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19 апреля, 16:25

How Big a Problem Is the Malapportionment of the Senate?

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It's a big problem. But it could be turned into small problem, even an advantage, if we had normal politics. Here's what I said about it at the CFR Future of Democracy Symposium: ---- **Council on Foreign Relations**: _[The Future of Democracy Symposium](https://www.cfr.org/event/future-democracy-symposium)_: Session Two: Economics, Identity, and the Democratic Recession: You might well sayz—take a look at the thirty-five states that will elect seventy senators and yet have a decreasing share of the population. These are overwhelming communities and states that are being left behind by the economic engine of American world-globalizing-value-chain-whatsit. That for a political logic to overrepresent those people to offset the fact that the economic logic is grossly underrepresenting them—that might be something that is not totally unfair. It could well not be a big problem. If we had normal politics—normal interest-group Theodore Lowi-polyarchy politics—it could be fine. But this requires normal politics. This requires that the senator from Nebraska, say, actually be interested in policies that tend to bring money and wealth into the state of Nebraska rather than the senator from Nebraska cheering the nominations of Herman Caen and Steve Moore to the Federal Reserve Board on the grounds that it "owns the establishment"....

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18 апреля, 15:41

Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 18, 2019)

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* **Note to Self**: _[Is it really INBOX ZERO](https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/04/is-it-really.html)_ if one has snoozed 365 messages? Asking for a friend... * **Comment of the Day**: _[Tracy Lightcap](https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/04/comment-of-the-day-3.html)_: "Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Someone would resurrect Enoch Powell. Just to remind folks what people thought when he was still around: http://www.private-eye.co.uk/covers/cover-182. Yep. An unrepentant racist and a constant figure of fun for everyone with a head on their shoulders and anything resembling civic virtue... * **Comment of the Day**: Once again RJW is the first... and, I fear, perhaps the only... person on the internet to understand me: _[Robert Waldmann](https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/04/once-again-rjw-is-the-first-and-i-fear-perhaps-the-only-person-on-the-internet-to-understand-me.html)_: Fascism: "'weapon-or-strong' should be 'weapon-our-strong'. Also great hyphenated fascism there. But then I read the Scruton quote. Ugh. Please don't do that again... * **Comment of the Day**: _[Robert Waldmann](https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/04/comment-of-the-day-1.html)_: "The problem, as you note, is that, when they are right, MMTers have a whole lot of company.... They may have contributed something... but you provide no evidence that they have... ---- 1. **Legal Eagle**: _[Real Lawyer Reacts to My Cousin Vinny](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1I7QBCHqng)_ 2. **Wikipedia**: _[Michael Perelman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Perelman_(economist))_ 3. **William Shakespeare**: _[Richard III](http://shakespeare.mit.edu/richardiii/full.html)_ ---- 1. **Carole Cadwalladr**: _[Facebook's role in Brexit—And the Threat to Democracy](https://www.ted.com/talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_threat_to_democracy#t-903495)_: "The UK's super-close 2016 vote to...

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18 апреля, 06:50

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I confess that this is not a change: this is what we had before Trump: **Dani Rodrik**: _[Peaceful Coexistence 2.0](https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sino-american-peaceful-economic-coexistence-by-dani-rodrik-2019-04)_: "China has little patience for arguments that its exports have been responsible for significant whiplash in US labor markets or that some of its firms are stealing technological secrets. It would like the US to remain open to Chinese exports and investment. Yet China’s own opening to world trade was carefully managed and sequenced, to avoid adverse impacts on employment and technological progress.... Peaceful coexistence would require that... China... have a free hand to conduct its industrial policies and financial regulations, in order to build a market economy with distinctive Chinese characteristics. The US would be free to protect its labor markets from social dumping and to exercise greater oversight over Chinese investments that threaten technological or national security objectives... ---- #noted

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18 апреля, 06:49

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The empirical evidence so far seems to be telling us that policies prohibiting employers from knowing early about applicants' criminal records may be leading to employers not looking at all at young Black men. If this holds up, it would be very distressing and suggest strongly that such policies are truly counterproductive: **Jennifer L. Doleac**: _[Empirical Evidence on the Effects of "Ban the Box"](http://jenniferdoleac.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Doleac_testimony_BTB_2019.pdf)_: "I have prepared this written testimony to review existing empirical evidence on policies that prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their criminal records until late in the hiring process... >...This evidence can be summarized as follows: Delaying information about job applicants’ criminal histories leads employers to statistically discriminate against groups that are more likely to have a recent conviction. This reduces employment for young, low-skilled, black men. This negative effect is driven by a reduction in employment for young, low-skilled, black men who don’t have criminal records.... Current evidence suggests that Ban the Box may not increase employment for people with criminal records, and might even reduce it. Effective approaches to this policy problem are likely to be policies that directly address employers’ concerns about hiring people with criminal records, such as investing in rehabilitation,...

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18 апреля, 06:48

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I am still recovering from my joint appearance at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club with Steve Moore, and my having to listen to an extraordinary number of things from his mouth that simply were not true. It is draining to find oneself thinking over and over again: "But this is different than you said last year" and "but that prediction will be so obviously wrong in six months". Menzie China has a similar reaction: **Menzie Chinn**: _[Why Isn’t Stephen Moore Still Bragging about Coal As #1?](http://econbrowser.com/archives/2019/02/why-isnt-stephen-moore-still-bragging-about-coal-as-1)_: "Recall from July 2017, when Stephen Moore wrote an article entitled 'When It Comes To Electric Power, Coal Is No. 1'? No more. Now, lying has never been an impediment to Mr. Moore claiming something that was untrue (see [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] )—but in this case perhaps it’s just so clearly untrue, he was chastened. So much for “winning” (coal edition). Not that I’m complaining: ---- #noted

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18 апреля, 06:26

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There are many, many ways of generating adverse selection effects that confound statistical studies, and very very few good instruments. Thus I have found myself always very suspicious of the whole "assessing charter schools" literature—not suspicious particularly against any one side, but just suspicious: **Patrick L. Baude, Marcus Casey, Eric A. Hanushek, Greg Phelan, and Steven G. Rivkin** (April 2018): _[The Evolution of Charter School Quality](http://equitablegrowth.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/041018-WP-charter-school-quality.pdf)_: "Quality dynamics among Texas charter schools from 2001-2011.... Exits, improvement of existing charter schools, and higher quality of new entrants increased charter effectiveness relative to traditional public schools... >...Reduced student mobility and an increased share of charters adhering to "No Excuses"-style curricula contribute to these improvements. Although student selection into charter schools becomes more favorable over time in terms of prior achievement and behavior, such compositional improvements appear to contribute little to the charter sector gains. Moreover, accounting for student composition in terms of prior achievement and behavior has only a small effect on estimates of the higher average quality of "No Excuses" schools... ---- #noted

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18 апреля, 06:24

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It looks as though declining rates of marriage and increasing rates of cohabitation among the American working class are not—whatever hordes of American Enterprise Institute funders are eager to pay people to say—in any sense "sociological breakdown", but rather economic precarity: **Daniel Schneider, Kristen Harknett, and Matthew Stimpson**: _[Job Quality and the Educational Gradient in Entry into Marriage and Cohabitation](https://equitablegrowth.org/working-papers/job-quality-and-the-educational-gradient-in-entry-into-marriage-and-cohabitation/)_: "Men’s and women’s economic resources are important determinants of marriage timing.... Declining job quality and rising precarity in employment and suggests that this transformation may matter for the life course... >...The 1980-1984 U.S. birth cohort from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.... Men and women in less precarious jobs–jobs with standard work schedules and jobs that provide fringe benefits–are more likely to marry. Further, differences in job quality explain a significant portion of the educational gradient in entry into first marriage. However, these dimensions of job quality are not predictive of cohabitation... ---- #noted

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18 апреля, 06:17

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**David Glasner**: _[Arthur Burns and How Things Fell Apart in the 1970s](https://uneasymoney.com/2019/03/27/arthur-burns-and-how-things-fell-apart-in-the-1970s/)_: "Believing the Fed incapable of controlling inflation through monetary policy, restrictive monetary policy affecting output and employment rather than wages and prices, Burns concluded that inflation could controlled only by limiting the wage increases negotiated between employers and unions. Control over wages, Burns argued, would cause inflation expectations to moderate, thereby allowing monetary policy to reduce aggregate spending without reducing output and employment. This, at any rate, was the lesson that Burns drew from the short and relatively mild recession of 1970 after he assumed the Fed chairmanship in which unemployment rose to 6 percent from less than 4 percent, with only a marginal reduction in inflation... ---- #noted

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18 апреля, 06:15

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**David Glasner**: _[Ralph Hawtrey Wrote the Book that Arthur Burns Should Have Read — but Didn’t](https://uneasymoney.com/2019/04/15/ralph-hawtrey-wrote-the-book-that-arthur-burns-should-have-read-but-didnt/)_: "These mistakes all stemmed from a failure by Burns to understand the rationale of an incomes policy. Burns was not alone in that failure, which was actually widespread at the time. But the rationale for such a policy and the key to its implementation had already been spelled out cogently by Ralph Hawtrey in his 1967 diagnosis of the persistent failures of British monetary policy and macroeconomic performance in the post World War II period, failures that had also been deeply tied up in the misunderstanding of the rationale for–and the implementation of—an incomes policy... ---- #noted

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18 апреля, 04:04

Amy Finkelstein

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**Amy Finkelstein**: _[Welfare Analysis Meets Causal Inference: A Suggested Interpretation of Hendren](https://economics.mit.edu/files/16272)_: "In a pair of interconnected, important and impenetrable papers, Nathan Hendren has provided a framework for translating estimates of the causal effects of policies into welfare analyses of these policies. In this brief note, I describe the framework-which Hendren has named 'The Marginal Value of Public Funds' (MVPF)-and how it can be used for empirical public finance welfare analysis. I also discuss how the MVPF relates to 'traditional' public finance welfare analysis tools such as the marginal excess burden (MEB) and marginal cost of public funds (MCPF). Finally, I describe several recent empirical applications as a way of further illustrating and clarifying the approach... ---- #noted

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17 апреля, 18:11

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Is it really INBOX ZERO if one has snoozed 365 messages? Asking for a friend... ---- #notetoself

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17 апреля, 15:48

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**Carole Cadwalladr**: _[Facebook's role in Brexit—And the Threat to Democracy](https://www.ted.com/talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_threat_to_democracy#t-903495)_: "The UK's super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters -- and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election—Cadwalladr calls out the 'gods of Silicon Valley' for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?... ---- #noted