Andrew Gelman Attempts to Preach to the Econometricians
Noted for March 18, 2013

Noted for March 17, 2013

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  • Brad DeLong: Right from the Start?: "Friedman swung to the libertarian edge of the political and economic spectrum, having, in his later words, 'woken up to reality'. I don’t want to say to the right: drug liberalization, an end to the military draft, civil rights, government out of the bedroom, and free immigration were not right-wing causes even then. But… his respect for even the possibility of government action was gone…. Those elements [of the New Deal] that weren’t positively destructive were ineffective… [what] would have cured the Great Depression [was] a substantial expansion of the money supply… Ebenstein covers this as a triumphal march, as the victory of rationality and truth… paper[ing] over the inconsistencies, conflicts, and errors of Friedman’s thought."

  • Joseph E. Gagnon: The Elephant Hiding in the Room: Currency Intervention and Trade Imbalances: "Official purchases of foreign assets… are strongly correlated with current account (trade) imbalances…. A country’s current account balance increases between 60 and 100 cents for each dollar spent on intervention. This is a much larger effect than is widely assumed. These results raise serious questions about the efficiency of international financial markets."

Nixon in China: an opera in two acts | Joe Romm: How Arctic Ice Loss Amplified Superstorm Sandy | Kieran Healy: Crowdsourcing Sociology Department Rankings: 2013 Edition | Ezra Klein: How the White House thinks about climate change | Brad DeLong: My Day: Magister Ludi, or From Econ 115 to Tesla to Gernsback to "The Skylark of Space" to Oliver Wendell Holmes to Arianne Emory... | Pemy Levy: No Consensus At CPAC On How Romney Lost The Election: 'Voter Fraud,’ ‘The Media,’ ‘Hurricane Sandy’ |

  • Eugene Steuerle, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, and Sisi Zhang: The Lost Wealth of Generation Y: "Despite the Great Recession and slow recovery, the American dream of working hard, saving more, and becoming wealthier than one’s parents holds true for many. Unless you’re under 40…. Today’s political discussions often focus on preserving the wealth and benefits of older Americans and the baby boomers. Often lost in this debate is attention to younger generations whose wealth losses, or lack of long-term gains, have been even greater."

  • David Jacks: From Boom to Bust: A Typology of Real Commodity Prices in the Long Run: "Real commodity prices of both energy and non-energy commodities have been on the rise from 1950… commodity price super-cycles which entail decades-long positive deviations from these long-run trends… punctuated by booms and busts which are historically pervasive and becoming more exacerbated over time."

  • Scott Lemieux: Plagiarism As A Subset of Hackwork: "Paul Waldman has a smart take on the plagiarism in Juan Williams’s column. Or, more precisely, the plagiarism that appeared in the column with Juan Williams’s nominal byline: 'But here’s what I can fault Williams for: What he actually got caught doing was an act of double plagiarism… taking someone else’s words and passing them off as your own without attribution. Williams does that whenever his assistant writes something for him that then appears verbatim… which… he does regularly. It’s just that this time, his assistant passed off CAP’s words as his own to Williams, and Williams then passed off CAP’s words as his own to his readers, when he thought he was only passing off his assistant’s words as his own, which otherwise nobody would know about.'… Williams can’t even be bothered to write his own banalities while people who are still actual journalists are being asked even by financially secure organizations to write for 'exposure'. I don’t even understand how Williams’s column makes narrow economic sense. When was the last time a Juan Williams column went viral for its content? If the Hill dropped his column tomorrow, would anyone stop reading the publication? Would anyone even notice?"

  • Alex Pareene: (Trying to) Charm the Offensive: "It is hilarious how much the centrist deficit-hawk Grand Bargain cheerleaders detest Obama and blame him for his failure to get a Grand Bargain, because he often seems like the only person in Washington who legitimately, sincerely wants one. So Barack Obama did his 'charm offensive'…. The problem isn’t actually that Barack Obama was insufficiently charming. The problem is… Barack Obama wants to cut the deficit. Republicans don’t care about the deficit. Barack Obama wants to cut the deficit by raising more revenue and cutting social insurance programs. Republicans hate taxes and don’t actually want to cut social insurance programs for old people… 'charm' is not really the problem…"

  • Paul Krugman: Conservatives and Sewers: "I see that some commenters on my traffic externalities post are speculating what Republicans would say about sewers if they didn’t already exist. Well, we don’t know about Republicans, but we do know what The Economist said, in 1848, about proposals for a London sewer system: 'Suffering and evil are nature’s admonitions; they cannot be got rid of; and the impatient efforts of benevolence to banish them from the world by legislation, before benevolence has learned their object and their end, have always been more productive of evil than good.' Sewers are socialism! It wasn’t until the Great Stink made the Houses of Parliament uninhabitable that the sewer system was created."

On March 16, 2013: