Labyrinth Index https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1250196078 Peter F. Hamilton(2018): Salvation *Cosma Shalizi(2009): Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour and Richard Scheines, Causation, Prediction and Search: "Re-read as part of preparing for my lecture on casual discovery. I spent much of the winter of 2000 working my way through the first edition, and wound up completely imprinted on its way of thinking about what causal relationships are, how we should reason about them, and how we can find them from empirical evidence...

Diane Coyle: The long arc of UK productivity: "Nick Crafts has a compact book... about the trajectory of the British economy... Forging Aahead, Falling Behind and Fighting Back.... Nick’s somewhat idiosyncratic–but highly plausible–view that the seeds of the country’s post-world war 2 relative decline were sown in the institutions that enabled it to perform so well during the 19th century...

My view is that Jefferson believed in the French Revolution not because he wanted the Tree of Liberty to be watered by blood or because he wanted to see the U.S. Congress tamed by the New York or Philadelphia mob, but because he knew he was losing to Adams and Hamilton in the struggle over the future of America, knew that he desperately needed reinforcements, and hence the French Revolution had to succeed in order to provide them. The Long Affair, however, remains a great book—but not quite great history as much as a meditation on "revolutionary excesses" and motivated reasoning: *Conor Cruise O'Brien(1996): The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800 (Chicago: University of Chicago: 0226616533) (https://books.google.com/books?id=ABKA2MDozAQC: "Genêt, although recalled at Washington's request, remained in America, under Washington's protection...

The Incredibles II

Tom Jones; Tom Jones—BBC Miniseries; Tom Jones—Albert Finney

The Rivet in Grandfather’s Neck: A Comedy of Limitations_

Annie Duke: Thinking in Bets: Marking Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

John Carreyou: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Anthony Bourdain: Kitchen Confidential

Titus Livius: The History of Rome

Edward Luce: The Retreat of Western Liberalism

Juan Nunz-Iglesias et al.: _Elegnt SciPy

Therese O'Neill: Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners

Yingyi Qian: How Reform Worked in China: The Transition from Plan to Market

IMHO, the best of the Jack Campbell/John Henry mock-WWII-PACFLEET operations in space: John G. Hemry: Burden of Proof A Just Determination Against All Enemies Rule of Evidence

Martha Wells: Artificial Condition

Gioia Diliberto: Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway's First Wife:

*Jonathan Gottschall(2012): The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 0547391404) https://play.google.com/?id=Bl43cU5rdVwC

Neither Adam Smith’s nor Henry Ford's picture of the economy is relevant for us today. What thumbnail picture is relevant? We do not know, but Bill Janeway thinks harder and more successfully about this question than anybody else I have seen... William H. Janeway: Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy, 2nd Edition

*Eduard Bernstein:(1895): Cromwell and Communism

Steven K. Vogel: Marketcraft: How Governments Make Markets Work (019069985X): "Modern-day markets do not arise spontaneously or evolve naturally...

A Simple Plan (film): "..."

2018-04-30:

Allen Downey: Probably Overthinking It Think Stats Think Bayes Think Python Think Complexity http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/04/2018-04-09-filed-allen-downey-probably-overthinking-it.html #webloggers #public_sphere #python #education

Friedrich Hayek: Prices and Production http://delong.typepad.com/files/prices-and-production.pdf

2017-08-07: Today's Book Haul:

Blanchard: Macroeconomics Jones: Macroeconomics Robin: The Reactionary Mind

Martha Wells: All Systems Red | Artificial Condition http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/05/martha-wells-is-a-galactic-treasure.html

*Walter Jon WilliamsQuillifer http://amzn.to/2Aed3p2

Stephen Kotkin: Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 http://amzn.to/2iXfM1V

Alasdair Macintyre: A Short History of Ethics http://amzn.to/2AbZ9DR

Stephen Kotkin: Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization http://amzn.to/2AdLTi7

Daniel Dennett: Consciousness Explained http://amzn.to/2zdM4vs

Enrico Moretti: The New Geography of Jobs http://amzn.to/2xksRXM

Charles Petzold: The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine http://amzn.to/2vYkkXk

Robert H. Bates: The Development Dilemma: Security, Prosperity, and a Return to History: "Reassessing the developing world through the lens of Europe's past... http://amzn.to/2xgSNUi

Geoff Mulgan: Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World: "A new field of collective intelligence has emerged in the last few years, prompted by a wave of digital technologies... http://amzn.to/2wBnMXx

2017-09-23

Anton Howes: The World Economy and its History: "Introduces the main themes of Economic History, from the Neolithic to the mid-twentieth century. It is about asking the big questions... http://antonhowes.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/0/8/21082490/world_economic_history_2017_18_public_draft.pdf

...We will explore why some countries have become so rich, and ask why others remain poor. Among other things, we will uncover the origins of the modern state, and the institutions that make trade possible. And we will explore the evolution of the global economy – periods of globalisation, economic collapse, and rapid industrialisation....

PART I – Poverty and Riches: The Great Fact: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (Princeton University Press, 2007), Chapter 1; Stephen Broadberry et al., British Economic Growth, 1270-1870 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), Prologue.... The Malthusian Trap – why were our ancestors so poor?: Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (Princeton University Press, 2007), Chapters 2, 3, 4; 5 Dietrich Vollrath, “Who are you calling Malthusian?” (blogpost): https://growthecon.com/blog/Malthus/.... The Earliest Divergence: Why Eurasia?: Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (Norton, 1997). Chapters 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Robert C. Allen, Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), Chapter 7....

The Mortality & Fertility Transitions: Ronald Lee, “The Demographic Transition: Three Centuries of Fundamental Change,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 17, no. 4 (December 2003): 167–90.... The Industrial Revolution: Sources of Growth: Gregory Clark, “The Industrial Revolution,” in Handbook of Economic Growth, ed. Philippe Aghion and Steven Durlauf, vol. 2 (Elsevier, 2014), 217–62; Jack A. Goldstone, “Efflorescences and Economic Growth in World History: Rethinking the ‘Rise of the West’ and the Industrial Revolution,” Journal of World History 13, no. 2 (October 1, 2002): 323–89.... The Industrial Revolution: Sources of Innovation: Robert C. Allen, “Why the Industrial Revolution Was British: Commerce, Induced Invention, and the Scientific Revolution,” The Economic History Review 64, no. 2 (May 1, 2011): 357–84; Joel Mokyr, “The Intellectual Origins of Modern Economic Growth,” The Journal of Economic History 65, no. 2 (June 1, 2005): 285–351.... The Great Divergence: East Asia: Joel Mokyr, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy (Princeton University Press, 2016), Chapters 16, 17; Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making World Economy (Princeton University Press, 2000), Introduction and Chapter 1.... The Great Divergence: The Middle East: Jared Rubin, Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2017), Chapters 5, 8; Timur Kuran, “The Islamic Commercial Crisis: Institutional Roots of Economic Underdevelopment in the Middle East,” The Journal of Economic History 63, no. 2 (2003): 414–46.

PART II – Institutions & Trade: Deep Roots of Development: Kenneth L. Sokoloff and Stanley L. Engerman, “History Lessons: Institutions, Factors Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World,” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, no. 3 (July 1, 2000): 217–32; Understanding Institutions: Douglass C. North, “Institutions,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 5, no. 1 (March 1991): 97–112; Douglas Allen, Institutional Revolution: Measurement and the Economic Emergence of the Modern World (University of Chicago Press, 2011) Chapters 1, 2, 3; Sheilagh Ogilvie, “‘Whatever Is, Is Right’? Economic Institutions in Pre-Industrial Europe,” The Economic History Review 60, no. 4 (2007): 649–684.... Trade, and How to Maintain It: Avner Greif, “Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders,” The Journal of Economic History 49, no. 4 (1989): 857–82, and “History Lessons: The Birth of Impersonal Exchange: The Community Responsibility System and Impartial Justice,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 20, no. 2 (June 2006): 221–36.... The Rise of the Modern State: Nico Voigtländer and Hans-Joachim Voth, “Gifts of Mars: Warfare and Europe’s Early Rise to Riches,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 27, no. 4 (November 2013): 165–86; Philip T. Hoffman, “Why Was It Europeans Who Conquered the World?,” Working Paper, (2012), http://economics.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Workshops-Seminars/Economic-History/hoffman-120409.pdf; Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capital and European States, A.D.990-1990 (Cambridge, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1993), Chapters 3, 4....

The Rise of Democracy: Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast, “Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutional Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England,” The Journal of Economic History 49, no. 4 (December 1, 1989): 803–32; Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, “Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective,” +The Quarterly Journal of Economics_ 115, no. 4 (November 1, 2000): 1167–99; Inequality within Countries: Walter Scheidel, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017), Introduction & Chapters 1, 2, 3....

Part III – The Modern Global Economy: Globalisation 1850-1914: Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O’Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2009), Chapter 7; Kevin H. O′Rourke and Jeffrey G. Williamson, Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy, New Ed edition (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2001), Chapters 1, 2, 7.... The Great Divergence: De-Industrialisation of the Periphery?: Robert C. Allen, Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), Chapters 4, 5, 8; Alice H. Amsden, The Rise of “The Rest”: Challenges to the West from Late-Industrializing Economies, New Ed edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), Chapters 2, 3....

Protectionism vs. Free Trade: Douglas A. Irwin, “Tariffs and Growth in Late Nineteenth Century America,” World Economy 24, no. 1 (January 1, 2001): 15–30; Laura Panza and Jeffrey G. Williamson, “Did Muhammad Ali Foster Industrialization in Early Nineteenth-Century Egypt?” The Economic History Review 68, no. 1 (February 1, 2015): 79–100.... The Gold Standard: Barry Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System, Second Edition, Second edition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).... De-Globalisation and the Great Depression: Barry Eichengreen, Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression 1919-1939 (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1992), Chapter 1; Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O’Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2009), Chapter 8.... Post-War Re-Globalisation and Catch-up Growth: Robert C. Allen, Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), Chapter 9; Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O’Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2009), Chapter 9; Peter Temin, “The Golden Age of European Growth Reconsidered,” European Review of Economic History 6, no. 1 (2002): 3–22.

*Ian Morris(2013): The Measure of Civilization: How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations (0691155682): "In the last thirty years, there have been fierce debates over how civilizations develop and why the West became so powerful...

William V. Harris: Ancient Literacy https://books.google.com/books?id=-M_mu08ZiWoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=ancient+literacy&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizov6c3bTYAhVLs1QKHXarA4gQ6AEIMDAB#v=onepage&q=ancient%20literacy&f=false

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: How Democracies Die 9781524762933

Scott Aaronson: Quantum Computing since Democritus

Jean Tirole: Economics for the Common Good

*Walter Jon WilliamsQuillifer http://amzn.to/2Aed3p2

Stephen Kotkin: Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 http://amzn.to/2iXfM1V

Alasdair Macintyre: A Short History of Ethics http://amzn.to/2AbZ9DR

Stephen Kotkin: Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization http://amzn.to/2AdLTi7

Daniel Dennett: Consciousness Explained http://amzn.to/2zdM4vs

Enrico Moretti: The New Geography of Jobs http://amzn.to/2xksRXM

Charles Petzold: The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine http://amzn.to/2vYkkXk

Robert H. Bates: The Development Dilemma: Security, Prosperity, and a Return to History: "Reassessing the developing world through the lens of Europe's past... http://amzn.to/2xgSNUi

Geoff Mulgan: Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World: "A new field of collective intelligence has emerged in the last few years, prompted by a wave of digital technologies... http://amzn.to/2wBnMXx----

Lesley Blanche: The Sabres of Paradise: Conquest and Vengeance in the Caucasus eBook: http://amzn.to/2hzG6uu Katharine Kerr: License to Ensorcell http://amzn.to/2y8nAnQ Richard Fox: Iron Dragoons http://amzn.to/2xFCAYJ Isaac Hooke: Alien War: The Complete Trilogy http://amzn.to/2xFQZEl

Ellen Ullman’s “Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology” (MCD, 306 pages, $27). “Hit Refresh” (HarperBusiness, 272 pages,$29.99), a quasi-autobiography by Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella..."

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artin Wolf selects his must-read titles


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Unfinished Business: The Unexplored Causes of the Financial Crisis and the Lessons Yet to be Learned, by Tamim Bayoumi, Yale University Press, RRP£25/$35 Bayoumi, a senior staff member of the International Monetary Fund, has succeeded in saying something both new and true about the financial crises of 2007-12 in this important book. He demonstrates conclusively that incompetently regulated European financial institutions played a complementary role to inadequately regulated US shadow banking in bringing economic calamity to both sides of the Atlantic — and to the world. The Limits of the Market, by Paul De Grauwe, Oxford University Press, RRP£25/$40

In this lucid little book, De Grauwe, a Belgian economist now at the London School of Economics, explains why neither a pure market economy nor a purely government-controlled one is desirable. Getting the balance between market and government is extremely difficult. In practice, we lurch too far in one direction and then the other.

Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy, by Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake, Princeton University Press, RRP£24.95/$29.95 This is not just another book on the “new economy”. It is a lucid and rigorous analysis of an economic transformation in which, for the first time, advanced economies invest more in intangibles — design, branding, research and development, software — than in physical assets. This change, demonstrate Haskell of Imperial College and Westlake of Nesta, raises extraordinarily complex challenges for businesses and public policy. India’s Long Road: The Search for Prosperity, by Vijay Joshi Oxford University Press, RRP£22.99/$34.95

India could (and should) do far better. That is the main conclusion of Joshi’s superb book. The performance of the economy is vastly improved since the reforms of the 1990s. But a great deal more needs to be done. Those who care about India’s future must hope that prime minister Narendra Modi will do what is required. Joshi provides good reasons for scepticism.

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History, by Stephen D King, Yale University Press, RRP£20/$30 Globalisation is not inevitable. It is driven “not just by technological advance, but also by the development — and demise — of the ideas and institutions that form our politics, frame our economies and fashion our financial systems both locally and globally”. Globalisation, then, is a political choice, argues King in this well-argued and credibly pessimistic book. Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality, by James Kwak, Pantheon, RRP$25.95

A little economics, argues Kwak of the University of Connecticut, is a dangerous thing. Politicians and pundits like to use simplistic models, long abandoned by professional economists, to bludgeon opponents of naive laissez-faire economics. One result has been unchecked increases in inequality. Yet, properly understood, economics justifies intervention more readily than it justifies unregulated markets.

Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought, by Andrew Lo, Princeton University Press, RRP£27.95/$35 Human beings are not desiccated calculating machines. They are products of a long evolutionary history and so, like other animals, driven by fear and greed. The financial markets we create similarly reflect “principles of evolution — competition, innovation, reproduction and adaptation”. In this important book, Lo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrates the radical implications of this insight. Above all, markets are not always efficient: they can and do ignore relevant information for lengthy periods. Agricultural Development and Economic Transformation: Promoting Growth with Poverty Reduction, by John Mellor, Palgrave Macmillan, RRP£23.99 Mellor, emeritus professor at Cornell, is the doyen of the world’s experts on the role of agriculture in economic development. Here he argues convincingly that, in poor and even middle-income developing countries, the progress of small commercial farmers plays an essential role in generating growth and reducing poverty. Governments can and must contribute to this vital transformation. Doughnut Economics, by Kate Raworth, Random House Business, RRP£20/Chelsea Green, RRP$28

The great mistake of economics, argues Raworth of Oxford university’s Environmental Change Institute, is thinking of the economy as separate from the society of which it is part and the environment in which it is embedded. She is right. One does not have to accept her metaphor of “the doughnut” as the way to think about the range within which the economy would be socially just and environmentally stable. But this is an admirable attempt to broaden the horizons of economic thinking.

Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy, by Dani Rodrik, Princeton University Press, RRP£24.95/$29.95 Harvard’s Rodrik was one of the first professional critics of the “hyperglobalised economy”. In this book, he argues that “the internationisation of markets for goods, services, and capital drives a wedge between the cosmopolitan, professional, skilled groups that are able to take advantage of it and the rest of society.” If populists of left and right are not to win, mainstream politicians must, he argues, respond far more effectively to the discontent on those who feel ignored and left behind. Rethinking the Economics of Land, by Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd and Laurie Macfarlane, Zed Books, RRP£14.95 The removal of land (defined as location) from the canonical neoclassical model of the economy was, argues this thought-provoking book, an intellectual blunder. More important, this simplification has led to dreadful outcomes. The role of land as an asset destabilises the financial system. The under-taxation of land deprives governments of needed revenue. The result has been growing inequality and instability. It is time, argue the authors, to reconsider the role of land in today’s economies and societies. The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, by Walter Scheidel, Princeton University Press, RRP£27.95/$35

Complex societies naturally generate inequality. It has been so, argues Stanford professor Scheidel, ever since the discovery of agriculture. Might policy ameliorate, or even reverse, this tendency? No. In Scheidel’s account the lessons of history are clear: only war, revolution, state collapse or catastrophic plague destroy the wealth of the rich. I wish the argument were wrong, but suspect it is not.

# Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media, by Cass Sunstein, Princeton University Press, RRP£24.95/$29.95 We are citizens, not just consumers. If, as legal scholar Sunstein argues, each of us obtains only the information we want and talks only to those who think as we do, we will end up incapable of participating in the public sphere. We will be living in ghettos of the imagination. Our democratic societies will then be — indeed, arguably, already are — on the road to political and social disintegration. The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, by Peter Temin, MIT, RRP£21.95/$26.95

In this important and provocative book, Temin of MIT argues that the US is becoming a nation of rich and poor, with ever fewer households in the middle. But this is not inevitable. It is rather a political choice. The rich and powerful have, alas, persuaded downwardly mobile white people that their enemies are not those above them who refuse to pay the taxes needed for decent social services, but rather feared and despised ethnic minorities.

Economics for the Common Good, by Jean Tirole, translated by Steven Rendall, Princeton, RRP£24.95/\$29.95

Should-Read: Capital in the Twenty-First Century: Thomas Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer: 9780674979857: Amazon.com: Books: "http://amzn.to/2DCIBGp..."

http://amzn.to/2Fk3E0E

Should-Read: Amazon.com: The Roman Revolution (9780192803207): Ronald Syme: Books: "http://amzn.to/2BuQSKA..."

#books #readings #reviews


Comment of the Day: Dilbert Dogbert https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/raymond-chandler-1938-_the-red-wind_-there-was-a-desert-wind-blowing-that-night-it-was-one-of-those-hot-dry-santa.html?cid=6a00e551f0800388340240a48fd8d2200c#comment-6a00e551f0800388340240a48fd8d2200c in Santa Ana Winds: "Back in the mid 50's I spent time with my older brother in San Bernadino. His house was near the El Cajon Pass. I remember a night spent listening to the winds roaring down the pass. Next day I wandered around the area. Near his house was a new cheap development of houses without garages. Just car ports. Most of them were blown over. Another memory was going to a near by airport to check the condition of the small plane he built. As we drove in I notice a ball of aluminum in a tree. A plane came loose and ended up there. My bros plane suffered a broken spar. He was an aircraft mech so he fixed it....

Comment of the Day: Nils https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/raymond-chandler-1938-_the-red-wind_-there-was-a-desert-wind-blowing-that-night-it-was-one-of-those-hot-dry-santa.html?cid=6a00e551f0800388340240a4dc99d2200b#comment-6a00e551f0800388340240a4dc99d2200bin Santa Ana Winds: "I can reliably tell you that there was a Diablo wind on October 19 and 20, 1991, which led to the severity of the Oakland Hills fire. I was out at Mt. Tamalpais that day, and when we had hiked to the north end of the mountain near the Mountain Theater we could see a long streak of smoke trailing out to sea through the Golden Gate, at 11 am. I knew a serious fire had broken out, but of course could not tell where. I feared that my car at the East Gate parking lot was being consumed by wildfire and we were all going to die (or something like that). But when we got to East Peak and looked over the bay, about 1pm, we could see flames leaping in the Oakland Hills. I stopped worrying about me and worried about my aunt and uncle who lived in the hills above Tunnel Road (they got out OK but their house was gone, foundations calcined to a pile of sand, a few blobs of melted metal all that was left of my Grandmother's silver, although the gladiolus my aunt was planting that morning mostly survived). I take this sort of weather very seriously. PG&E is right to cut power no matter how inconvenient it is. We also, though, need more independent power, especially for critical installations like hospitals, nursing homes, schools. Off-grid living is becoming more and more a matter of survival and community resilience, less a fringe movement....

Bret Devereaux: Battle Pachyderms https://acoup.blog/2019/07/26/collections-war-elephants-part-i-battle-pachyderms/: "One reading of the (admittedly somewhat poor) evidence suggests that this is how Pyrrhus of Epirus used his elephants–to great effect–against the Romans. It is sometimes argued that Pyrrhus essentially created an ‘articulated phalanx’ using lighter infantry and elephants to cover gaps–effectively joints–in his main heavy pike phalanx line. This allowed his phalanx–normally a relatively inflexible formation–to pivot...

Bret Devereaux Elephants Against Wolves https://acoup.blog/2019/08/02/collections-war-elephants-part-ii-elephants-against-wolves/: "The playbook for dealing with elephants was actually fairly simple in concept–Vegetius, a later Roman military writer, manages to sum up the ‘best practices’ in less than a paragraph (Vegetius 3.24). Ideally, the elephants should be met by light infantry screening troops, whose freedom of movement allows them to avoid the elephant’s charge. Those light troops – armed with missile weapons (especially javelins, but also slings) should especially target the mahouts, in an effort to panic the elephants. Ideally, a space is left open for the elephants to flee too, although ancient sources are full of examples where they were simply driven back through the enemy formation. The goal isn’t to kill the elephant, but instead to panic the animal and drive it off or–better yet–drive it through the enemy. This latter point is notable: ancient military writer after ancient military writer notes how elephants were often as much a danger to their own troops as to the enemy, especially when wounded or frightened...

Very Briefly Noted 2019-10-21:

1. David Frum: Can Brexit Survive a Second Referendum? https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/can-brexit-survive-second-referendum/600382/: "[Alexander Boris de Pfeffle Johnson’s hope is to get a withdrawal agreement in place before October 31, exit by that date, and only then force an election. With Brexit then irrevocable, British voters would confront the stark single-issue choice: Johnson or Corbyn? Johnson could expect to win a five-year mandate to repair the damage he himself inflicted by Brexit...

2. Pierre Briant (2002): _ From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire_ https://delong.typepad.com/files/briant-cyrus.pdf

3. Susan M. Sherwin-White and Amélie Kuhrt (1993): From Samarkhand to Sardis: A New Approach to the Seleucid Empire https://delong.typepad.com/files/samarkhand.pdf

4. Wayne E. Lee (2016): Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History https://books.google.com/?id=hbyYCgAAQBAJ: https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/wayne-e-lee-2016-_waging-war-conflict-culture-and-innovation-in-world-history_-excerpts-when-in-1996-lawrence.html...

5. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (2012): Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty https://books.google.com/?id=2dlnBoX4licC...

ProGrowthLiberal: Robert Barro’s Misstated Case for Federal Reserve Independence http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2019/08/barros-misstated-case-for-federal.html: "There are two aspects of his case that strike me as silly to say the least starting with his opening sentence: 'In the early 1980s, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, was able to choke off runaway inflation because he was afforded the autonomy necessary to implement steep interest-rate hikes.' This statement glosses over the fact that we had a macroeconomic mess in 1982... an ill-advised fiscal stimulus initiated the moment St. Reagan took office.... To be fair–Barro continues his magical history tour in a reasonable way until we get this absurdity: 'One could infer the normal rate from the average federal funds rate over time. Between January 1986 and August 2008, it was 4.9%, and the average inflation rate was 2.5% (based on the deflator for personal consumption expenditure), meaning that the average real rate was 2.4%'.... Barro seems to be saying the long-run real interest rate has been the same for the last 23 years. There has been a lot of research to suggest otherwise...

Wayne E. Lee (2016): Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History https://books.google.com/?id=hbyYCgAAQBAJ, excerpts: "When in 1996 Lawrence Keeley published War Before Civilization. Keeley made an impassioned plea for reimagining the role of violence in human experience, and he made the striking claim that prestate societies experienced extreme male fatality rates. Keeley's work and additional studies have settled on the somewhat shocking estimates... [that] between 15 and 25% of males and about 5% of females" in human forager societies died from warfare. This per capita rate far exceeds those of later state-based societies. Since Keeley's work, archaeologists and anthropologists have renewed the debate begun by Hobbes and Rousseau. To use the simplest terms, as suggested in a recent review, there are the 'deep rooters', who believe in the long evolutionary history of intergroup violence, and the "inventors", who argue that human conflict emerged more recently because of changes in human social organization...

Bret Devereaux: War Elephants https://acoup.blog/2019/07/26/collections-war-elephants-part-i-battle-pachyderms/: "Part I (this one) is going to look at how the elephant functioned in battle: how did it work as a weapon-system and why would anyone want to have it? Part II (next week) will then turn and ask the question: if elephants are such awesome weapon systems, why did the Romans defeat and then abandon them (and why did the Chinese never meaningfully adopt them)? Part III (the week after that) turns this question on its head: if elephants were as useless as the Romans thought, why did Indian kings keep using them?...

## Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings (October 20, 2019)...

Must of the Musts:

• Why am I hearing "very fine people on both sides!"? here: Robert Knight: Letters · LRB: Globalists: "Alexander Zevin writes that Friedrich Hayek opposed the use of sanctions against apartheid, and ‘confided to his secretary that he liked blacks no better than Jews’ (LRB, 15 August). The antisemitic antecedents of National Socialism are conspicuous by their absence in The Road to Serfdom; if we assume the manuscript was completed in 1943, it almost completely ignores a decade of antisemitic persecution and four years of Nazi war crimes and atrocities. In the Spectator in January 1947 Hayek attacked the ‘blunders’ of denazification in Austria, including the suspension of violinists from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra because they had been Nazi party members. It was, he wrote, ‘scarcely easier to justify the prevention of a person from fiddling because he was a Nazi than the prevention because he is a Jew’...

• BREXIT!!!!!: Hugh Mannerings: "I'm not saying there wasn't a Democratic mandate for Brexit at the time. I'm just saying if I narrowly decided to order fish at a restaurant that was known for chicken, but said it was happy to offer fish, and so far I've been waiting three hours, and two chefs who promised to cook the fish had quit, and the third one is promising to deliver the fish in the next five minutes whether it's cooked or not, or indeed still alive, and all the waiting staff have spent the last few hours arguing amongst themselves about whether I wanted battered cod, grilled salmon, jellied deals, or dolphin kebabs, and if large parts of the restaurant appeared to be on fire, but no one was paying attention to it because they were all arguing about fish, I would like, just once, to be asked if I definitely still wanted the fish...

• Once again, we have a piece by an impressively credentialed academic Republican economists that seems to me to have... no contact with reality. There is no economist I know of save for Robert Barro who has ever said or implied that the "neutral" real interest rate today is the same 2.4% that the average real interest rate was from 1986-2008. To the contrary, there has been a very long and active discussion—led over the past two decades by current New York Fed President John Williams—about how far the "neutral" rate has fallen, and how persistent that fall will be. And one conclusion of that debate has been that the current real federal funds rate of "only 0.7%" does indeed look "high" by some important metrics. So why would anyone write as thought this literature does not exist?: Robert J. Barro: Is Politics Getting to the Fed?: "One could infer the normal rate from the average federal funds rate over time. Between January 1986 and August 2008, it was 4.9%, and the average inflation rate was 2.5%...

• My friend Jason Furman keeps telling me that the Obama Administration sincerely sought throughout its tenure in office to boost employment in America via expansionary fiscal policy. I agree that Jason did. But the administration? No. When Jason and company could win internal fights, yes. But otherwise the Obama Administration seemed to me to be focused on winning the day's media narrative, and if dingbat kabuki moves that were destructive of employment growth could attain that daily goal, they were gleefully and joyfully embraced—even if they were pointlessly cruel to those4 on whom the success of the Obama Administration rested. For example: Jack Lew (November 29, 2010): Tightening Our Belts https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2010/11/29/tightening-our-belts: "The freeze will apply to all civilian federal employees.... This pay freeze is not a reflection on their fine work. It is a reflection of the fiscal reality that we face: just as families and businesses across the nation have tightened their belts, so must the federal government...

• There have been many disruptions of the functioning of the discursive public sphere by new communications technologies. The most recent significant one was the early-twentieth century disruption by radio. The very sharp and witty Maciej Ceglowski provides us with a brief introduction: Maciej Ceglowski: Legends of the Ancient Web: "It doesn't take long for politically talented people to discover how to use radio for their own ends. One of these early pioneers in the United States is Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest and early religious broadcaster who notices that his angry rants on political topics net him a much bigger audience than his discourses on religion. By the middle of the 1930's, Coughlin has an active audience of ten million tuning in to hear him rail against against bankers and international conspiracies, in a way that sounds uncomfortably familiar in 2017. Here's Father Coughlin at the top of his game, yelling about banks...

• Project Syndicate: No, We Don’t “Need” a Recession https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/no-we-dont-need-a-recession-by-j-bradford-delong-project-syndicate.html: "It was not uncommon for commentators to argue for a “needed” recession before the big one hit in 2008-2010. But I, for one, assumed that this claim was a decade dead. Who in 2019 could say with a straight face that a recession and high unemployment under conditions of low inflation would be a good thing? Apparently, I was wrong. The argument turns out to be an example of what Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman calls a “zombie idea … that should have died long ago in the face of evidence or logic, but just keeps shambling forward, eating peoples’ brains.” Clearly, those who claim to welcome recessions have never looked at the data. If they did, they would understand that beneficial structural changes to the economy occur during booms, not during busts...

• Hoisted from the Archives from 2010: Perhaps. And Sometimes https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/perhaps-and-sometimes-cato-unbound.html: That Sherwood Forest is illegible to the Sheriff of Nottingham allows Robin of Locksley and Maid Marian to survive. But that is just a stopgap. In the final reel of Ivanhoe the fair Rebecca must be rescued from the unworthy rogue Templar Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert (and packed offstage to marry some young banker or rabbi), the Sheriff of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gisborne must receive their comeuppance, the proper property order of Nottinghamshire must be restored, and Wilfred must marry the fair Rowena–and all this is accomplished by making Sherwood Forest and Nottinghamshire legible to the true king, Richard I “Lionheart” Plantagenet, and then through his justice and good lordship...

• Comment of the Day: Harold Carmel on March of the Peacocks https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/comment-of-the-day-_harold-carmel_-in-paul-krugman-march-of-the-peacocks-as-prof-delong-has-often-pointed-out-obam.html: "Obama's turn toward austerity in that SOTU was a very dumb policy idea.... Obama presented himself as post-partisan and thought the Republicans would reciprocate. How did that work out?...

• Comment of the Day: Phil Koop on Quantum Supremacy https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/comment-of-the-day-_phil-koop_-on-quantum-supremacy-in-reply-to-kaleberg-your-objection-is-mistaken-as-scott-aaronso.html: "Scott Aaronson explains: 'You don’t get to arbitrarily redefine whatever random chemical you find in the wild to be a “computer for simulating itself.” Under any sane definition, the superconducting devices that Google, IBM, and others are now building are indeed “computers”...

• Comment of the Day: _Ebenezer Scrooge on Stanford Week: _ https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/comment-of-the-day-_ebenezer-scrooge_-in-stanford-week-the-formula-for-succeeding-as-an-undergrad-at-an-enormous-stat.html: "The formula for succeeding as an undergrad at an enormous state university is to pretend you're a grad student, and dive into a department full time. You're likely to get a decent mentor and adequate support, so you can ignore the bureaucratic madness...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings (October 20, 2019)... " »

Very Briefly Noted 2019-10-20:

Zamzar: File Conversion Made Easy https://www.zamzar.com/...

Josiah Ober (2009): Epistemic democracy in Classical Athens: Sophistication, Diversity, and Innovation https://www.princeton.edu/~pswpc/pdfs/ober/080901.pdf: "Analysis of democracy in Athens as an 'epistemic' (knowledge-based) form of political and social organization. Adapted from Ober, Democracy and Knowledge, chapters 1-4...

Arthur Eckstein: Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome: "Thus Rome went to war for a city that no longer existed, and Carthage went to war for a political figure whom many Punic aristocrats distrusted. But beneath this apparently irrational conduct on both sides lay deep issues of pride, honor, and security. The Romans wanted their will obeyed, as had happened in 238/237—and the Carthaginians were adamant in refusing to obey another state’s will, in good part because of previous incidents with Rome, probably mixed now with new confidence from their Spanish conquests and resources (Polyb. 3.14.9–10: explicit). We must, of course, leave room for badly judged, vacillating, and even incoherent human decision making in the course of the crisis of 220–218. The purpose of the new Punic empire in Spain was to enhance the military and financial capability of Carthage and thus change the balance of power—but this need not have led to war with Rome. If Hannibal had agreed to leave Saguntum alone—and it was a small place—the Punic conquest of Spain might have continued unimpeded in other directions for years, with the balance of power continuing to shift, and Rome ever less able to impose her will. That was Polybius’s impression...

It is a very curious thing that pre-industrial societies were, by and large, about as unequal in terms of relative income as we are today. It does suggest that something like Vilfredo Pareto's Iron Law is operating, although how it could operate is beyond me. And it does suggest that Piketty was correct in his fear that the post-WWII trentes glorieuses age of social democracy was a fragile anomaly. This, however, fits less well with Piketty's current argument that our current second gilded age was generated by the descent of the center-right into neofascism and the descent of the center-left into cultural liberalism as it took its eye off the important ball that is the distribution of wealth and hence of social power. It is also worthy noting that pre-industrial inequality was much more vicious than modern inequality: push pre-industrial inequality up by an additional fifth or more, and large numbers of people start dying from malnutrition: Branko Milanovic, Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson: Pre-Industrial Inequality https://delong.typepad.com/pre-industrial-inequality.pdf: "Is inequality largely the result of the Industrial Revolution? Or, were pre-industrial incomes as unequal as they are today? This article infers inequality across individuals within each of the 28 pre-industrial societies, for which data were available, using what are known as social tables. It applies two new concepts: the inequality possibility frontier and the inequality extraction ratio. They compare the observed income inequality to the maximum feasible inequality that, at a given level of income, might have been 'extracted' by those in power. The results give new insights into the connection between inequality and economic development in the very long run...

There have been many disruptions of the functioning of the discursive public sphere by new communications technologies. The most recent significant one was the early-twentieth century disruption by radio. The very sharp and witty Maciej Ceglowski provides us with a brief introduction:

Maciej Ceglowski: Legends of the Ancient Web: "It doesn't take long for politically talented people to discover how to use radio for their own ends. One of these early pioneers in the United States is Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest and early religious broadcaster who notices that his angry rants on political topics net him a much bigger audience than his discourses on religion. By the middle of the 1930's, Coughlin has an active audience of ten million tuning in to hear him rail against against bankers and international conspiracies, in a way that sounds uncomfortably familiar in 2017. Here's Father Coughlin at the top of his game, yelling about banks...

This catches the wise David Adler's attention. Indeed, Wolfgang Streeck's socialism is a very particular and grinchy and, indeed, nationalsocialism. I first saw this back in 1993-1994 in the NAFTA wars, when too many on the left seemed to think they could mobilize white supremacy and fear of hispanics to the service of social-democratic equitable-growth goals. Back then I thought "it really does not work that way". Indeed it does not. But people keep trying:

Wolfgang Streeck: Progressive Regression: "As governed by 'European' or international law, immigration may also function in essence as social policy. The arrival of unskilled workers may undermine collective bargaining in low-wage sectors, to the extent that it still exists; it may also increase income inequality. In the process, it may furthermore weaken public perceptions of poverty and inequality as a problem—and, indeed, allow opponents of social protection to declare acceptance of domestic inequality a commandment of global solidarity with the 'really poor'. Immigration may also exert pressure on social-assistance budgets while weakening the willingness of citizens to be taxed for them, as a growing share of the expenditure may be going to newly arriving non-citizens. There is some evidence from Sweden that immigration can give rise to local educational segregation, as middle- and upper-class parents extract their offspring from schools that educate the children of immigrants and send them to more selective institutions...

Perhaps the most interesting thing to happen in political economy over the summer was the American Business Roundtable's declaration that it no longer believed in "shareholder primacy". "Shareholder primacy" is the doctrine that a corporation's managers have a twofold and only twofold duty: (1) obey the law, and (2) maximize the stock market value possessed by its shareholders. All other considerations are, according to "shareholder primacy" not the proper business of the corporation: rather, they are the business of the government officials who make the laws and write the regulations to enforce them, the politicians who compete to boss the government officials, and the voters who elect them. The alternative view was always that shareholders were just one of the groups of stakeholders, albeit one of the most important groups by virtue of their status as residual claimants and their powers to choose corporate officers, whose interests were to be advanced and balanced. Here my old teacher Mike Spence has smart things to say about the possible advantageous consequences that opening the door to the possibility of moving away from "shareholder primacy" might produce:

Michael Spence: The End of Shareholder Primacy? https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/shareholder-vs-multi-stakeholder-model-by-michael-spence-2019-08: "An even more exciting feature of the shift toward socially conscious corporate governance is that it opens the door for new, more creative business models.... Alibaba [was founded with the goal of expanding market access for small and medium-size companies... [and] remain[s] committed.... Mukesh Ambani... identified Reliance’s stakeholders as the 'Indian economy, Indian people, our customers, employees, and shareowners'.... Digital technologies tend to come with high fixed costs, but low to negligible variable costs. Once established, a firm like Alibaba or Jio can thus provide a platform for countless other business models built around social objectives. And this effect is especially powerful in potentially large markets like China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and the United States. The Business Roundtable’s recent declaration represents a major step forward for the multi-stakeholder model. The example set by industry leaders matters. And it is no accident that some of today’s most successful global companies were explicitly conceived and built on the basis of multi-stakeholder values...

Comment of the Day: Graydon https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/richard-grabowski-2002-_east-asia-land-reform-and-economic-development_-in-trying-to-explain-the-economic-success.html?cid=6a00e551f0800388340240a4dbfad3200b#comment-6a00e551f0800388340240a4dbfad3200bre "It is hard for an economist using an economic perspective to understand why landlords or the landed elite would have an innate tendency to be an obstacle to long-run economic development": "Because they're in a position of power and seriously dependent on things not changing. Farms are a big lump of capital, but it's relatively static capital; you can't change your type of output on anything less than multi-year timescales, and that involves a lot of liquid capital you don't generally have. So a landed aristocracy with its income and relative social position dependent on having got their static capital just so does not want change and will do what it can to prevent such a thing. (The US does not lack for examples.) Consider the views of canal owner/operators with respect to railroads from 1840 through about 1860 in the US; the canal is an analogous type of capital...

My friend Jason Furman keeps telling me that the Obama Administration sincerely sought throughout its tenure in office to boost employment in America via expansionary fiscal policy. I agree that Jason did. But the administration? No. When Jason and company could win internal fights, yes. But otherwise the Obama Administration seemed to me to be focused on winning the day's media narrative, and if dingbat kabuki moves that were destructive of employment growth could attain that daily goal, they were gleefully and joyfully embraced—even if they were pointlessly cruel to those4 on whom the success of the Obama Administration rested. For example:

Jack Lew (November 29, 2010): Tightening Our Belts https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2010/11/29/tightening-our-belts: "To lay the foundation for long-term economic growth and to make our nation competitive for years to come, we must put the United States back on a sustainable fiscal course. And that’s going to require some tough choices. Today, the President made one of those: proposing a two-year pay freeze for all civilian federal workers. This will save  2 billion over the remainder of this fiscal year, 28 billion in cumulative savings over the next five years, and more than 60 billion over the next 10 years. The freeze will apply to all civilian federal employees, including those in various alternative pay plans and those working at the Department of Defense – but not military personnel.... Make no mistake: this decision was not made lightly. Like everyone honored to serve in the White House or the Cabinet, we work with extraordinarily talented public servants every day.... Indeed, anyone who has flown safely, enjoyed our national parks, received a Pell grant to go to college, or relied on a Social Security check to retire in dignity has benefited from the service of federal workers. This pay freeze is not a reflection on their fine work. It is a reflection of the fiscal reality that we face: just as families and businesses across the nation have tightened their belts, so must the federal government...

Once again, we have a piece by an impressively credentialed academic Republican economists that seems to me to have... no contact with reality. There is no economist I know of save for Robert Barro who has ever said or implied that the "neutral" real interest rate today is the same 2.4% that the average real interest rate was from 1986-2008. To the contrary, there has been a very long and active discussion—led over the past two decades by current New York Fed President John Williams—about how far the "neutral" rate has fallen, and how persistent that fall will be. And one conclusion of that debate has been that the current real federal funds rate of "only 0.7%" does indeed look "high" by some important metrics. So why would anyone write as thought this literature does not exist?:

Robert J. Barro: Is Politics Getting to the Fed?: "From the early 1980s until the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, the US Federal Reserve seemed to have a coherent process for adjusting its main short-term interest rate, the federal funds rate. Its policy had three key components: the nominal interest rate would rise by more than the rate of inflation; it would increase in response to a strengthening of the real economy; and it would tend toward a long-term normal value. Accordingly, one could infer the normal rate from the average federal funds rate over time. Between January 1986 and August 2008, it was 4.9%, and the average inflation rate was 2.5%.... The Fed’s prolonged low-interest-rate policy, which was supplemented by quantitative easing (QE), seems misguided, considering that the economy had long since recovered, at least in terms of the unemployment rate. The nominal federal funds rate was not placed on an upward trajectory until the end of 2016.... It is hard to view today’s nominal federal funds rate of 2.4% as high. With an inflation rate of 1.7%, the real federal funds rate is only 0.7%. And yet the Fed’s “high”-interest-rate policy was fiercely attacked by Wall Street.... That view is not crazy if you are focused solely on boosting the stock market. On average, interest-rate cuts do tend to stimulate the stock market by making real returns on bonds less competitive. But that does not mean it is good economic policy always to be cutting rates...

Alan Levin and Ryan Beene: Boeing Pilot Expressed Worries About 737 Max Safety in 2016 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-18/faa-says-boeing-was-tardy-in-turning-over-737-max-evidence?srnd=premium: "FAA chief, in letter, demands explanation from planemaker. Pilots were alarmed by performance of MCAS feature on jet: The November 2016 instant messages, which were reviewed by Bloomberg News, were exchanges between Mark Forkner, then Boeing’s chief technical pilot for the 737, and another 737 technical pilot, Patrik Gustavsson. In the messages, Forkner described his alarm at simulator tests in which he encountered troubling behavior of the automated flight control system implicated in the two fatal crashes. Boeing had earlier assured the aviation regulator that the feature known as Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System was benign and didn’t need to be included in the plane’s flight manuals, according to a person familiar with the issue. Forkner told Gustavsson that MCAS was 'running rampant in the sim on me', referring to simulator tests of the aircraft. Forkner expressed concern that he may have unknowingly misled the FAA. 'So I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)', he wrote.... 'I’m levelling [sic] off at like 4000 ft, 230 knots and the plane is trimming itself like craxy [sic]', Forkner said. 'I’m like, WHAT?'... After Forkner said he was concerned about misleading regulators, Gustavsson replied that 'it wasn’t a lie, no one told us that was the case'. 'I don’t know, the test pilots have kept us out of the loop', Gustavsson said. Forkner replied, 'they’re all so damn busy, and getting pressure from the program'...

Wikipedia: Ragnar Lodbrok https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragnar_Lodbrok: "According to traditional sources, Ragnar (possibly as a literary composite) was: (a) married three times, to the shieldmaiden Lagertha, the noblewoman Thóra Borgarhjǫrtr and Aslaug (also known as Kráka, Kraba), a Norse queen; (b) the father of historical Viking figures including Ivar the Boneless, Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Hvitserk, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, and Ubba; (c) captured by King Ælla of Northumbria and died after Ælla had him thrown into a pit of snakes; and (d) avenged by the Great Heathen Army that invaded and occupied Northumbria and adjoining Anglo-Saxon kingdoms...

## On the Word "Growth"...

"Growth" is a word borrowed from the Norse groði, the process of vegetation becoming green and becoming larger. In the later 800s, you see, England was invaded by an army of Danes. This Great Heathen Army's leaders wanted to avenge the execution by being thrown into a pit of poisonous snakes of their father Ragnar Lothbrok—Ragnar "Furry Pants", supposedly because he had successfully fought a giant snake while wearing furry pants that the snake could not bite through. The sons of Ragnar were: Ivar the Boneless (or Legless?), Björn Ironside, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, Halfdan Ragnarsson King of Dublin, Hvitserk, and Ubba. (Halfdan and Hvitserk may have been the same person—Hvitserk means "white shirt" and would thus be much more appropriate as a nickname like "Boneless", "Ironside" or "Snake-in-the-Eye".

Continue reading "On the Word "Growth"..." »

Wikipedia: Danelaw https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danelaw#Establishment_of_Danish_self-rule: "as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the Danes held sway[2] and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. Danelaw contrasts with West Saxon law and Mercian law. The term is first recorded in the early 11th century as Dena lage. Modern historians have extended the term to a geographical designation. The areas that constituted the Danelaw lie in northern and eastern England. The Danelaw originated from the Viking expansion of the 9th century, although the term was not used to describe a geographic area until the 11th century. With the increase in population and productivity in Scandinavia, Viking warriors, having sought treasure and glory in the nearby British Isles, 'proceeded to plough and support themselves', in the words of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 876. Danelaw can describe the set of legal terms and definitions created in the treaties between the King of Wessex, Alfred the Great, and the Danish warlord, Guthrum, written following Guthrum's defeat at the Battle of Edington in 878...