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Burn, Onitsha, burn

The other religious riots. While much of the world's press has covered the Muslim cartoon riots, not nearly as much ink has been spilled over the continuing violence in Nigeria. A good analysis of underlying factors here. A Shell report points to oil as a proximate cause of violence as well. For oil companies, this may not be a bad thing. (If I was more interested in trolling, I'd have framed this as "Christian Leaders Fail to Condemn Religious Violence." The real world's a little more complex).
posted by klangklangston on Feb 23, 2006 - 15 comments

 

Logical Risks

Answer three simple tricky questions and predict your sensitivity to risk. via Washington Monthly
posted by alms on Jan 27, 2006 - 73 comments

Religious extremism: the good, the bad, and the deadly

Religious extremism: the good, the bad, and the deadly (pdf) is an academic paper offering an alternative analysis of economic self-interest as a motivation for terrorism. A University of California San Diego economics professor is among the world's leaders in a small but growing field of study that uses economic principles to gain a deeper understanding of radical religious groups.
posted by redneck_zionist on Dec 20, 2005 - 15 comments

Crime & Abortion

Economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, has long posited a controversial thesis that legalized abortion help reduced crime, by reducing unwanted children, prone to crime. However, a new paper argues that Levitt (& Donohue) made serious errors in their research. Properly analysed, abortion has no significant effect on crime. Levitt disagrees, of course.
posted by daksya on Dec 4, 2005 - 46 comments

Project Entropia

Man spends $100k on imaginary nightclub to tax those who hunt its native dinosaurs. Man is likely to make a profit. <bgsound>
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 13, 2005 - 30 comments

My life is good, you old bat!!

I'm the 24,519,565 richest person on earth! According to the Global Rich List, which says I make more than 99.506% of the people alive today. Only 24.5 million people between Bill Gates & myself...
posted by jonson on Oct 21, 2005 - 90 comments

Co-winner of the Nobel prize in economics

Co-winner of the Nobel prize in economics Robert Aumann of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem gave a very interesting interview about how he became interested in economics, math, and the "topology of bagels." How he applied logic from the Talmud to bankruptcy and other economic events was described nicely at Slate here.
posted by Adamchik on Oct 21, 2005 - 4 comments

The 2005 Nobel Prize for Economics

The 2005 Nobel Prize for economics goes to Robert J. Aumann and Thomas C. Schelling. Marginal Revolution has a wonderful set of posts that link to various related resources, like a summary of Aumann's work or Schelling's views on global warming.
posted by daksya on Oct 10, 2005 - 17 comments

Best idea since sliced toast? Or butter-side downer?

Since Sliced Bread: A union-sponsored contest to find and develop ideas to improve the U.S. economy - the winner will receive $100,000. Entries range from virally-spreading an anti-exploitation shame meme to increasing US world domination. Other greatest ideas since sliced bread include your own personal jesus toast, corporate logos on toast, and Liberty.
posted by Rumple on Oct 8, 2005 - 6 comments

I wish I'd thought of this...

The Million Dollar Homepage. Sure, you could buy gigabytes of online storage for a year with $100, but wouldn't you much rather have 10x10 pixels here? Is it stupid? Yes, but havn't you always wanted to make hundreds of thousands of dolars without doing anything?
posted by delmoi on Oct 1, 2005 - 73 comments

The Year of Living Utopianly

The Utopian Nightmare : "What is utopianism? It is promising more than you can deliver. It is seeing an easy and sudden answer to long-standing, complex problems. It is trying to solve everything at once through an administrative apparatus headed by “world leaders.” It places too much faith in altruistic cooperation and underestimates self-seeking behavior and conflict. It is expecting great things from schemes designed at the top, but doing nothing to solve the bigger problems at the bottom." Also, be sure to check out the the 16 ideas, values and institutions that may not be with us 35 years from now written by a variety of interesting people and compiled as part of Foreign Policy's 35th anniversary (although not all are free or available without registration).
posted by loquax on Aug 31, 2005 - 23 comments

Grand theft in progress?

"What's most shocking about Grand Theft Auto isn't embedded sex scenes. It's the financial chicanery of the game's maker." Fortune's Bethany McLean - one of the few journalists to question Enron's stock price in early 2001 - has just taken a good look at Take Two Interactive, and she doesn't like what she sees. Four CEOs since 2002, execs dumping stock in recent months, fraudulent "parking transactions" that dramatically overstated earnings...and yet its stock price has remained bouyant. "How, in an era when investors are supposedly obsessed with corporate governance, are this firm's troubles so easily overlooked?"
posted by mediareport on Aug 17, 2005 - 12 comments

loonie oh loonie oh loonie oh loonie-oh!

Have you ever thought your boss might be a sociopath? According to some, you just might be right. A recent film called The Corporation actually goes so far as to argue that American-style free markets select for sociopathic tendencies. While some on the left seem all too eager to chime in with their self-righteous “I told you sos,” others on the right dismiss all such notions to defend free markets with open contempt… Which is strange when you consider that free market theory owes its existence to Darwin’s theories of natural selection, which many on the right don't accept. Seriously--help me sort this out, or else I'm going to have to conclude we've all gone crazy.
posted by all-seeing eye dog on Aug 3, 2005 - 86 comments

maybe jesus was right about that root of all evil stuff?

What if we can't afford to save the world? An interesting debate between Sierra Club’s Carl Pope and the outspoken Bjørn Lomborg. (The “saving the world” bit might seem like hyperbole, but the really interesting question this debate sparks for me is this: Hypothetically, if it really came down to it, would anyone be willing to save the world for free? And if not, what does that imply about our values system and personal priorities? What does it say about the practical utility and limitations of monetary-based economic systems?
posted by all-seeing eye dog on Jul 28, 2005 - 55 comments

Inside my TV eye, never stopped to wonder why, I'm way down now...

Dad's salary is skyrocketing - on TV. (list here all averaged by profession and adjusted for inflation) "Today's TV dads average salaries of $195,000 after adjusting for inflation, according to Salary.com."
posted by jonmc on Jul 26, 2005 - 42 comments

Das Kapital (of economic texts)

Archive for the History of Economic Thought
posted by Gyan on Jul 20, 2005 - 7 comments

Of matrícula accounts and ITIN loans

Embracing Illegals: Companies are getting hooked on the buying power of 11 million undocumented immigrants - The Underground Labor Force Is Rising To The Surface [pdf]
posted by kliuless on Jul 11, 2005 - 30 comments

SWM ISO SWF

Researchers from the University of Chicago and MIT (PDF file) have analyzed data obtained from an unnamed major online dating service to try to uncover how the online dating market works. Shockingly, they have discovered both sexes care strongly about physical appearance and a woman's choice depends on the income and education of the men. Recent NY Times article about same. Paper authors other papers here.
posted by Fozzie on Jul 4, 2005 - 44 comments

An Interview With William Lewis

How Powerful Is Productivity? TCS interviews Former Carter Staffer (and Democrat) William Lewis, who makes some interesting remarks about worker productivity: There were many disparaging comments made in the US and maybe even stronger abroad, (and especially in Japan) about how the US labor force was getting what it deserved because it was lazy, uneducated and maybe even dumb. And of course, the Japanese then showed -- the really capable, competent Japanese manufacturing companies -- showed that was wrong by coming here, building their own factories, managing American labor and taking a lot of other local inputs and coming within five percent of reproducing their home country productivity.
posted by Kwantsar on Jun 20, 2005 - 11 comments

The Ransom Model

The "ransom" model. "It works like this: They described the basic gist of the game on their web site, and set a ransom of $600 for it. If they received $600 in donations by September 2005, they would finish creating the game -- and then release it on their site, for anyone to download for free. (If they didn't get the full $600 in time, they would donate whatever money they'd received to a homeless shelter.)" And it worked! Here's some additional links described in the comments: The Street Performer Protocol and Fundable.org.
posted by gsb on Jun 7, 2005 - 15 comments

Wal-mart: Sith Lord of unbridaled capitalism

That "liberal bastion" PBS and that "wacky" Christian Right AGREEING on something? Does the "Sith Lord of unbridaled capitalism" really deserve to be hated? Does it bear watching? A new movie will take a look: (Registration -free link). Why are growing numbers "ready to join the ranks of all right-thinking people the world over in declaring Wal-Mart an outpost of hell on earth"??? The full 60 minute Frontline program video is available online.
posted by spock on Jun 6, 2005 - 28 comments

Keith Chen studies capuchins.

Monkey Business Something else happened during that chaotic scene, something that convinced Chen of the monkeys' true grasp of money. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of money, after all, is its fungibility, the fact that it can be used to buy not just food but anything. During the chaos in the monkey cage, Chen saw something out of the corner of his eye that he would later try to play down but in his heart of hearts he knew to be true. What he witnessed was probably the first observed exchange of money for sex in the history of monkeykind. (Further proof that the monkeys truly understood money: the monkey who was paid for sex immediately traded the token in for a grape.)
posted by raaka on Jun 5, 2005 - 34 comments

Costs of cannabis prohibition is lot more potent than in the 70s

The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition by Jeffrey Miron of Boston U.. So far, endorsed by 500+ economists, including Milton Friedman.

Key points:
*End prohibition and save $7.7 billion in govt. expenditure.
*Tax its sale, like alcohol, and generate $6.2 billion in revenue.
posted by daksya on Jun 1, 2005 - 79 comments

Where America Meets the World

Foreign Exchange TV with Fareed Zakaria - I'd heard about it, but thought it was only showing on OPB; checked again and lo and behold all the episodes are online! Watched a couple episodes so far; they're pretty good, esp if you're into foreign policy and stuff :D
posted by kliuless on May 26, 2005 - 4 comments

Remember Long Term Capital Management?

Remember Long Term Capital Management? The hedge fund whose collapse threatened “a systemic crisis in the world financial system”? Most people in the investment industry claim that they have learned the lessons of LTCM, but what about the rise of synthetic CDOs, “complex structures that employ wads of credit derivatives to build leverage on top of leverage-what some skeptics call "imaginary" structures?" Investments in these financial instruments has exploded from under 1 trillion USD in 2001 to more than 5 trillion at the end of last year. Are problems with synthetic CDOs behind the recent rumors of "hedge fund frailty?" largely stolen from The Agonist
posted by afu on May 17, 2005 - 24 comments

Car dealers' hype beaten by internet facts

After an American car company recreates its legendary 1960's Ferrari-beating race car, the first $150,000 2005 production car sells at a charity event for $400,000 over sticker price, (to a Microsoft-enriched individual, of course) and many months later, dealers are still asking up to $200,000 over sticker, or at least $150,000 over sticker. The "experts" at Edmunds say the car is selling for about $100,000 over sticker (seeing their "True Market Value" requires a few clicks from this page), and the widespread belief is that these admittedly amazing cars are virtually impossible to find and all selling for at least $100,000 over sticker. But using publicly available data, including completed eBay auctions and public documents, this non-commercial site shows the truth to be very different than the hype.
posted by escorter on May 13, 2005 - 32 comments

The Borrowers

The Fed's New Clothes: Stephen Roach, Chief Economist at Morgan Stanley, on the Maestro's historic drive to devalue income and savings and push speculation. The ownership society lurks in the background. Via Cunning Realist.
posted by alms on May 1, 2005 - 12 comments

Remedial economics for the WSJ editorial board

Remedial economics for the WSJ editorial board An April 26 Wall Street Journal editorial argued that "the overall tax burden grew more progressive" in the last 25 years because upper income taxpayers pay a larger share of total taxes than they did in 1979. But the Journal failed to explain why upper income taxpayers pay a larger share today: The wealthiest Americans earn a much larger share of total income than they did in 1979. [see, too: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_04/006194.php]
posted by Postroad on Apr 27, 2005 - 106 comments

How America Works

How America Works

In the tradition of They Rule, Jonathan Schwarz from A Tiny Revolution provides some context in regards to the 1996 funeral of Thomas Enders.
posted by lilboo on Apr 19, 2005 - 4 comments

Cash on the Scarecrow, Pork on the Plow

Cash on the Scarecrow, Pork on the Plow
Matt Welch, using data from Environmental Working Group, examines the largesse of subsidies to Mellencamps.
posted by trharlan on Apr 17, 2005 - 12 comments

Five Years After the Bubble

Five Years After the Bubble is a collection of ten links from the perspective of those who were neck deep in the whole thing. I found the link while reading up on Andy Kessler, who had an interesting piece in today's WSJ, and is giving away his new book.
posted by trharlan on Apr 15, 2005 - 3 comments

http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/

Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH). From Cornell University, HEARTH is an internet resource collecting home economics texts from 1850 to 1950, including Meals that cook themselves and cut the costs, by Christine Frederick (1915), and The young woman's guide to excellence, by William A. Alcott (1852), as well as the Journal of Home Economics from 1909 to 1980.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Apr 11, 2005 - 6 comments

Wall Street

Wall Street - How it Works, and for Whom, by Doug Henwood. Sold over 20,000 copies as paperback. Acclaimed by Crooked Timber. Available for free under a Creative Commons license (Amazon).
posted by andrew cooke on Apr 8, 2005 - 8 comments

Because Businesses Don't Care Enough About Profits

A Pro-Evil Mutual Fund? For centuries, the argument in favor of laissez-faire capitalism has been simple. If you step back and let businesses pursue profit without restraint, legitimate needs and desires will be taken care of in an efficient manner. Moral concerns, the argument goes, are better handled by consumers and investors voting with dollars than governments coercing with legislation. Now, Cato Institute scholar and Fox News columnist Steven Milloy is worried ideologically motivated investors might be putting business profits in danger. He's forming a new mutual fund to fight their leftist influence.
posted by verb on Apr 8, 2005 - 33 comments

Cognitive biases and other fun tricks

You are very bad at making decisions. Welcome to the world of cognitive biases. They are why it is so easy to see conspiracies in the death of microbiologists, to be unaware of how incompetent we are, to regret our bids on eBay, and to be superstitious rationalists. Perhaps you should learn to use them before you are taken in. Finally, cognitive biases are why you will remember the end of this po
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 6, 2005 - 27 comments

Biting the hand that feeds it

Kevin Brancato (of Truck and Barter fame) has been running Alwayslowprices.net, a site dedicated to discussing the social and economic impact of Wal-Mart, for about a year. Though he has generally been one of the web's biggest Wal-Mart supporters, the firm has nonetheless issued to him a Cease and Decist Order.
posted by trharlan on Apr 6, 2005 - 11 comments

Economics and race.

Economics and Race: "Twenty-seven-year-old Harvard economist Roland Fryer grew up poor and black, in a family that was falling apart. His mother abandoned him. His father drank heavily and beat him. Fryer sold drugs and carried a gun. Then, at age 15, after he got pulled over by the police and then let go, he decided he wanted something different."
posted by yoga on Apr 1, 2005 - 8 comments

It's all in the mind.

Neuroeconomics: "Eventually it could help economists design incentives that gently guide people toward making decisions that are in their long-term best interests in everything from labor negotiations to diets to 401(k) plans." Note the ambiguous use of the pronoun "their"--are we talking about the long-term interests of people in general or of economists?
posted by all-seeing eye dog on Mar 22, 2005 - 25 comments

$10 for Catwoman?

Standardized movie ticket pricing. Why must we pay the same price for an Uwe Boll movie and a Martin Scorsese film? Economic professor Tyler Cowen explores the reasons that movies big and small, good and bad, are priced the same.
posted by Arch Stanton on Mar 4, 2005 - 16 comments

U2 Can B A Rock Star Prez

U2 Can B A Rock Star Prez. The president of the World Bank is traditionally an American. But in a recent editorial the L.A. Times nominated third-world debt relief activitist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee and--oh yeah--U2 frontman for the soon-to-be-vacant position. With economic tutoring from "probably the most important economist in the world", the singer/activist (and self-confessed egomaniac) has spent the last 5 years lobbying the World Bank and IMF to help African nations break the decades' old cycle of debt by combining debt relief with improved trade and AIDS assistance. After a stint as celebrity spokesmodel for Jubilee2000, then founding a similar DATA Agenda funded by Bill Gates, he's developed cred as "a serious player on Third World debt". "It's about the right to begin again," Bono says. "The right to be free of your past..." President Bono: a chance to reform the World Bank from the inside, or celebrity poser? Readers' response... [BugMeNot for the reg-only sites]
posted by nakedcodemonkey on Mar 1, 2005 - 32 comments

Roubini's Econ Blog

Nouriel Roubini's Global Macroeconomic and Financial Policy Site is big, broad, and pretty amazing. If you can stomach a 50 page .pdf, make sure to read the dollar-bear article: Will The Bretton Woods 2 Regime Unravel Soon? The Risk of a Hard Landing in 2005-2006.
posted by trharlan on Feb 22, 2005 - 6 comments

Kottke goes full time

Kottke.org! Time was that you could get the crap kicked out of you for posting kottke.org to MeFi. Three and a quarter years later, what's changed? Jason's decided to make a living off this blog ... but without running advertising. Good luck, says I.
posted by sylloge on Feb 22, 2005 - 364 comments

Hans Hoppe is in trouble.

Hans Hoppe is in trouble. Why? In one of his lectures at UNLV, the world-renowned economist stated that homosexuals plan less for the future than heterosexuals. According to Hoppe, homosexuals tend not to have children, so they have little stake in the world beyond their own time. Other poor future planners include the very young (no concept of the future) and the very old (their time is almost up). A student filed a compaint against Hoppe for his "anti-gay" remarks, and UNLV wants to issue a letter of reprimand and force Hoppe to give up his next pay increase. So should an economics professor be forced to consider his students feelings prior to presenting economic theories? As Hoppe fights back, the libertarian community voices its support.
posted by b_thinky on Feb 12, 2005 - 88 comments

National Security Archive

George Washington University's National Security Archive carries a collection of declassified US documents and articles on Saddam Hussein; Mexico, Cuba and other Latin American countries; Nixon's meeting with Elvis; the CIA and Nazi war criminals; etc.
posted by plep on Feb 10, 2005 - 8 comments

Form of Yanghtze River! Shape of Russian Bear!

With all the talk about the emergence of Europe as an economic rival to the US, is there a more likely rival emerging? A real strategic partnership between Russia and China could be exactly the combination of nuclear power, boots on the ground, and economic momentum to truly create a new bipolarity. Apparently, there has been serious collaboration in military philosophy between the two powers at least since the USSR broke up, and flash gamers have known about it for at least a couple years, but now it is becoming very real. Conventional wisdom says that there are longstanding disputes over trade and territory, but things generally seem to be warming up. You want to know what the world will look like in 20 years? Look to Siberia.
posted by milkman on Jan 20, 2005 - 9 comments

There, you happy now?

Happy Happy (both pdf) The burgeoning field of happiness studies is unearthing all sorts of interesting findings, many of them summarized in these two articles by University of British Columbia economist & "Professor of Happiness" John Helliwell. Rich countries are not happier than poor countries; people tend to revert to the mean after a happy event; money has only a modest effect on happiness; and, hey, good news! you get happier as you get older.
posted by mono blanco on Jan 10, 2005 - 11 comments

And the food had to be satisfying and taste good too, otherwise, what's the point?

The Challenge: Purchase, prepare and eat healthy, mostly organic meals on a food stamp budget. These are the results.
posted by anastasiav on Jan 4, 2005 - 65 comments

Wow! All the crusts of bread I can eat!

How much money do first-time novelists make? Author and upcoming first-time novelist Justine Larbalestier is constantly asked by aspiring writers what first-time novelists should expect in advance payment for their beloved texts. So she asked some of her author friends what they got for their first novels. The responses ranged in time from 1962 to 2004. What didn't change in all that time was the basic amount: Not much. Quoth Larbalestier: "The life of a novelist is, financially speaking, a mug's game. Enter at your own peril."
posted by jscalzi on Dec 24, 2004 - 66 comments

America Beyond Capitalism

America Beyond Capitalism
What a "Pluralist Commonwealth" Would Look Like
from the author of The Coming Era of Wealth Taxation (pdf)
posted by y2karl on Dec 17, 2004 - 22 comments

Sociology

A hundred years of “The Protestant Ethic.” Elizabeth Kolbert on Max Weber in The New Yorker.
posted by semmi on Dec 9, 2004 - 13 comments

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