wonkish   663

« earlier    

Maybe America is simply too big | Eli Dourado
The classic economics paper on optimal country size is by Alesina and Spolare (1997). They advance a number of theoretical claims in the paper, but in my view the most important ones are on the relationship between political and economic integration.

Suppose that the world is full of trade barriers. Tariffs are high, and maybe also it’s just plain expensive to get goods across the ocean, so there’s not a lot of international competition. In this situation, there is a huge advantage to political integration: it buys you economic integration.

In a world of trade barriers, a giant internal free trade area is one of the most valuable public goods that a government can provide. Because many industries feature economies of scale, it’s better to live in a big market. If the only way to get a big market is to live in a big country, then megastates have a huge advantage over microstates.

On the other hand, if economic integration prevails regardless of political integration—say, tariffs are low and shipping is cheap—then political integration doesn’t buy you much. Many of the other public goods that governments provide—law and order, social insurance, etc.—don’t really benefit from large populations beyond a certain point. If you scale from a million people to 100 million people, you aren’t really better off.

As a result, if economic integration prevails, the optimal country size is small, maybe even a city-state.
econotariat  wonkish  2016-election  trump  contrarianism  politics  polisci  usa  scale  measure  convexity-curvature  government  exit-voice  polis  social-choice  diversity  putnam-like  cohesion  trade  nationalism-globalism  economics  alesina  american-nations 
8 days ago by nhaliday
Reasoning From First Principles: The Dumbest Thing Smart People Do
Most middle-class Americans at least act as if:
- Exactly four years of higher education is precisely the right level of training for the overwhelming majority of good careers.
- You should spend most of your waking hours most days of the week for the previous twelve+ years preparing for those four years. In your free time, be sure to do the kinds of things guidance counselors think are impressive; we as a society know that these people are the best arbiters of arete.
- Forty hours per week is exactly how long it takes to be reasonably successful in most jobs.
- On the margin, the cost of paying for money management exceeds the cost of adverse selection from not paying for it.
- You will definitely learn important information about someone’s spousal qualifications in years two through five of dating them.
-Human beings need about 50% more square feet per capita than they did a generation or two ago, and you should probably buy rather than rent it.
- Books are very boring, but TV is interesting.

All of these sound kind of dumb when you write them out. Even if they’re arguably true, you’d expect a good argument. You can be a low-risk contrarian by just picking a handful of these, articulating an alternative — either a way to get 80% of the benefit at 20% of the cost, or a way to pay a higher cost to get massively more benefits — and then living it.[1]
techtariat  econotariat  unaffiliated  wonkish  org:med  thinking  skeleton  being-right  paying-rent  rationality  pareto  cost-benefit  arbitrage  spock  epistemic  contrarianism  finance  personal-finance  investing  stories  metameta  advice  metabuch  strategy  education  higher-ed  labor  sex  housing  tv  meta:reading  axioms  truth  worse-is-better/the-right-thing 
20 days ago by nhaliday
The returns to speaking a second language
Does speaking a foreign language have an impact on earnings? The authors use a variety of empirical strategies to address this issue for a representative sample of U.S. college graduates. OLS regressions with a complete set of controls to minimize concerns about omitted variable biases, propensity score methods, and panel data techniques all lead to similar conclusions. The hourly earnings of those who speak a foreign language are more than 2 percent higher than the earnings of those who do not. The authors obtain higher and more imprecise point estimates using state high school graduation and college entry and graduation requirements as instrumental variables.


We find that college graduates who speak a second language earn, on average, wages that are 2 percent higher than those who don’t. We include a complete set of controls for general ability using information on grades and college admission tests and reduce the concern that selection drives the results controlling for the academic major chosen by the student. We obtain similar results with simple regression methods if we use nonparametric methods based on the propensity score and if we exploit the temporal variation in the knowledge of a second language. The estimates, thus, are not driven by observable differences in the composition of the pools of bilinguals and monolinguals, by the linear functional form that we impose in OLS regressions, or by constant unobserved heterogeneity. To reduce the concern that omitted variables bias our estimates, we make use of several instrumental variables (IVs). Using high school and college graduation requirements as instruments, we estimate more substantial returns to learning a second language, on the order of 14 to 30 percent. These results have high standard errors, but they suggest that OLS estimates may actually be biased downward.


In separate (unreported) regressions, we explore the labor market returns to speaking specific languages. We estimate OLS regressions following the previous specifications but allow the coefficient to vary by language spoken. In our sample, German is the language that obtains the highest rewards in the labor market. The returns to speaking German are 3.8 percent, while they are 2.3 for speaking French and 1.5 for speaking Spanish. In fact, only the returns to speaking German remain statistically significant in this regression. The results indicate that those who speak languages known by a smaller number of people obtain higher rewards in the labor market.14

The Relative Importance of the European Languages: https://ideas.repec.org/p/kud/kuiedp/0623.html
study  economics  labor  cost-benefit  hmm  language  foreign-lang  usa  empirical  evidence-based  education  human-capital  compensation  correlation  endogenous-exogenous  natural-experiment  policy  wonkish  🎩  french  germanic  latin-america  multi  spanish  china  asia  japan 
july 2019 by nhaliday
Foreign-Born Teaching Assistants and the Academic Performance of Undergraduates
The data suggest that foreign-born Teaching Assistants have an adverse impact on the class performance of undergraduate students.
study  economics  education  higher-ed  borjas  migration  labor  cost-benefit  tradeoffs  branches  language  foreign-lang  grad-school  teaching  attaq  wonkish  lol 
july 2019 by nhaliday
The Scholar's Stage: Book Notes—Strategy: A History
Freedman's book is something of a shadow history of Western intellectual thought between 1850 and 2010. Marx, Tolstoy, Foucault, game theorists, economists, business law--it is all in there.

Thus the thoughts prompted by this book have surprisingly little to do with war.
Instead I am left with questions about the long-term trajectory of Western thought. Specifically:

*Has America really dominated Western intellectual life in the post 45 world as much as English speakers seem to think it has?
*Has the professionalization/credential-iization of Western intellectual life helped or harmed our ability to understand society?
*Will we ever recover from the 1960s?
wonkish  unaffiliated  broad-econ  books  review  reflection  summary  strategy  war  higher-ed  academia  social-science  letters  organizing  nascent-state  counter-revolution  rot  westminster  culture-war  left-wing  anglosphere  usa  history  mostly-modern  coordination  lens  local-global  europe  gallic  philosophy  cultural-dynamics  anthropology  game-theory  industrial-org  schelling  flux-stasis  trends  culture  iraq-syria  MENA  military  frontier  info-dynamics  big-peeps  politics  multi  twitter  social  commentary  backup  defense 
july 2019 by nhaliday
Randomizing Religion: The Impact of Protestant Evangelism on Economic Outcomes
To test the causal impact of religiosity, we conducted a randomized evaluation of an evangelical Protestant Christian values and theology education program that consisted of 15 weekly half-hour sessions. We analyze outcomes for 6,276 ultra-poor Filipino households six months after the program ended. We find _significant increases in religiosity and income_, no significant changes in total labor supply, assets, consumption, food security, or _life satisfaction, and a significant decrease in perceived relative economic status_. Exploratory analysis suggests the program may have improved hygienic practices and increased household discord, and that _the income treatment effect may operate through increasing grit_.


Social Cohesion, Religious Beliefs, and the Effect of Protestantism on Suicide: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/REST_a_00708
In an economic theory of suicide, we model social cohesion of the religious community and religious beliefs about afterlife as two mechanisms by which Protestantism increases suicide propensity. We build a unique micro-regional dataset of 452 Prussian counties in 1816-21 and 1869-71, when religiousness was still pervasive. Exploiting the concentric dispersion of Protestantism around Wittenberg, our instrumental-variable model finds that Protestantism had a substantial positive effect on suicide. Results are corroborated in first-difference models. Tests relating to the two mechanisms based on historical church-attendance data and modern suicide data suggest that the sociological channel plays the more important role.

this is also mentioned in the survey of reformation effects (under "dark" effects)
study  field-study  sociology  wonkish  intervention  religion  theos  branches  evidence-based  christianity  protestant-catholic  asia  developing-world  economics  compensation  money  labor  human-capital  emotion  s-factor  discipline  multi  social-structure  death  individualism-collectivism  n-factor  cohesion  causation  endogenous-exogenous  history  early-modern  europe  germanic  geography  within-group  urban-rural  marginal-rev  econotariat  commentary  class  personality  social-psych 
february 2018 by nhaliday

« earlier    

related tags

2016-election  2016  2017  80000-hours  :/  ability-competence  abortion-contraception-embryo  absolute-relative  academia  accuracy  advice  africa  age-generation  aggregator  aging  agriculture  albion  alesina  alignment  alt-inst  american-nations  analysis  anglosphere  anomie  anthropology  antidemos  antiquity  aphorism  arbitrage  aristos  arms  art  article  asia  attaq  authoritarianism  automation  axioms  backup  barons  beginning-middle-end  behavioral-econ  being-right  best-practices  big-peeps  big-picture  biophysical-econ  blog  books  bootstraps  borjas  branches  bret-victor  britain  broad-econ  buddhism  business  california  canon  capital  capitalism  career  causation  charity  chart  checklists  chicago  china  christianity  christopher-lasch  civic  civil-liberty  civilization  class-warfare  class  classic  climate-change  clinton  cliometrics  coalitions  cocktail  cog-psych  cohesion  cold-war  coming-apart  commentary  communism  community  comparison  compensation  competition  complex-systems  conceptual-vocab  confluence  confounding  conquest-empire  contracts  contrarianism  convexity-curvature  cooperate-defect  coordination  corporation  correlation  corruption  cost-benefit  cost-disease  counter-revolution  counterfactual  course  cracker-econ  crime  criminal-justice  criminology  critique  crooked  crosstab  cultural-dynamics  culture-war  culture  curiosity  current-events  curvature  cycles  cynicism-idealism  darwinian  data-science  data  database  dataviz  death  debate  debt  decentralized  decision-making  defense  definite-planning  degrees-of-freedom  democracy  demographic-transition  demographics  descriptive  developing-world  developmental  dignity  dirty-hands  discipline  discrimination  discussion  distribution  divergence  diversity  douthatish  drama  drugs  duty  dynamic  dysgenics  early-modern  econ-metrics  econ-productivity  econometrics  economics  econotariat  education  effect-size  effective-altruism  efficiency  egalitarianism-hierarchy  egt  elections  electromag  elite  embodied  emergent  emotion  empirical  endo-exo  endogenous-exogenous  energy-resources  enlightenment-renaissance-restoration-reformation  entrepreneurialism  environment  envy  epistemic  equilibrium  ergodic  eric-kaufmann  error  essay  ethanol  ethics  ethnocentrism  ethnography  europe  events  evidence-based  evolution  evopsych  exit-voice  exocortex  expansionism  expert-experience  expert  explanans  explanation  facebook  faq  fashun  fertility  feudal  fiction  field-study  finance  fitness  fitsci  fluid  flux-stasis  foreign-lang  foreign-policy  formal-values  french  frontier  fungibility-liquidity  gallic  game-theory  garett-jones  gender  general-survey  generalization  geoengineering  geography  geopolitics  germanic  gibbon  gnon  gnxp  google  government  grad-school  gray-econ  great-powers  gregory-clark  group-level  growth-econ  h2o  hanushek  hard-tech  hari-seldon  harvard  health  healthcare  heavy-industry  heuristic  hi-order-bits  higher-ed  history  hmm  homo-hetero  honor  housing  human-bean  human-capital  humility  huntington  hypocrisy  ideas  identity-politics  ideology  idk  impetus  incentives  increase-decrease  india  individualism-collectivism  industrial-org  industrial-revolution  inequality  info-dynamics  info-econ  info-foraging  infrastructure  init  innovation  input-output  institutions  insurance  intel  interests  internet  intervention  interview  intricacy  investigative-journo  investing  iq  iraq-syria  iron-age  islam  israel  japan  journos-pundits  judaism  judgement  justice  kinship  korea  krugman  kumbaya-kult  labor  language  larry-summers  latin-america  law  leadership  leaks  lee-kuan-yew  left-wing  lens  let-me-see  letters  leviathan  life-history  liner-notes  links  list  literature  local-global  lol  long-short-run  long-term  longform  longitudinal  machiavelli  macro  madisonian  malaise  malthus  management  managerial-state  map-territory  maps  marginal-rev  market-failure  market-power  markets  math  mathtariat  meaningness  measure  measurement  media  medieval  mediterranean  mena  meta-analysis  meta:prediction  meta:reading  metabuch  metameta  methodology  metrics  michael-nielsen  micro  microfoundations  midwest  migration  military  mobility  models  modernity  mokyr-allen-mccloskey  moments  monetary-fiscal  money  morality  mostly-modern  multi  murray  n-factor  narrative  nascent-state  nationalism-globalism  natural-experiment  nature  network-structure  news  nietzschean  nitty-gritty  nl-and-so-can-you  no-go  noblesse-oblige  nonlinearity  nordic  north-weingast-like  northeast  notation  null-result  obama  obesity  objektbuch  occident  oceans  old-anglo  open-closed  operational  optimate  optimism  order-disorder  org:anglo  org:biz  org:bv  org:data  org:econlib  org:edu  org:fin  org:foreign  org:gov  org:junk  org:lite  org:mag  org:med  org:nat  org:ngo  org:popup  org:rec  org:sci  organization  organizing  orient  orwellian  oscillation  paganism  parable  parenting  pareto  path-dependence  patho-altruism  patience  paying-rent  pdf  people  personal-finance  personality  persuasion  pessimism  phalanges  phd  philosophy  pic  piracy  planning  poetry  polanyi-marx  polarization  policy  polis  polisci  political-econ  politics  poll  population  postmortem  power  pre-ww2  prediction-markets  prediction  prejudice  prepping  princeton  pro-rata  prof  propaganda  property-rights  proposal  protestant-catholic  prudence  psychiatry  psycho-atoms  psychology  public-goodish  putnam-like  q-n-a  qra  quixotic  quotes  race  randy-ayndy  ranking  rationality  ratty  reading  realness  realpolitik  reason  recommendations  recruiting  redistribution  reference  reflection  regional-scatter-plots  regression  regularizer  regulation  religion  rent-seeking  responsibility  retention  review  revolution  rhetoric  rhythm  right-wing  risk  roots  rot  s-factor  s:*  sapiens  scale  schelling  scifi-fantasy  scitariat  scott-sumner  search  securities  selection  self-interest  sentiment  sex  sexuality  shakespeare  shift  signal-noise  signaling  simulation  sinosphere  skeleton  skunkworks  sky  sleuthin  slippery-slope  social-capital  social-choice  social-norms  social-psych  social-science  social-structure  social  society  sociology  software  space  spanish  spearhead  speculation  spock  sports  ssc  stagnation  stanford  statesmen  status  steel-man  stock-flow  stories  strategy  straussian  stream  study  stylized-facts  sulla  summary  supply-demand  survey  sv  tactics  taxes  tcstariat  teaching  tech  technocracy  technology  techtariat  temperance  tetlock  the-bones  the-classics  the-founding  the-great-west-whale  the-south  the-west  the-world-is-just-atoms  theos  things  thinking  thucydides  time-preference  time-series  time-use  time  tocqueville  tolkienesque  tools  top-n  track-record  tracker  trade  tradeoffs  tradition  transportation  trends  tribalism  trivia  troll  trump  trust  truth  tv  twitter  unaffiliated  uncertainty  unintended-consequences  universalism-particularism  urban-rural  urban  us-them  usa  values  vampire-squid  variance-components  video  virginia-dc  virtu  visual-understanding  visualization  visuo  volo-avolo  walls  walter-scheidel  war  wealth-of-nations  wealth  welfare-state  westminster  white-paper  wiki  wild-ideas  winner-take-all  wisdom  within-group  world  worrydream  worse-is-better/the-right-thing  yvain  zeitgeist  zero-positive-sum  🎩  🐸  🤖 

Copy this bookmark: