Friday, October 20, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
1. NPR has a discussion of which U.S. House districts the national political parties have targeted in the last weeks of the campaign. This is a non-technical way of thinking about optimization of spending over multiple goods. Republicans are playing defense; Democrats, offense. The question, of course, is whether each team treats the marginal utility of a seat equally or if they're examining marginal utility over price (see this guy for an analysis of whether individual House candidates do just that).
2. Tradesports has GOP control of the U.S. Senate trading at about 67%, but control of the U.S. House at 35%. Note that both probabilities trend downward. Here's a fun question: will these markets, based in England, become more or less predictive once the federal law on Internet gambling takes effect.
3. Finally, another question of optimizing. It appears that the Republicans may abandon Mike DeWine here in Ohio. If you read any of the articles on Tailrank, you'll discover that the abandonment is not complete, but that the national GOP will reduce its advertising purchases in Ohio over the next three weeks. As a former intern for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, I'm a little bit pleased. As a supporter of free trade? Not so much.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Peace and economics
There is a nice introduction to the notion of microfinance here.
Mr Yunus, an economist, founded the bank, which is one of the pioneers of micro-credit lending schemes for the poor, especially women, in Bangladesh. ...
Mr Yunus set up the bank in 1976 with just $27 from his own pocket. Thirty years on, the bank has 6.6 million borrowers, of which 97% are women, according to the Grameen website.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Rates up, rates down?
Thursday, October 12, 2006
An oil price primer
A Nobel defense of capitalism
The American and Continental systems are not operationally equivalent, contrary to some neoclassical views. Let me use the word "dynamism" to mean the fertility of the economy in coming up with innovative ideas believed to be technologically feasible and profitable--in short, the economy's talent at commercially successful innovating. In this terminology, the free enterprise system is structured in such a way that it facilitates and stimulates dynamism while the Continental system impedes and discourages it.
Monday, October 09, 2006
A Nobel in the Dismal Science...
Saturday, October 07, 2006
BOG board room
Dynamic game theory in action
Three economists and three mathematicians were going for a trip by train.Before journey the mathematicians bought 3 tickets(they could count to three)and the economists only one. The mathematicians were glad their stupid colleagues were going to pay a fine. However, when the conductor was approaching their ompartment, all three economists went to the nearest toilet. The conductor, noticing that somebody was in the loo, knocked on the door and in reply saw a hand with the ticket. He checked it and the economists saved 2/3 of the ticket price.Next day the mathematicians decided to use the same strategy - they bought only one ticket, but the economists did not buy tickets at all. When the mathematicians saw the conductor they went to the loo, and when they heard knocking they handed in the ticket. They did not get it back. Why? The economists took it and went to the other toilet.