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Economics From Around The Web

Below you will find a feed of the economics-related web sites that I find particularly interesting, insightful, entertaining, etc. (In other words, you are getting pretty much an edited view of my Google Reader.) My purpose in doing this is to provide readers with a portal for a wider range of information than I can provide myself. I will add new sources here as I come across them, and feel free to email me with suggestions for sites that you think should be included. It’s not practical to have too many sites incorporated here, so I will keep a list below both of included sites and sites that are not included but worth checking out individually. (Some of these are sites that are great but are not updated frequently enough for them to make sense in the feed.)

I am still working on the formatting, so please bear with me. For now, the page displays the last 50 posts in round robin fashion from the following sites:

The following sites are not currently included in the feed below, but are interesting nonetheless:



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Marginal REVOLUTION
Marginal REVOLUTION
Small Steps Toward A Much Better World

Proust as speculator
by Tyler Cowen
29 May 2017 at 4:10am

Through a fast alternation of buying and selling, orders and counterorders, the end of 1911 marked Proust?s fastest plunge into debt exposure in his fifteen-year-long investing career. His patrimony amounted to about 1,522,000 francs, but more than 40 percent of it, precisely 640,000 francs, was tied up in forwards contracts?a crazy level of exposure for […]

The post Proust as speculator appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

xkcd.com
 xkcd.com: A webcomic of romance and math humor.

Barge
20 Jan 2017 at 5:00am

Greg Mankiw’s Blog
Random Observations for Students of Economics

A New Mankiw Publication
by  noreply at blogger.com (Greg Mankiw)
26 May 2017 at 2:08pm
This one I am particularly proud of, though I cannot claim to fully understand it.

Freakonomics
The hidden side of everything

Sneak Peak of TMSIDK Season 3
by Stephen J. Dubner
29 May 2017 at 12:00am

Season 3 of Tell Me Something I Don?t Know is coming to your ears! Prepare yourself for 10 shiny new episodes ? full of fresh knowledge ? starting June 4.

The post Sneak Peak of TMSIDK Season 3 appeared first on Freakonomics.

NYT
Economix
Explaining the Science of Everyday Life

Economix Meets the Gales of Change
by By The Editors
22 Apr 2014 at 11:00am
Economix is coming to an end, but it will be succeeded by The Upshot, a new politics, policy and economics site.

Indexed
PUBLISHED WEEKDAY MORNINGS as the COFFEE BREWS. FOR MORE randomness GO TO jessicahagy.info

Two different gun shows.
by Jessica Hagy
26 May 2017 at 6:07pm

Share and Enjoy:

The post Two different gun shows. appeared first on Indexed.

Nudge blog
Nudge blog
From Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness”

We?ve moved to www.nudges.org. Come with us.
by nudgeblog
27 Feb 2010 at 7:08pm
 Nudges.wordpress.com has been a great home for the Nudge blog over the past year and a half, but it’s time to move on. Where to? www.nudges.org. That’s right, we’re taking over our first home and revamping it for the future. We’ve added new social media capabilities that let you share our posts on facebook and […]

www.surveymonkey.com/r/CMYZQZV
 www.surveymonkey.com

Essay Writing Service, Argumentative Essay
20 Apr 2017 at 6:05pm
our essay writing team will work on it relent lessly to ensure that its quality

Dilbert Daily Strip

Comic for May 29, 2017
29 May 2017 at 11:59pm
Dilbert readers – Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

Environmental Economics
The Cromulent Economics Blog

“Ninety-Five Regulatory Experts Express Concerns about Trump Administration R…
by John Whitehead
26 May 2017 at 8:08pm
Joshua Linn and Alan Krupnick:

Many economists and other professionals looked on in dismay when President Trump issued executive orders and supporting guidance documents that appear to target regulations for elimination based primarily on their costs rather than a balanced assessment that includes benefits.

Accordingly, we joined 93 economists and lawyers in signing a letter to high-ranking officials of the Trump administration, including Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who issued the orders and guidance and is responsible for monitoring and enforcing them.

The plain wording of Executive Orders 13771 and 13777 and the related guidance places an outsized focus on regulatory costs?but we hope, as some have suggested, that is not what the administration intends. The letter explains these concerns and offers constructive suggestions for improving regulatory analysis and implementation. The views expressed by the signatories are their own and should not be their attributed to their respective institutions.

We urge the Trump administration to take this letter seriously and act accordingly.

Read the full letter including signatories [here].

Only 95? I suspect that if they had asked they could have gotten at least 100 to sign. Triple digits, think about it.

NPR Blogs: Planet Money

High Unemployment, Low Interest Rates: Get Used To It
4 Jun 2010 at 3:38pm
By Jacob Goldstein Today’s monthly jobs report suggests two key pieces of the economic picture are likely to persist in the coming months: High unemployment and low interest rates. Hundreds of thousands of temporary workers hired to help conduct the census — which accounted for the overwhelming majority of jobs created in May — will once again find themselves out of work later this year. These weekly figures from the census department suggest the number of temporary workers employed by the census peaked the first week of May — during the same period that the labor department took its monthly jobs survey — and has already begun to decline. “I do think that we have peaked,” Census spokesman told The Hill this week. “I do not expect it to go back up.” In 2000, during the last census, the census department added 348,000 jobs in May, then cut 225,000 jobs in June. Meanwhile, state and local governments cut jobs in May. That is likely to continue, the WSJ says. And private-sector job growth was anemic in May — 41,000 jobs, down from more than 200,000 in April, and not enough to drive an economic recovery. (The number of jobs in manufacturing and temporary services increased, but the number of jobs in construction fell.) “Remember, it requires 150,000 to 200,000 jobs [per month] in order to reduce that unemployment rate,” Bill Gross, who manages the bond fund Pimco, told Bloomberg News. The unemployment rate fell from 9.9 percent to 9.7 percent in May, but the decline was largely due to the fact that fewer people were looking for work. (The unemployment rate only includes those who are actively seeking employment.) Before the recession, the rate was less than 5 percent. High unemployment, in turn, means the Federal Reserve is likely to keep interest rates ultra-low. This is true for a few reasons. For one thing, when more people are out of work, consumers spend less money. That lowers the risk of inflation, which can be a byproduct of low rates. For another, low interest rates make it more appealing for businesses to borrow money to drive growth, which creates new jobs. At least in theory. “[W]e are now in the fourth quarter of economic expansion, with jobs once more being created rather than destroyed,” Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday. “Nonetheless, important concerns remain. One particularly difficult issue is the continued high rate of unemployment.”

Ecocomics
Where Graphic Art Meets Dismal Science

Does Anyone Still Subscribe to This?
by ShadowBanker
10 Jun 2013 at 3:40pm
Hi folks!  It’s been a while.  How are you all doing?

If there is any demand, I will continue to regularly update this blog.  Just let me know.

Also, what comics should I be reading?

The Becker-Posner Blog
Welcome to the new Becker-Posner Blog, maintained by the University of Chicago Law School.

Farewell
by Richard Posner
11 May 2014 at 4:48am

In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014.

The Becker-Posner blog is terminated.

Richard A. Posner

EconomistMom.com
…because I’m an economist and a mom–that’s why!

Back to Just (An) Economist Mom
by economistmom
10 Jan 2013 at 6:18pm
After 4 and 3/4 years and 932 posts (counting this one), I’m putting down my pen as “the EconomistMom” (capital-E, capital-M, smooshed together) and going back to being (more ordinarily) just (an) economist mom. (I think in my older (i.e., younger) days I would have been anal about it and set a target of ending […]

Marginal REVOLUTION
Marginal REVOLUTION
Small Steps Toward A Much Better World

Sunday assorted links
by Tyler Cowen
28 May 2017 at 5:14pm

1. Peter Lawler, RIP, here is his just published essay “Souls Without Longing,” recommended. And here is an appreciation of Lawler, I was a fan too. 2. Jonathan Marks reviews Complacent Class. 3. Rachel Strohm is starting an email newsletter on politics and culture in Africa. 4. Some (mild) economic recovery for Italy? (FT) 5. […]

The post Sunday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

xkcd.com
 xkcd.com: A webcomic of romance and math humor.

Voice Commands
18 Jan 2017 at 5:00am

Greg Mankiw’s Blog
Random Observations for Students of Economics

Why people prefer unequal societies
by  noreply at blogger.com (Greg Mankiw)
19 May 2017 at 10:59am
A friend points out that this paper is related to some themes I have written about.  The abstract (emphasis added):
There is immense concern about economic inequality, both among the scholarly community and in the general public, and many insist that equality is an important social goal. However, when people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies. We suggest that these two phenomena can be reconciled by noticing that, despite appearances to the contrary, there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality itself. Rather, they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness. Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favour fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality. Both psychological research and decisions by policymakers would benefit from more clearly distinguishing inequality from unfairness.

Freakonomics
The hidden side of everything

Are the Rich Really Less Generous Than the Poor?
by Stephen J. Dubner
25 May 2017 at 3:00am

A series of academic studies suggest that the wealthy are, to put it bluntly, selfish jerks. It?s an easy narrative to swallow ? but is it true? A trio of economists set out to test the theory. All it took was a Dutch postal worker?s uniform, some envelopes stuffed with cash, and a slight sense of the absurd.

The post Are the Rich Really Less Generous Than the Poor? appeared first on Freakonomics.

NYT
Economix
Explaining the Science of Everyday Life

Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers
by By Phillip Swagel
18 Apr 2014 at 11:00am
The higher cost for borrowers in a Senate bill reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac corresponds to the protection for taxpayers that was missing in the old system, writes an economist.

Indexed
PUBLISHED WEEKDAY MORNINGS as the COFFEE BREWS. FOR MORE randomness GO TO jessicahagy.info

Biting tongues.
by Jessica Hagy
25 May 2017 at 10:50pm

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The post Biting tongues. appeared first on Indexed.

Nudge blog
Nudge blog
From Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness”

Auto-suggest suggests how far behavioral economics has come, and how far it s…
by nudgeblog
25 Feb 2010 at 2:30am
In terms of recognition and respect, behavioral economics has certainly come a long way in the last 25 years. But it is still a Hibernian outpost in the great Roman Economics empire. One of the newest metrics for evaluating its impact is the auto-suggest feature in many search engines that has become quite popular since […]

Dilbert Daily Strip

Comic for May 28, 2017
28 May 2017 at 11:59pm
Dilbert readers – Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

Environmental Economics
The Cromulent Economics Blog

Things Indiana Jones and I have in common…
by Tim Haab
26 May 2017 at 4:44pm

…we’re both college professors, and we both hate snakes:

Get ready to update your nightmares.

A scientist from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has discovered that a species of snake, the Cuban boa, hunts in groups, and through teamwork improve their chances of catching prey. It’s the first time that reptiles have been observed to have been involved in “coordinated hunting,” where individual animals take into account the location of others of the same species to maximize their hunting successes. I may never sleep again.

NPR Blogs: Planet Money

Job Growth: A Big, Disappointing Number
4 Jun 2010 at 2:06pm
The U.S. economy added 431,000 new jobs in May, the federal government said this morning. Sounds promising. But dig a little deeper, and the number doesn’t look so nice. Almost all of those jobs — 411,000 of them — were temporary employees hired to work on the census. Those jobs typically last only for a few months. The private sector added only 41,000 jobs during the month. It’s much lower than what economists were expecting, and far fewer jobs than private employers added in April. It suggests the economic recovery is slowing. Private employers added more than 200,000 new jobs in April. And Economists were predicting that private employers would add more than 100,000 jobs in May. The economy has shed more than 7 million jobs since the end of 2007, though the number of jobs has increased since the start of 2010. May was probably the peak month for census hiring, Bloomberg News notes. And in the coming months, the census department will begin dismissing more employees than it hires. The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent in May, down from 9.9 percent the month before, the government said this morning. But that number, like the jobs number, is somewhat misleading. The unemployment rate only considers people who are actively seeking work and can’t find it. In May, fewer unemployed people started looking for work again. That contributed to the decline in unemployment.

Ecocomics
Where Graphic Art Meets Dismal Science


Can Wolverine Build a School?
by ShadowBanker
17 Nov 2011 at 2:30pm
Wolverine #17 by Jason Aaron and Ron GarneyMarvel Comics, 2011
Where does Wolverine get his money from? If he has managed to save up enough to start a new school for mutants in Westchester, he must certainly have exercised several lifetimes of prudent money management. Here is what we had to say about this before:

Throughout his long, long life Wolverine has shown very little interest in matters of an economic nature. He’s spent most of his time living in cabins, hovels, and sleeping in the beds and houses of others. His worldly possessions seldom exceed the clothes on his back (usually a jumpsuit made of spandex or leather), a cache of cheap cigars, a motorcycle, and a six-pack of beer. This is the sum of the worldly possessions he has accrued in over 100 years of life. Granted, a large part of this life was spent being mind controlled and experimented on, but in the years since he’s escaped from Weapon X, Wolverine has made a series of life decisions which placed him in financial jeopardy.

We know Wolverine likes to live a life of modesty. Previously, I thought this was due to the fact that, despite living the equivalent of several lifetimes, he never took a job that was lucrative enough for him to splurge on things like mansions and jets.
Evidently, this is incorrect. Turns out that Wolverine has been slowly saving for years and has now accrued enough funds to open a school.
I haven’t the fainted idea of what it costs to open a school. I doubt that the Xavier Institute was a charter school or received any sort of public funding. In today’s Marvel Universe, mutants are still highly stigmatized so it is unlikely that Wolverine will be able to receive any sort of grant or government assistance, unless through nefarious means (snikt snikt). I do, however, know that it is extremely expensive, probably requiring initial funding of upwards of $500,000 to one million dollars. Westchester County, New York, also seems like it would be particularly costly.
Is it possible that Wolverine managed to save up this much money? Actually, it doesn’t seem that crazy. Let’s assume all assets that he had saved up prior to his kidnapping by the Weapon X program had been wiped (it is unlikely that the sinister Canadian organization let him keep his money). Then, once Logan escapes the program (well after World War II), he had to start with nothing.
He then met Charlies Xavier and joined up with the X-Men in the 1970s. I think it’s safe to assume that he started his savings at this point. Assuming that he had been paid a salary for his service (something of which I am not sure, though I imagine he needed some form of income to, you know, eat) and that he served continuously through the present (a stretch, but it would be difficult to account for all the gaps in his time with the X-Men), it is certainly feasible that Wolverine had saved the amount required to at the very least put forth the initial funds. He had been actively working for four decades (longer if you count the time between Weapon X and the X-Men, where he was employed with Department K and probably earned some sweet government pay) and his expenses were minimal (for a while, he took up free residence at the X-Mansion and, as mentioned above, spends very little on material things).
Therefore, it would appear as though Wolverine’s modest lifestyle is evidence of prudence and thrift, rather than of having little assets.
Hell, Logan might even be part of the 1%.

The Becker-Posner Blog
Welcome to the new Becker-Posner Blog, maintained by the University of Chicago Law School.

Sabbatical Notice
by Richard Posner
15 Mar 2014 at 2:05am

Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

EconomistMom.com
…because I’m an economist and a mom–that’s why!

Over the Cliff and Yet Back in the Same Place
by economistmom
2 Jan 2013 at 5:37pm
It’s as if we’ve just survived a near-death experience. (Image above from NPR.) Like we followed the light and even saw the pearly gates and then miraculously were sucked back down into our bed overnight! We technically “went over” the fiscal cliff at midnight yesterday, and yet here we are today celebrating more extended tax […]

Marginal REVOLUTION
Marginal REVOLUTION
Small Steps Toward A Much Better World

Nation-building, nationalism, and wars
by Tyler Cowen
28 May 2017 at 6:29am

That is the new NBER working paper by Alberto Alesina, Bryony Reich, Alessandro Riboni, here is the abstract: The increase in army size observed in early modern times changed the way states conducted wars. Starting in the late 18th century, states switched from mercenaries to a mass army by conscription. In order for the population […]

The post Nation-building, nationalism, and wars appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

xkcd.com
 xkcd.com: A webcomic of romance and math humor.

Trash
16 Jan 2017 at 5:00am

Greg Mankiw’s Blog
Random Observations for Students of Economics

Adverse Selection in Practice
by  noreply at blogger.com (Greg Mankiw)
13 May 2017 at 1:44pm
This article about genetic testing presents a great example of adverse selection:
Pat Reilly had good reason to worry about Alzheimer?s disease: Her mother had it, and she saw firsthand the havoc it could wreak on a family, much of it financial. So Ms. Reilly, 77, a retired social worker in Ann Arbor, Mich., applied for a long-term care insurance policy. Wary of enrolling people at risk for dementia, the insurance company tested her memory three times before issuing the policy. But Ms. Reilly knew something the insurer did not: She has inherited the ApoE4 gene, which increases the lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer?s. ?I decided I?d best get long-term care insurance,? she said.

Freakonomics
The hidden side of everything

Earth 2.0: What Would Our Economy Look Like?
by Freakonomics
19 May 2017 at 10:30pm

Season 6, Episode37 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner asks, “If we could reboot the planet and create new systems and institutions from scratch, what would that look like?” Thisfirst installment of ourEarth 2.0 seriesis abouteconomics, of course!You?ll hear from Nobel laureate Angus Deaton, the poverty-fighting superhero Jeff Sachs; and many others. To […]

The post Earth 2.0: What Would Our Economy Look Like? appeared first on Freakonomics.

NYT
Economix
Explaining the Science of Everyday Life

In Europe, Auto Sales Are Still Low, But They Are Rising
by By Floyd Norris
17 Apr 2014 at 11:19pm
New car sales are up by more than 10 percent in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal, which signals stronger economic growth there, even if sales are still far below 2007 levels.

Indexed
PUBLISHED WEEKDAY MORNINGS as the COFFEE BREWS. FOR MORE randomness GO TO jessicahagy.info

Why bother burning books nobody reads?
by Jessica Hagy
23 May 2017 at 9:05pm

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The post Why bother burning books nobody reads? appeared first on Indexed.

Nudge blog
Nudge blog
From Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness”

Millionaire athletes hate handing over $20 cash for being late
by nudgeblog
24 Feb 2010 at 2:39am
UCLA economist Matthew Kahn picks up on a neat little story about Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s use of psychology in his NBA locker rooms. Ever the behavioralist, Jackson fined his players tiny amounts – $10 and $20 – for being late to games by a few minutes. Jackson has found that players are […]

Dilbert Daily Strip

Comic for May 27, 2017
27 May 2017 at 11:59pm
Dilbert readers – Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

Environmental Economics
The Cromulent Economics Blog

How to fail economics at Harvard (updated)
by Tim Haab
24 May 2017 at 2:47pm

Professor Emeritus at Harvard, and former chief economist at the World Bank, former Director of the National Economic Council, and former Secretary of the Treasury, Larry Summers says he might fail the Trump budget team in introductory econ:

Details of President Trump?s first budget have now been released. Much can and will be said about the dire social consequences of what is in it and the ludicrously optimistic economic assumptions it embodies. My observation is that there appears to be a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course.

Apparently, the budget forecasts that U.S. economic growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the administration?s policies ? largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies. Fair enough if you believe in tooth fairies and ludicrous supply-side economics.

Then the administration asserts that it will propose revenue neutral tax cuts with the revenue neutrality coming in part because the tax cuts stimulate growth! This is an elementary double count. You can?t use the growth benefits of tax cuts once to justify an optimistic baseline and then again to claim that the tax cuts do not cost revenue. At least you cannot do so in a world of logic.

Update: For those of you who don’t like Larry Summers because…well..this, here is FiveThirtyEight’s take on the budget double counting trick:

The White House budget request released Monday double counts $2 trillion. It argues that the same $2,000,000,000,000 can pay for both a $2,000,000,000,000 tax cut and simultaneously a $2,000,000,000,000 budget balance. Using money twice is frowned upon in financial circles. [NBC News]

NPR Blogs: Planet Money

Mohamed El-Erian Explains ‘The New Normal’
3 Jun 2010 at 8:15pm
Everybody’s talking about the “new normal.” On the investing shows, this is shorthand for an era in which returns on stocks and bonds are lower than they’ve been in the past. But Mohamed El-Erian, the bond-fund CEO who coined the term, says it goes much deeper than that. Today on All Things Considered, El-Erian tells Planet Money’s Adam Davidson that the new normal includes changes to the fundamental structure of the global economy: The world of yesterday was a world of tidy categories. On the one hand you had industrial countries, advanced economies. On the other hand, emerging economies. The first were the core of the system they held the system together. The second, emerging economies, were at the periphery and tended to be crisis prone. The financial crisis changed that, as China — an emerging economy — served as a key stabilizing force in a global financial crisis that started in the U.S. The shift has continued this year, as industrialized countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal have found themselves in the kind of dicey debt situation traditionally associated with developing countries. In the new normal, El-Erian says, the traditional major players like the U.S. and Germany will have less influence. And the likes of India, China and Brazil will have more. The shift will be turbulent. But, El-Erian says, the end result will be a more stable global economy. “It is better to have many locomotives of growth in the world,” he says.

Ecocomics
Where Graphic Art Meets Dismal Science

Disproportionate Response Man
by ShadowBanker
20 Oct 2011 at 4:37pm
A great entry from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

The Becker-Posner Blog
Welcome to the new Becker-Posner Blog, maintained by the University of Chicago Law School.

The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker
by Gary Becker
4 Mar 2014 at 12:53am

The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba.

In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troops and so-called advisers. The aim of the embargo was to impose economic hardship on Cuba that would force Castro to drop these international actions, and possibly even lead to the toppling of his government and the end of communism in Cuba. Castro did stop his international adventurism, but he and communism remained firmly entrenched for decades.

The Cuban economy has done badly, and has fallen behind the economies of many comparable countries. For example, in 1959, Cuban per capita income was above that of Taiwan, another island close by a hostile super power. Cuba?s two main exports were sugar and tobacco, while Taiwan?s were sugar and rice. At that time, Taiwan began its transition toward a private market system and globally oriented economy, whereas Cuba abolished private property and the government took charge of the economy with central planning and central organization. Since then Cuba?s economy has fallen far behind Taiwan?s as Taiwan has taken advantage of world markets to grow at a remarkable rate while Cuba has chugged along with very slow growth. Cuba?s per capital income is a fifth or less of that of Taiwan. Sugar and tobacco remain important exports of Cuba, while Taiwan has shifted toward complex electronic and industrial goods. Fidel Castro was a charismatic leader who mesmerized audiences with his oratory, but he utterly failed to deliver the goods to the Cuban people.

Cuba?s weak economic performance is in small part due to the embargo since the US would be a natural important trading partner for Cuba, as it is for other nearby Caribbean countries, and for Mexico and other Central American countries. Yet communism itself is the main cause of its poor economic performance. One can say this with complete confidence since communism has utterly failed as an economic system in every country where it has been tried.

One only need look at the difference between the economies of South and North Korea for a clear natural experiment on the disadvantages of an economic system with no private property and central direction of the economy. Prior to the Korean War, the backward part of the Korean economy was in the south and the advanced industrial part was in the north. The roles are now radically reversed since the South and its private enterprise system is far ahead economically (and in other dimensions as well) of the North.

In the last decade, with Fidel Castro ailing and his brother Raul taking over leadership, the Cuban government has begun to realize what the Cuban people long ago learned, that communism is responsible for the vast majority of its economic weakness. Despite the opposition of hardliners, Cuba is allowing very small-scale private firms in retailing and other sectors, and houses can be bought and sold to a limited extent. These are only baby steps away from communism, but they put Cuba on a slippery slope toward a more market-based economy that will be hard to reverse.

Free trade is a principle that the United States should follow except in extraordinary circumstances. Cuba under Fidel, especially in his early days, may have provided enough of these circumstances to justify the embargo. Since Cuba no longer provides any significant threat to American interests, there is no sense in continuing to punish the Cuban people with an embargo on trade, nor to provide excuses to its leaders for the poor performance of the Cuban economy.

It is time to end the embargo on the export and import of goods and services between the United States and Cuba The Cuban people will benefit almost immediately. This may just be the time when such a move puts added pressure on the Cuban government to end its failed experiment with communism.

EconomistMom.com
…because I’m an economist and a mom–that’s why!

Doomsday for the Cliff Deal
by economistmom
21 Dec 2012 at 1:22pm
All over an unwillingness to convince his colleagues to let tax rates come back up (as scheduled) on (even) the very richest, any “deal” between Boehner and Obama is off –at least until after Christmas: House Speaker John A. Boehner threw efforts to avoid the year-end ?fiscal cliff? into chaos late Thursday, as he abruptly […]

Marginal REVOLUTION
Marginal REVOLUTION
Small Steps Toward A Much Better World

Swiss travel notes
by Tyler Cowen
28 May 2017 at 4:43am

Switzerland has taken in a high portion of foreign-borns, yet without losing its identity or sense of order. Over 24 percent of the population is foreign-born, noting that almost half come from France, Germany, Italy, or Portugal. The country recently imposed restrictions on migrants from Romania and Bulgaria. German as a second language in Switzerland […]

The post Swiss travel notes appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

xkcd.com
 xkcd.com: A webcomic of romance and math humor.

Wifi
13 Jan 2017 at 5:00am

Greg Mankiw’s Blog
Random Observations for Students of Economics


How Best to Tax Business
by  noreply at blogger.com (Greg Mankiw)
22 Apr 2017 at 3:25pm
Click here to read my column in Sunday’s NY Times.

Freakonomics
The hidden side of everything

Hoopers! Hoopers! Hoopers!
by Stephen J. Dubner
18 May 2017 at 3:00am

As CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was famous for over-the-top enthusiasm. Now he?s brought that same passion to the N.B.A. ? and to a pet project called USAFacts, which performs a sort of fiscal colonoscopy on the American government.

The post Hoopers! Hoopers! Hoopers! appeared first on Freakonomics.

NYT
Economix
Explaining the Science of Everyday Life

The End of Our Financial Illusions
by By Simon Johnson
17 Apr 2014 at 4:01am
Much progress has been made on overseeing the largest banks, but a good deal more must be done to toughen standards and end government subsidies, an economist writes.

Indexed
PUBLISHED WEEKDAY MORNINGS as the COFFEE BREWS. FOR MORE randomness GO TO jessicahagy.info

It?s called the information diet.
by Jessica Hagy
23 May 2017 at 12:22am

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Nudge blog
Nudge blog
From Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness”

Italian RECAP?
by nudgeblog
23 Feb 2010 at 3:13pm
Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi says “the variety of new (bank) fees makes it difficult for customers to compare the different offers.” He then seems to propose a RECAP-style system of simplification and disclosure. Within days we will submit to the Government a comprehensive regulatory proposal that can lead to clearly stated charges, so […]

Dilbert Daily Strip

Comic for May 26, 2017
26 May 2017 at 11:59pm
Dilbert readers – Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

Environmental Economics
The Cromulent Economics Blog

This is one of my criticisms of the Exxon & BP funded CVM critique (i.e., I’m…
by John Whitehead
23 May 2017 at 10:03pm

George Borjas response to @m_clem critique of his anti-immigration study is incredibly unfair. HT @JustinWolfers pic.twitter.com ? William Easterly (@bill_easterly) May 23, 2017

NPR Blogs: Planet Money

Googlers And Planet Money Are Trying To Answer The Same Question
3 Jun 2010 at 4:41pm
By Jacob Goldstein Despite the fact that Haiti has largely fallen off the media radar screen, Google searchers are still trying to answer a basic question Planet Money’s been wrestling with: Why is Haiti so poor? As the screenshot above shows, the question isn’t quite as popular on Google as some random question about Facebook. And it lags behind classics about poop, writing desks and the sky. We can’t answer any of those. But we’ve been chipping away at the Haiti question. Here are some of our efforts so far: * Mangoes, Poverty And Plastic Crates * In Haiti, A Prime Minister’s Lament * Haiti’s High Hopes For Vegas * Starting From Scratch In Haiti Hat tip: Gawker