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22 ноября, 06:23

Management Quality in Public Education: Superintendent Value-Added, Student Outcomes and Mechanisms -- by Victor Lavy, Adi Boiko

We present evidence about the ways that school superintendents add value in Israel's primary and middle schools. Superintendents are the CEOs of a cluster of schools with powers to affect the quality of schooling, and we extend the approach used in recent literature to measure teachers' value added, to assess school superintendents. We exploit a quasi-random matching of superintendent and schools, and estimate that superintendent value added has positive and significant effects on primary and middle school students' test scores in math, Hebrew, and English. One standard deviation improvement in superintendent value added increases test scores by about 0.04 of a standard deviation in the test score distribution. The effect doesn't vary with students' socio-economic background, is highly non-linear, increases sharply for superintendents in the highest-quartile of the value added distribution, and is larger for female superintendents. We explore several mechanisms for these effects and find that superintendents with higher value added are associated with more focused school priorities and more clearly defined working procedures, but no effect on school resources and no effect on total teachers' on the job and external training, although there is a significant effect on the composition of the former. Another important effect is that schools with higher quality superintendents are more likely to address school climate, violence and bullying, and implement related interventions which lead to lower violence in school. A new superintendent is also associated with a higher likelihood that the school principal is replaced.

22 ноября, 06:23

Equity Effects in Energy Regulation -- by Carolyn Fischer, William A. Pizer

Some choices in energy regulation, particularly those that price emissions, raise household energy prices more than others. Those choices can lead to a large variation in burden both across and within income groups because of wide variation in household energy use. The latter, within-income group variation can be particularly hard to remedy. In this paper, we review alternative welfare perspectives that give rise to equity concerns within income groups ("horizontal equity") and consider how they might influence the evaluation of environmental policies. In particular, we look for sufficient statistics that policymakers could use to make these evaluations. We use Consumer Expenditure Survey data to generate such statistics for a hypothetical carbon price versus tradable carbon performance standard applied to the electric power sector. We show how horizontal equity concerns could overwhelm efficiency concerns in this context.

Выбор редакции
22 ноября, 06:23

Identifying Sources of Inefficiency in Health Care -- by Amitabh Chandra, Douglas O. Staiger

In medicine, the reasons for variation in treatment rates across hospitals serving similar patients are not well understood. Some interpret this variation as unwarranted, and push standardization of care as a way of reducing allocative inefficiency. However, an alternative interpretation is that hospitals with greater expertise in a treatment use it more because of their comparative advantage, suggesting that standardization is misguided. We develop a simple economic model that provides an empirical framework to separate these explanations. Estimating this model with data on treatments for heart attack patients, we find evidence of substantial variation across hospitals in both allocative inefficiency and comparative advantage, with most hospitals overusing treatment in part because of incorrect beliefs about their comparative advantage. A stylized welfare-calculation suggests that eliminating allocative inefficiency would increase the total benefits from this treatment by about a third.

22 ноября, 06:20

A Comparison between the College Scorecard and Mobility Report Cards

​ Introduction   In 2015, the Department of Education launched the College Scorecard, a vast database of student outcomes at specific colleges and universities developed from a variety of administrative data sources. The Scorecard provides the most comprehensive and accurate information available on the post-enrollment outcomes of students, like whether they get a job, the rate at which they repay their loans, and how much they earn.   While labor-market success is certainly not the end-all-be-all of higher education, the notion that a college education is a ticket to a good job and a pathway to economic opportunity is intrinsic to the tax benefits and financial support provided by federal and state governments, to the willingness of parents and families to shoulder the burden of college’s high costs, and to the dreams of millions of students. More than 86% percent of freshmen say that “to be able to get a better job” is a “very important” reason for going to college.[1]   That is why the College Scorecard is a breakthrough—for the first time, students have access to detailed and reliable information on the economic outcomes of students after leaving college, including the vast majority of colleges that are non-selective or otherwise fall between the cracks of other information providers.   The data show that at every type of post-secondary institution, the differences in post-college earnings across institutions are profound. Some students attend institutions where many students don’t finish, or that don’t lead to good jobs.      Moreover, the analysis behind the Scorecard suggested not only that there are large differences across institutions in their economic outcomes, but that these differences are relevant to would-be students. For instance, the evidence in the Scorecard showed that when a low-income student goes to a school with a high completion rates and good post-college earnings, she is likely to do as well as anyone else there. While there are large differences between where rich and poor kids are likely to apply and attend, there is little difference in their outcomes after leaving school: the poorest aid recipients earn almost as much as the richest borrowers. This pattern suggests, at least, that low-income students are not mismatched or underqualified for the schools they currently attend. But it is also consistent with powerful evidence from academic studies that show that when marginal students get a shot at a higher-quality institution their graduation rates and post-college earnings converge toward those of their new peers (Zimmerman 2014, Goodman et al. 2015).   Hence, the Scorecard is likely to provide useful information for students, policymakers, and administrators on important measures of post-college success, access to college by disadvantaged students, and economic mobility.  Indeed, the College Scorecard shows that great economic outcomes are not exclusive to Ivy-League students. Many institutions have both good outcomes and diverse origins—institutions whose admissions policies, or lack thereof, take in disproportionate shares of poor kids and lift them up the economic ladder.   Nevertheless, the design of the Scorecard required making methodological choices to produce the data on a regular basis, and making it simple and accessible required choosing among specific measures intended to be representative. Some of these choices were determined by data availability or other considerations.  Some choices have been criticized (e.g. Whitehurst and Chingos 2015). Other valuable indicators could not be reliably produced on a regular basis or in a way that evolved over time as college or student outcomes changed.   In part to address these issues, we supported the research that lead to the creation of Mobility Report Cards, which provide a test of the validity and robustness of the College Scorecard and an expansion of its scope.   Mobility Report Cards (MRCs) attempt to answer the question “which colleges in America contribute the most to helping children climb the income ladder?” and characterize rates of intergeneration income mobility at each college in the United States. The project draws on de-identified administrative data covering over 30 million college students from 1999 to 2013, and focuses on students enrolled between the ages of 18 and 22, for whom both their parents’ income information and their own subsequent labor-market outcomes can be observed.  MRCs provide new information on access to colleges of children from different family backgrounds, the likelihood that low-income students at different colleges move up in the income distribution, and trends in access over time.   Background on College Scorecard   The College Scorecard provides detailed information on the labor-market outcomes of financial-aid recipients post enrollment, including average employment status and measures of earnings for employed graduates; outcomes for specific groups of students, like students from lower-income families, dependent students, and for women and men; and measures of those outcomes early and later in their post-college careers. These outcome measures are specific to the students receiving federal aid, and to the institutions those students attend. And the outcome measures are constructed using technical specifications similar to those used to measure other student outcomes, like the student loan Cohort Default Rate, which allows for a consistent framework for measurement while allowing institution outcomes to evolve from cohort to cohort.   The technical paper accompanying the College Scorecard spelled out the important properties and limitations of the federal data used in the Scorecard, regarding the share of students covered, the institutions covered, the construction of cohorts, the level of aggregation of statistics, and how the earnings measures were used.   These choices were made subject to certain constraints on disclosure, statistical reliability, reproducibility, and operational capacity, and with specific goals of making the data regularly available (updating it on an annual basis), using measurement concepts similar to those used in other education-related areas (like student loan outcomes), and providing measures that could evolve over time as characteristics of schools and student outcomes changed. These constraints imposed tradeoffs and required choices. Moreover, the research team producing the MRCs was not bound by certain of these methodological requirements or design goals, and thus could make alternative choices. Despite making different choices, however, the analysis below shows that on balance the outcome measures common to both projects are extremely similar.   In brief, the Scorecard estimates are based on data from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) covering undergraduate students receiving federal aid.  NSLDS data provides information on certain characteristics of students, the calendar time and student’s reported grade level when they first received aid, and detailed information on the institution they attended (such as the 6- and 8-digit Office of Postsecondary Education Identification number OPEID). These data and identifiers are regularly used as the basis for reporting institution-specific student outcomes, like the Cohort Default Rate or disbursements of federal aid.  For purposes of constructing economic outcomes using these data, all undergraduate aid recipients were assigned an entry cohort—either the year they first received aid if a first-year college student, or an imputation for their entry year based on the year they were first aided and their academic level. (For instance, if a student self-reported entering their second undergraduate year in the first year they received aid, they would be assigned a cohort year for the previous year.[2]) If a student attended more than one institution as an undergraduate, that student was included in the cohorts of each institution (i.e. their outcomes were included in the average outcomes of each institution—just as is done with the Cohort Default Rate). These data were linked to information from administrative tax and education data at specific intervals post-entry (e.g. 6, 8, and 10 years after the cohort entry year). Adjacent cohorts were combined (e.g. entry cohorts in 2000 and 2001 were linked to outcomes in 2010 and 2011, respectively).  Individuals who are not currently in the labor market (defined as having zero earnings) are excluded. And institution-by-cohort specific measures like mean or median earnings and the fraction of students that earn more than $25,000 (among those working), were constructed for the cohorts (e.g. mean earnings for non-enrolled, employed aid recipients ten years after entry for the combined 2000 and 2001 cohorts). Each year, the sample was rolled forward one year, with the earlier cohort being dropped and a new cohort being added, allowing the sample to evolve over time.   This focus on aid recipients is natural for producing estimates related to aid outcomes, like student debt levels or the ratio of debt to earnings. Moreover, these data are regularly used to produce institution-specific accountability measures, like the Cohort Default Rate, which are familiar to stakeholders and authorized and regularly used to report institution-specific outcomes. Constructing the sample based on entry year and rolling forward one year allowed for comparisons within schools over time, to assess improvement or the effects of other changes on student outcomes.   The focus of and choices underlying the Scorecard also had several potential disadvantages, which were noted in the technical paper or by reviewers offering constructive criticism (e.g. Whitehurst and Chingos 2015).  These limitations, criticisms, and omissions of the Scorecard include the following specific to the methodology and data limitations.    First, the Scorecard’s sample of students includes only federal student aid recipients. While these students are an obvious focus of aid policies, and comprise a majority of students at many institutions, high-income students whose families cover full tuition are excluded from the analysis. Moreover, schools with more generous financial aid often have a smaller share of students on federal financial aid, implying that the share and type of students included in the Scorecard vary across colleges.   Unfortunately, the information needed to assign students to a specific entry cohort at a specific educational institution and to report institution-specific data is not available at the same degree of reliability and uniformity for non-federal-aid recipients.  For instance, Form 1098-T (used to administer tax credits for tuition paid) may not identify specific institutions or campuses (e.g. within a state university system) and does not report information on the academic level or entry year of the student. In addition, certain disclosure standards prevented the publication of institution-specific data. Estimates based on aggregated statistics (as are used in the Mobility Report Cards) include an element of (deliberate) uncertainty in the outcomes, and subjectivity in terms estimation methodology.   Second, FAFSA family income may not be a reliable indicator of access or opportunity. FAFSA family income is measured differently depending on whether students are dependent or independent; it is missing for many that do not receive aid; and it can be misleading for those who are independent borrowers. Unfortunately, information on family background is generally only available for FAFSA applicants (aid recipients) who are dependents at the time of application. Mobility Report Cards provide a more comprehensive and uniform measure of family income, but only for the cohorts of students they are able to link back to their parents (e.g. those born after 1979.)   Mobility Report Cards   The above factors raised concerns about the Scorecard’s reliability and usefulness to stakeholders. In an effort to assess the validity and robustness of Scorecard measures using an alternative sample and with more consistent definitions of family income and more outcomes, we supported the analysis behind the study “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S.” (Chetty, Friedman, Saez, Turner, and Yagan 2017).   Perhaps most importantly, the Mobility Report Card (MRC) uses records from the Treasury Department on tuition-paying students in conjunction with Pell-grant records from the Department of Education in order to construct nearly universal attendance measures at all U.S. colleges between the ages of 18 and 22. Thus the MRC sample of students is more  comprehensive of this population relative to the Scorecard. However, older students are generally not included in the MRC sample and certain institutions cannot be separately identified in the MRC sample. Furthermore, the MRC methodology relies on producing estimates of institutional outcomes rather than producing actual data on institution outcomes. At certain institutions, particularly those that enroll a disproportionate share of older students (such as for-profit and community colleges) and where a large share students receive Title IV aid, the Scorecard provides a more comprehensive sample of student outcomes.[3]   Another area of difference is that the MRC organizes its analysis around entire birth cohorts who can be linked to parents in their adolescence. It then measures whether and where each member of the birth cohort attends college. By following full birth cohorts, cross-college comparisons of adult earnings in the MRC measure earnings at the same age (32-34), unlike the Scorecard which measures adult earnings across colleges at different points in the lifecycle, depending on when the students attended the college.  The advantage of the MRC approach is that it allows a comprehensive analysis of the outcomes of the entire birth cohort at regular intervals.  However, the disadvantage mentioned above is that there is no information on older cohorts born prior to 1980.   In addition, the MRC includes zero-earners in its earnings measures, whereas the Scorecard excludes them from their measures of earnings outcomes.[4] Because it is not possible to differentiate individuals who are involuntarily unemployed (e.g. who were laid off from a job) from those who are out of the labor force by choice (in school, raising children, or retired), the Scorecard focused on measuring earnings specifically for those who clearly were participating in the labor market.   Finally, family income in the MRC is measured consistently across cohorts using a detailed and relatively comprehensive measure of household income: total pre-tax income at the household level averaged between the kid ages of 15 and 19, as reflected on the parents’ tax forms.   The design choices made in developing the MRC come at the cost of published statistics not being exact and instead being granular estimates (see Chetty Friedman Saez Turner Yagan 2016) and of not being as easily replicable over time. However, the MRC’s design addresses many of the critiques made of the Scorecard. If the critiques of the Scorecard are quantitatively important, one should find that the MRC and Scorecard values differ substantially. In other words, the MRC data provide an estimate of how much the data constraints and methodological choices affect the data quality.   Comparison of the College Scorecard and Mobility Report Cards   The most basic test of the robustness of the Scorecard to the variations embodied in the MRC is to compare the main Scorecard adult earnings measure—median earnings of students ten years after they attend a college—with the analogous measure from the MRC: median earnings in 2014 (age 32-34) of the 1980-1982 birth cohort by college. For shorthand, we refer to these measures as Scorecard median earnings and MRC median earnings, respectively.   Figure 1 plots MRC median earnings versus Scorecard median earnings.[5] Both median earnings measures are plotted in thousands of 2015 dollars. Overlaid on the dots is the regression line on the underlying college-level data.     Figure 1   The graph shows an extremely tight, nearly-one-for-one relationship: a slope of 1.12 with an R2 of 0.92. Visually one can see that not only does each extra thousand dollars of Scorecard median earnings typically translate into an extra thousand dollars of MRC median earnings, but the levels line up very closely as well. Hence across the vast majority of colleges, Scorecard median earnings are very close to MRC median earnings.   The close correspondence between MRC median earnings and Scorecard median earnings can also be seen when examining college-level comparison lists. For example, among colleges with at least 500 students, almost exactly the same colleges appear in the top rankings using either measure.  (This is natural given the very high R2 reported in Figure 1.) Hence, the Scorecard and MRC share a very tight relationship. In unreported analysis, we find that two offsetting effects tend to explain this very tight relationship between Scorecard median earnings and MRC median earnings. On the one hand, the MRC’s inclusion of students who earn nothing as adults somewhat reduces each college’s median adult earnings. On the other hand, the MRC’s inclusion of students from high-income families somewhat increases each college’s median adult earnings, as students from high-income families are somewhat more likely to earn high incomes as adults. The two competing effects tend to offset each other in practice, yielding MRC median earnings that are quite close to Scorecard median earnings.   While some schools are outliers, in the sense that the measures differ, those examples are often readily explained by differences in methodological choices. For instances, because the Scorecard conditions on having positive earnings, schools where an unusually high share of students voluntarily leave the labor force have different outcomes in the MRC than the Scorecard. The other important contributor to outliers is the MRC’s restriction to students enrolled between ages 18 and 22, which tends to exclude many older, mid-career workers. These individuals tend both to be employed, often have relatively high earnings, and tend to enroll at for-profit schools (or other schools aimed at providing mid-career credentials). The Scorecard includes these students, whereas the MRC tends to exclude them.   Conclusion   The College Scorecard was created to provide students, families, educators, and policymakers with new information on the outcomes of students attending each college in the United States, and improving the return on federal tax and expenditure programs. Mobility Report Cards expand the scope of the information on the outcomes and the characteristics of students attending American colleges. Our analysis finds a very high degree of agreement at the college level between Scorecard median adult earnings and Mobility Report Card median adult earnings, suggesting that the Scorecard is a reliable tool measuring the outcomes of students and institutions that benefit from federal student aid and tax expenditures. References   Chetty, Raj, John N. Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan. “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S.”. (2016).   Goodman, Joshua, Michael Hurwitz, and Jonathan Smith. “Access to Four-Year Public Colleges and Degree Completion.” Journal of Labor Economics (2017).   Whitehurst, Grover J. and Matthew M. Chingos. “Deconstructing and Reconstructing the College Scorecard.” Brookings Working Paper (2015).   Zimmerman, Seth D. "The returns to college admission for academically marginal students." Journal of Labor Economics 32.4 (2014): 711-754.   Adam Looney, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis at the US Department of Treasury. [1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2015/02/17/why-do-americans-go-to-college-first-and-foremost-they-want-better-jobs [2] This assignment was capped at two years, so that students reported entering their third, fourth, or fifth year were assigned a cohort two years prior. [3] For instance, in the 2002 Scorecard entry cohort, 42 percent of students were over age 22 when they first received aid.     [4] The Scorecard data base does include the fraction of borrowers without earnings, which allows for the computation of unconditional mean earnings. [5] We also restrict to colleges with at least 100 MRC students on average across the 1980-1982 birth cohorts and to colleges that have observations in both the Scorecard and the MRC. For MRC colleges that are groups of Scorecard colleges, we use the count-weighted mean of Scorecard mean earnings across colleges within a group. See Chetty Friedman Saez Turner Yagan (2016) for grouping details.

22 ноября, 06:20

Harnessing the Power of Financial Data

​ For more than 200 years, Treasury has been managing the resources of the Federal government and embracing advancements and cutting-edge practices. Today we have an opportunity to create a more data-driven government that empowers our leaders to make more strategic decisions and provide the public with greater access and insight on how taxpayer money is spent. The ongoing Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) implementation, in which Treasury is playing a leading role, is providing that opportunity as agencies work to meet new standards that could enable the use of data and analytics. In 1990, the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO Act) established a vision for federal financial management to “provide for the production of complete, reliable, timely, and consistent financial information for use by the executive branch of the Government and the Congress in the financing, management, and evaluation of Federal programs.” Significant achievements have been made to maintain and report high-quality financial data — but the full vision of the CFO Act is still a work in progress. The 24 CFO Act agencies have been successful at promoting new accounting and reporting standards, generating auditable financial statements, strengthening internal controls, improving financial management systems and enhancing performance information. However, there is room for growth in the way financial reporting adapts to the evolving information technology landscape. Through the DATA Act implementation process Treasury has developed a DATA Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS) that links the financial data produced by agency CFOs with other spending data on Federal awards — including grants, loans and procurement data (as well as other related attributes). This new data set includes more than 400 data elements and significantly expands the data available to agency CFOs and other agency leadership. The DAIMS can also be extended to link to other administrative and program data to support data-driven decision-making.   A New Vision for Federal Financial Management   Treasury’s vision for a 21st century Federal Finance Organization includes five key levels based on leading private sector benchmarks for finance organizations. The first level covers the basics for any finance organization — budget formulation and transaction processing. The second level includes fundamental financial policies and regulatory controls to ensure appropriate accountability. Most agencies have achieved levels one and two. Levels three and above are where agencies can begin to see the added value in the investment of high-quality data and internal controls. This data can now be managed and used to support decision-making and to improve operations and outcomes.     In addition to leading the government-wide implementation of the DATA Act, Treasury is also required to implement the law as an individual agency. As an implementing agency, Treasury is taking a data management and service delivery perspective, satisfying both internal and external customers who are demanding dynamic visualizations of data, meaningful reports and management dashboards. The DATA Act provides a unique opportunity to provide authoritative and standardized data across the enterprise to meet various needs, which fits into the new vision for Federal Financial Management above.    At Treasury, we are expanding our data analytics and reporting efforts to gain more value from our data. The Department has been working internally to link existing enterprise data management activities to a financial data governance program working across the C suite and internal organizations. Treasury is also envisioning a new financial data service portal that will serve as the central repository for all Treasury financial data where agency leadership will have access to data, tools and resources to conduct program research and visualize the data in new ways, starting with DATA Act related insights. This data infrastructure will allow us to provide greater transparency and also create a more modern 21st century Federal Finance Organization that is a better steward of public resources. We believe that better data leads to better decisions and ultimately a better government.   Christina Ho is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Accounting Policy and Financial Transparency and Dorrice Roth is the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at the Department of the Treasury.

22 ноября, 06:06

East Timor Inflation Rate

The inflation rate in East Timor was recorded at 0.80 percent in October of 2017. Inflation Rate in East Timor averaged 5.36 percent from 2004 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 18 percent in February of 2007 and a record low of -2.50 percent in August of 2009. In East Timor, the Dili Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures a broad rise or fall in prices that consumers pay for a standard basket of goods. The most important components in the CPI are Food (56.7 percent of which 13.1 percent are cereals, particularly the rice); Alcohol and Tobacco (4.8 percent); Clothing and Footwear (5.4 percent); Housing (10.2 percent); Household Furnishing (7.9 percent); Health (4.2 percent); Recreation and Education (3.5 percent); and Transports and Communications (4.1 percent). This page provides the latest reported value for - East Timor Inflation Rate - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news.

22 ноября, 04:49

Summers on Growth, Trade, Immigration, Marshall Plan, and Tax Cartels, by David Henderson

Larry Summers recently gave a speech at an event hosted by the Center for Global Development. It's quite good. His understanding of the big picture on economic growth is very impressive, as is his numeracy. What's a little surprising is his admission about some pretty awful bureaucratic incentives (although I'm glad he admitted it). And he gets the Marshall Plan wrong. First, the great news on standards of living in the world: Fifty percent is the growth that has been achieved in a variety of six-year periods in China over the last generation and in many other countries, as well. And so if you look at material standards of living, we have seen more progress for more people and more catching up than ever before. That is not simply about things that are material and things that are reflected in GDP. The primary message of the Global Health 2035 Report that I coauthored several years ago and that Amanda Glassman and others from CGD were involved in was that if current trends continue, with significant effort from the global community, it is reasonable to hope that in 2035 the global child mortality rate will be lower than the US child mortality rate was when my children were born in 1990. That is a staggering human achievement. It is already the case that in large parts of China, life expectancy is greater than it is in large parts of the United States. One can tell a similar story in terms of literacy and probably an even stronger story of the rights of women. Extreme poverty is now a phenomenon not of countries that just happen to be poor. It is a phenomenon that reflects pockets of poverty in countries that overall have reasonable incomes, like India or China, and it is a phenomenon of fragile and dysfunctional states that do not have effective governments. It is not a phenomenon of generalized poverty of countries that do not lack resources. Larry's perspective on trade: The reality is that the American market has been almost completely open for 40 years. And what has happened is that the developing countries have become much more productive and much more efficient and it has become much more possible to move goods at low cost and to export efficient production technologies to developing countries, and that would have happened with or without trade agreements, and the trade agreements have been good deals because they have opened the other countries' markets much more than they have opened ours, mostly because ours was already open. The huge increase in the Indian government's liquid wealth: In 1991, when I was new to all of this, I was working as the chief economist of the World Bank, and the first really important situation in which I had any visibility at all was the Indian financial crisis that took place in the summer of 1991. And at that point, India was near the brink. It was so near the brink that, at least as I recall the story, $1 billion of gold was with great secrecy put on a ship by the Indians to be transported to London, where it could be collateral for an emergency loan that would permit the Indian government to meet its payroll at the end of the month. And at that moment, the World Bank was in a position over the next year to lend India $3 billion in conjunction with its economic reform program. And the United States had an important role in shaping the World Bank's strategy. Well, that $3 billion was hugely important to the destiny of a sixth of humanity. Today, the World Bank would have the capacity to lend India in a year $6 billion or $7 billion. But India has $380 billion--$380 billion--in reserves dominantly invested in Treasury bills earning 1 percent. And India itself has a foreign aid budget of $5 billion or $6 billion. And so the relevance of the kind of flows that we are in a position to provide officially to major countries is simply not what it once was. Spending Other People's Money: Nothing to see here, folks; just move along: I remember as a young economist who was going to be the chief economist of the World Bank sitting and talking with Stan Fischer, who was my predecessor as the chief economist of the World Bank. And we were talking, and I was new to all this. I had never done anything in the official sector. And I said, "Stan, I don't get it. If a country has five infrastructure projects and the World Bank can fund two of them, and the World Bank is going to cost- benefit analyze and the World Bank is going to do all its stuff, I would assume what the country does is show the World Bank its two best infrastructure projects, because that will be easiest, and if it gets money from the World Bank, then it does one more project, but what the World Bank is actually buying is not the project it is being shown, it is the marginal product that it is enabling. And so why do we make such a fuss of evaluating the particular quality of our projects?" And Stan listened to me. And he looked at me. He's a very wise man. And he said, "Larry, you know, it is really interesting. When I first got to the bank, I always asked questions like that." "But now I've been here for two years, and I don't ask questions like that. I just kind of think about the projects, because it is kind of too hard and too painful to ask questions like that." The Marshall Plan: I gave a lecture on the Marshall Plan--the great historical success of foreign aid. Really? One of Larry's best students, Tyler Cowen, would take issue with that. After laying out the problem of global public goods, such as being ready to deal with a pandemic, Larry says: How we are going to mobilize support around global public goods, where the resources are going to be adequate around global public goods, I would suggest, is the second very large priority for the years ahead. That will be hard, especially when the people such as Larry who make the case have demonstrated and admitted that they earlier threw taxpayers' money around. See his admission above. His insight that most of the free trade agreements being talked about today are not really that much about freer trade: Most of those tariffs in today's world have gone away. And most of the content of what we now call free trade agreements beyond where we are now is not about the removal of those kinds of barriers. It is about, for example, securing intellectual property protection for global companies in a wider range of countries. Or it is about achieving access for service companies to a wider range of countries. Or it is about harmonizing rules in areas like safety standards or financial reporting standards. His desire to form a global tax cartel, something I wrote about some years ago and something Larry has wanted for a long time: There is no reason why preventing a race to the bottom in the taxation of mobile capital should not be an equally important priority for those concerned with international integration as the dissemination of intellectual property protection or the protection of investors' rights or the establishment of the right to branch. And that is an issue that-- because revenues not obtained in one place have to be obtained in another place--speaks very directly to the economic interests of broad publics everywhere. His point that the gains from freer immigration swamp the gains from freer trade: The fourth issue that I would highlight--and I can highlight its importance more credibly than I can speak intelligently about it--is addressing the set of issues having to do with the movement of peoples. It is on the one hand the case--and it is the point that economists emphasize--that if you think about the size of the barrier represented by the difference between the price of a car here and the price of a car there, or the price of a shirt here and the price of a shirt there, and you look at that barrier as a percentage, or you look at the cost of money here and the cost of money there, you look at that as a percentage or you measure the barrier, and then you look at the wage rate for an equivalent worker in one place and in another place, the barrier, the imperfection relative to full mobility and full openness is an order of magnitude greater with respect to the movement of people than it is with respect to the movement of capital or the movement of goods. And that is the globalist pure economic case for much freer movement of people than we have today. At the same time, there is the tension represented by the fact that while it might be difficult for moral philosophers to fully justify and understand, most of us care more about our children than our nephews, and most of us care more about our nephews than we care about our friends' children, and most of us care more about our friends' children than we care about strangers' children, and most of us care more about other American children than we care about children in other countries. And so an agenda of collective globalization is an agenda that is intentioned with bringing out the most generous impulses within us. And how we manage that tension is, I think, central going forward. I would like to see a world in which there is more movement of peoples, a world in which there are more opportunities for us to prosper and for developing countries to prosper, through more mobility, temporary or permanent, of peoples. I find the CGD work pointing up the magnitude of those barriers to be highly persuasive. Good on ya, Larry. His bottom line about migration: But I do not think there is a more important development issue than getting questions of migration right HT2 Timothy Taylor, aka The Conversable Economist. (0 COMMENTS)

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22 ноября, 04:19

DOJ's AT&T suit could freeze media deals

At a time of rapid change and consolidation in the media industry, the Justice Department's lawsuit over the AT&T-Time Warner combination is likely to put a pause on media deals and raise questions about this DOJ's antitrust standards.

22 ноября, 02:31

Ryan Murphy on government effectiveness and growth, by Scott Sumner

A decade ago I wrote a paper that looked at several definitions of neoliberalism, and found that what I called "egalitarian neoliberalism" was especially closely correlated with civic virtue. This model was based on the various indices of economic freedom, with the sign on size of government inverted (so that bigger government was a plus, not a minus as in the typical economic freedom indices). For example, the (high trust) Nordic countries gravitate toward models that combine free markets and large government. Ryan Murphy has a very interesting new paper that explores these ideas in much more depth. He constructs an index of "State Economic Modernity" (SEM) by subtracting size of government in the Fraser Index of Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) from the component that measures rule of law and property rights. Again, the highest values of this SEM index tend to occur in the Nordic countries. He rightly points out that this measure makes more sense than "state capacity", which doesn't tell us what governments are actually doing: This paper constructs a measure, the SEM index, which can be thought of as a measure of state building or state economic power, and is related to the concept known as state capacity. In contrast to state capacity, rather than asking the hypothetical question of what is in a government's capacity to do, it measures the extent to which a government exerts itself within an economy, and how well it provides the most basic public goods. Murphy also points out that economic freedom may be easier to obtain that SEM: The countries of Georgia and Libya occupy approximately the same level of SEM, but they have very different levels of economic freedom. With political will, Georgia was essentially able to pull itself up from the current spot Libya finds itself in economic freedom to the very high level it is today (see Burakova and Lawson 2014). Compare this to countries with the same level of economic freedom, but very different scores in SEM. Guatemala has about the same level of economic freedom as the Nordic countries, but the opposite score in SEM. The idea that public officials could push Guatemala rightwards on the graph to meet the European social democracies in their degree of state building and state capacity is almost unimaginable. It would require high degrees of political will, skill, and luck for a matter of decades in investing in the country's social capital and human capital, if it is possible at all. In this sense, the SEM index may be more "deeply" institutional than measures of economic freedom, which may relate more to "policy." Murphy found that while economic freedom is correlated with growth, SEM is not: Table 12 provides regression results for economic growth. For these regressions, initial level of economic output is included as a control variable. All independent variables correspond to year t, while the independent variable corresponds to growth from year t to t+10. The most recent data points correspond to growth occurring from 2000 to 2010. A similar pattern to Table 11 emerges. The SEM index is significant in regressions that do not include country fixed effects, but loses significance when they are included. In fact, when they are included, its point estimate is negative. In the final specification, Regression (36), economic freedom retains statistical and economic significance; the coefficient actually implies that a one standard deviation increase in economic freedom corresponds to a 0.246 standard deviation increase in growth rate. Considering economists' collective inability to predict future growth rates very effectively, as noted by Easterly (2013: 215-238), the magnitude of the effect of economic freedom is quite large, while nothing is found for the SEM index. For anyone interested in comparative economic systems, I strongly recommend you take a look at Murphy's paper. Here's how I think about the growth findings. Both Sweden and Switzerland are essentially utilitarian economic models. But the Swedes assume that big government best promotes utilitarian goals while the Swiss assume that a smaller government is better able to achieve those goals. Because government of Switzerland is smaller, per capita income is higher. On the other hand, many poor countries have even smaller government. Their poverty reflects a lack of SEM; the benefit of small government is offset by a lack of good governance in other areas such as property rights and rule of law. Note that cultural differences affect GDP in two ways, by impacting governance and also by impacting the productivity of individual citizens. But culture is not the entire story, as the two Koreas demonstrate. Poor countries should first focus on getting richer, which means more economic freedom. In the long run, that freedom and prosperity will lead to better culture, which will allow them to choose between the Swiss and the Swedish models. But right now they don't have that choice because (as Murphy points out) they lack the cultural prerequisites needed for the Swedish model. Even greater economic freedom is not easy to achieve, but it's not as difficult as state economic modernity. When you are incompetent, it's easier to do nothing than to do something. Here is the correlation that Ryan found between SEM and EFW: (2 COMMENTS)

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21 ноября, 22:37

Answer These Questions About the Reformation, by Bryan Caplan

This semester, my homeschoolers are unofficially taking a GMU class on Religions of the West.  Here's a list of questions about the Protestant Reformation (and a few other topics) they composed to discuss with their professor during office hours.  Paternal bias aside, I say these are fine issues to ponder.If you've got your own answers to some or all of the questions, please share in the comments.The Protestant Reformation1. Why did the Protestant Reformation happen? Standard story or more to it?2. Largest positive effects of the Reformation?3. Largest negative effects of the Reformation?4. Does the corruption of the Catholic church justify the actions of Protestant militants?5. Calvin (double predestination) vs Luther (single predestination), which has the superior interpretation of the Augustinian tradition? Is either right according to the Bible?6. Although Martin Luther was early on against violence towards Catholics, he later reversed his position. Why?7. Does the brutality of John Calvin's theocratic regime in Geneva render his teachings immoral? To what extent can the murders committed by the founder of a religion and his early followers be used to discredit the idea that said religion is one of peace?8. Of the wars caused by the Protestant Reformation, to what extent can they be blamed on political motivations rather than religious ones?9. When John Knox wrote his The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, did he essentially argue that no form of government ruled by a woman is legitimate?Other1. How powerful is hindsight bias (the tendency to believe that certain events which happened were inevitable) among historians? Should people stay away from calling historical events inevitable?2. "Historical relativism." Do you agree with it?3. Baron d'Holbach wrote: "All religions are ancient monuments to superstition, ignorance, and ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies rejuvenated." To what extent was he right?4. On the (earthly) net, would it have been better (measured by the quality/quantity of human lives) if no organized religion had ever existed? (8 COMMENTS)

21 ноября, 22:07

The Misuse of Terrorism Lists

Paul R. Pillar North Korea Terrorism Nuclear Proliferation, East Asia President Trump’s placement of North Korea on the official U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism continues a manipulation, by several administrations, of this list for reasons other than terrorism.  Neither an earlier removal of North Korea from this list (by the George W. Bush administration in 2008) nor Trump’s return of North Korea to the list this week had anything to do with any changes in North Korea’s conduct as far as terrorism is concerned.  The Bush administration’s delisting was part of an unsuccessful effort to do something about Pyongyang’s nuclear program.  The Trump administration has seized upon relisting is supposedly another form of pressure on North Korea, with the concern again centered on nuclear weapons. Rationales being voiced for the newest move show what a stretch it is from what are supposed to be the criteria, defined by statute, for placement on the state sponsor list.  Some defenders of the move refer to North Korean actions three decades ago.  Pyongyang really was doing international terrorism in the 1980s, mainly aimed against South Korea.  It was responsible for a bomb in Rangoon that killed several visiting members of the South Korean cabinet in 1983.  It planted a bomb in a Korean Air civilian airliner in 1987, killing more than a hundred.  But North Korea got out of international terrorism in subsequent years, with the hope of gaining some degree of international political rehabilitation.  In terms of the legal standards for remaining on the state sponsor list, the delisting of North Korea in 2008 was overdue. A more recent North Korean-perpetrated incident was the assassination in Malaysia this February of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un.  This killing, being performed clandestinely on foreign soil, technically meets the definition of international terrorism.  And it is yet another example of repugnant and brutal behavior by the Pyongyang regime.  But it had nothing to do with any campaign of terrorism that poses a threat to anyone other than members of Kim Jong-un’s own family or regime whom he perceives as a possible threat to his rule. Read full article

21 ноября, 21:45

Manchester City v Feyenoord: Champions League – as it happened

City top groupSterling seals win with smart goalFoden makes debut 9.37pm GMT City are through to the last 16 as group winners. This was a sub-standard performance in which several fringe players failed to grasp opportunities but victory was secured with a lovely goal by Sterling. 9.35pm GMT 90+2 min: Diaz has already shown some nice touches: he’s got brilliant quick feet, is strong on the ball and brims with enterprise. Continue reading...

21 ноября, 21:22

The 15 Worst States for Income Taxes in 2017

While some states do not charge any income taxes at all, others charge double digit percentages. Let’s take a look at the worst states for taxes.

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21 ноября, 21:01

Myoanatomy of the velvet worm leg revealed by laboratory-based nanofocus X-ray source tomography [Evolution]

X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a powerful noninvasive technique for investigating the inner structure of objects and organisms. However, the resolution of laboratory CT systems is typically limited to the micrometer range. In this paper, we present a table-top nanoCT system in conjunction with standard processing tools that is able...

21 ноября, 20:57

CBS News fires Charlie Rose over sexual harassment allegations

CBS News fired legendary television journalist Charlie Rose on Tuesday morning in response to allegations published the previous day that he had sexually harassed women who worked or sought jobs with him. Network president David Rhodes told staff in a memo that Rose's contract was terminated and said the ousted star's alleged behavior toward women affiliated with his eponymous talk show was "extremely disturbing and intolerable.” Rose co-anchored “CBS This Morning” and was a “60 Minutes” contributing correspondent in addition to hosting the long-running talk show that aired on PBS and Bloomberg TV. “Despite Charlie’s important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace — a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work." Rhodes wrote. "We need to be such a place."“CBS News has reported on extraordinary revelations at other media companies this year and last,” he added. “Our credibility in that reporting requires credibility managing basic standards of behavior. That is why we have taken these actions.”The Washington Post first reported Monday evening on allegations from eight women who worked for or aspired to work on Rose’s talk show from the late 1990's to 2011. The women’s allegations included Rose “walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas." Business Insider later reported claims from three additional women. PBS and Bloomberg TV both said Monday they were suspending his show.

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21 ноября, 19:52

America is about to kill the open internet – and towns like this will pay the price

Residents of Winlock, Washington can barely stream Spotify and Netflix. Changes to Obama’s net neutrality rules are going to make things even worseUS telecoms regulator unveils sweeping plans to dismantle net neutralityIt’s Saturday morning at a café near the museum in Winlock, Washington, and Michelle Conrow is eating brunch while surfing the internet on her laptop. What might seem a banal activity for many is a luxury for Michelle. The internet at her house just outside the town is primitive by today’s standards, with speeds similar to the dial-up days of the 1990s. It took three days to download Microsoft Office to her new computer.Many of the 1,300 residents in this rural area, which was once the US’s second largest egg producer, report frustratingly slow connections. There’s no binging on the latest must-watch Netflix show or streaming music on Spotify to suit your mood. No quick downloading of a podcast for your journey to work as you grab your coat. No running several devices simultaneously as parents catch up with internet banking or shopping on Amazon while their children chat on social media and watch YouTube videos. Continue reading...

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21 ноября, 19:41

SAPVoice: Business And IT Standardization Fuel Growth At Campari

Read how Campari Group, the 6th largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, accelerated growth through business process and IT standardization across its core operations.

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21 ноября, 19:20

Shiv Thakor sacked by Derbyshire after exposing himself to two women

• Derbyshire terminate contract after guilty verdict• ‘The club is opposed to sexual harassment in any form’Derbyshire County Cricket Club has terminated Shiv Thakor’s contract with immediate effect after the cricketer was found guilty of exposing himself to two women.“The club expects the highest standards of behaviour from all its staff and is opposed to sexual harassment in any form,” Derbyshire stated on their website. Continue reading...

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21 ноября, 19:01

Woman confesses to killing 4 babies

A Japanese woman was arrested yesterday after police say she confessed to putting four newborns in concrete-filled buckets two decades ago and having been filled with guilt over not caring for her bab

21 ноября, 18:30

Blockchain was hyped for a long time. Now they’re getting down to business

It’s getting near time. It’s getting near time for all the talk of adopting blockchain’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) in energy markets to transform itself into some real-life applications. That was an overriding theme at S&P Global Platts first-ever Digital Commodities Summit in London in mid-November, a packed-house event that will be followed by one […] The post Blockchain was hyped for a long time. Now they’re getting down to business appeared first on The Barrel Blog.

23 июня 2014, 14:12

Standard & Poor.s: каковы основные риски для российской экономики

Невыплата долгов "Нафтогазом" не будет считаться дефолтом всей Украины. Тем не менее, страна может официально стать банкротом в ближайшие год - два. Такой прогноз озвучил Моритц Краемер - он возглавляет группу суверенных рейтингов Standard & Poor.s. Поможет ли Украине МВФ, что ждет российские госкомпании и как ответить на обвинения в политической ангажированности?