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Firing Aversion

How do managers decide who to lay off?
posted by reenum on Jun 7, 2012 - 52 comments

Debunking the Myth of Intuition

"Can doctors and investment advisers be trusted? And do we live more for experiences or memories? In a SPIEGEL interview, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman discusses the innate weakness of human thought, deceptive memories and the misleading power of intuition."
posted by vidur on Jun 3, 2012 - 43 comments

Clown car counts noses

The Global Middle Class Is Bigger Than We Thought A new way of measuring prosperity has enormous implications for geopolitics and economics.[...] the number of passenger cars in circulation serves as the most reliable gauge we have about the size of a country's middle class.
posted by infini on Jun 2, 2012 - 26 comments

How Markets Crowd Out Morals: A Forum On The Corrupting Effects Of Markets

How Markets Crowd Out Morals: A Forum On The Corrupting Effects Of Markets [more inside]
posted by jhandey on May 30, 2012 - 31 comments

“Outrageous facts,” “evil villains” and “sympathetic clients.”

Louisiana monks go to court to sell their caskets. “The number one thing you should do as a public interest litigator is to get monks as your clients in every single case.”
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on May 30, 2012 - 90 comments

A small player in a bad neighbourhood.

Take a holiday in Somaliland: journey to the state that isn’t. "Positioned on the upper haunch of the Somali dog-leg the Republic of Somaliland looks initially unpromising. It is mainly dry and rocky, there are few paved roads, and the population is small and generally dispersed. ... Whilst the economy may be on the up, Somaliland still feels extremely isolated. An employee of a big international NGO who I met in the lobby of my hotel, The Mansoor, looked at me with astonishment when I said I’d come to Hargeisa for fun. 'The biggest danger here,' he said 'is dying of boredom.'"
posted by mykescipark on May 28, 2012 - 10 comments

Democrats’ gay marriage excuse

"Are Democratic politicians, like Andrew Cuomo, using social issues to distract from the economic status quo?" Article by David Sirota in Salon.
posted by Trochanter on May 26, 2012 - 37 comments

Hint: the answer is democracy.

The Costs of Capitalism's Crisis: Who Will Pay? Economics professor Richard Wolff gives some context to the latest economic crisis and suggests a solution to prevent this from happening again.
posted by mhjb on May 20, 2012 - 58 comments

TED: Yes to "Drying your Hands," No to "Income Inequality."

"I can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small," said über-rich venture capitalist Nick Hanauer in a March 1st TEDx talk, which TED is refusing to put on its website. [more inside]
posted by blazingunicorn on May 16, 2012 - 98 comments

Today there is NO intellectual presumption that markets are efficient.

The Invisible Hand is Invisible Because It Isn't There. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz gives the keynote address at the launch of The Roosevelt Institute's new initiative: Rediscovering Government. Via the Next New Deal.
posted by Trochanter on May 15, 2012 - 103 comments

"A strict academic caste system."

"Sixteen years ago, Patricia (P.J.) Johnston of Des Moines made the front page of this paper for collecting her diploma from Drake University at just 19. “I think I’m probably meant to be an academic,” Johnston was quoted as saying. And she has been, getting a master’s in one institution, going to seminary at another, doing field research in India in her area of interest — Indian Catholicism — and currently working toward a Ph.D in religious studies at the University of Iowa....As it is, she sleeps on her office floor on the days she has to be in Iowa City, riding the Greyhound bus in from Des Moines."
[more inside]
posted by edheil on Apr 28, 2012 - 116 comments

Go long on hot saurce

The top 10 dying industries in the United States, The 10 fastest growing American industries
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 19, 2012 - 95 comments

Your Efficient Markets at Work

How a fire in a small German town threatens to cause a worldwide car shortage. "When a fire in the small town of Marl in the west of Germany closed down an obscure chemical plant on 31 March, it barely made headlines." Now according to a recent IHS Automotive report, "shortages of the obscure component are 'likely to be serious.'"
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 19, 2012 - 33 comments

nonsense economics

"I call it the destruction of shared prosperity hypothesis. ... [A]round 1980 the U.S. adopted a fundamentally flawed economic paradigm ... that abandoned full employment and severed the link between wages and productivity growth. ... Financial deregulation, regulatory forbearance, financial innovation, financial mania, and plain vanilla financial fraud kept the economy going by making ever more credit available, However, as the economy cannibalized itself by undercutting income distribution and accumulating debt, it needed ever larger speculative bubbles to grow. The house price bubble was simply the last and biggest bubble and was effectively the only way around the stagnation that would otherwise have developed in 2001." - an interview with Thomas Palley on the origins and prognosis for the crisis
posted by crayz on Apr 18, 2012 - 31 comments

Economics meet Thermodynamics

"We do not share the view of many of our economics colleagues that growth will solve the economic problem, that narrow self-interest is the only dependable human motive, that technology will always find a substitute for any depleted resource, that the market can efficiently allocate all types of goods, that free markets always lead to an equilibrium balancing supply and demand, or that the laws of thermodynamics are irrelevant to economics."
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 12, 2012 - 59 comments

Crooked Timber on David Graeber

Crooked Timber's online seminar on David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years (previously, previously, previously and previously). [more inside]
posted by nangar on Apr 7, 2012 - 20 comments

The interesting story of Good African Coffee

"Trade, not aid:" the interesting story of Good African Coffee. [slnyt]
posted by killdevil on Apr 7, 2012 - 6 comments

The Beer Game

Mark Sweep describes an interesting game from his childhood which helps explain why companies move and keep their manufacturing in China.
posted by gilrain on Apr 5, 2012 - 34 comments

Where are you on the global pay scale?

Where are you on the global pay scale? A nice calculator that shows how your monthly salary compares to the average for your country and for the world. But before drawing too many sweeping conclusions, check out the notes that explain how the numbers are calculated, and the difficulties with trying to calculate any such thing. [more inside]
posted by philipy on Apr 3, 2012 - 55 comments

Executive Compensation

The Incentive Bubble (ungated pdf) - "The fraying of the compact of American capitalism by rising income inequality and repeated governance crises is disturbing. But misallocations of financial, real, and human capital arising from the financial-incentive bubble are much more worrisome to those concerned with the competitiveness of the American economy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 3, 2012 - 54 comments

Choosing the Road to Prosperity

One of the more conservative of the Fed's regional banks, the Dallas Federal Reserve, says "too-big-to-fail" banks must be broken up. Now. An interesting and important essay(pdf) from a most unlikely source.(via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Apr 2, 2012 - 13 comments

Is Procreation Immoral?

Elizabeth Kolbert explores the case against kids. Drawing from the work of philosophy professors David Benatar, Christine Overall and economist Bryan Caplan, Kolbert examines the justifications for reproducing.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Apr 2, 2012 - 125 comments

An Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

The New Priesthood - "The hapless economist uses the same tools as acclaimed physicists and astronomers. She has trained for years to speak precisely the same language as them, to understand the same advanced mathematics, to deploy most complex statistical methods which are an essential part of the scientific toolbox. It is, understandably, incredibly difficult to accept that her work is a form of higher order superstition; a religion couched in the language of mathematics and statistics. Tragically, this is precisely what it is." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 2, 2012 - 169 comments

“The time of giving short measure in weighing”

“Kipper und Wipper”: Rogue Traders, Rogue Princes, Rogue Bishops and the German Financial Meltdown of 1621-23
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 1, 2012 - 5 comments

Everything Must Go!

A short history of privatisation in the UK: 1979-2012
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 29, 2012 - 46 comments

Pasty Gate

Following an amendment in the recent Conservative Party budget, VAT on 'Baked Goods' will be re-instated. In response, the question of whether or not David Cameron once ate a Greggs pasty infects the British press. The Telegraph have a live blog covering what has been termed by some Pasty Gate
posted by 0bvious on Mar 28, 2012 - 61 comments

United States v. Health Care Reform

This morning marked day two of marathon proceedings in what's likely the most momentous and politically-charged Supreme Court case since Bush v. Gore: the effort to strike down President Obama's landmark health care reform law. While yesterday was a sleepy affair of obscure technical debate, today's hearings targeted the heart of the law -- the individual mandate that requires most Americans to purchase insurance by 2014. With lower courts delivering a split decision before today, administration lawyers held some hope that at least one conservative justice could be persuaded to uphold the provision, which amortizes the risk that makes universal coverage possible. But after a day of deeply skeptical questioning by swing justice Anthony Kennedy and his fellow conservatives [transcript - audio], the mandate looks to be in grave trouble, with CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin going as far as calling the day "a train wreck" for the administration. But it's far from a done deal, with a third day of hearings tomorrow and a final decision not expected until June.
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 27, 2012 - 373 comments

The Iced Coffee Economy

Why iced coffee costs so much more than the hot stuff.
posted by reenum on Mar 23, 2012 - 82 comments

The Extractive Institutions in US

Why Nations Fail - In a nutshell: "Proximately, prosperity is generated by investment and innovation, but these are acts of faith: investors and innovators must have credible reasons to think that, if successful, they will not be plundered by the powerful. For the polity to provide such reassurance, two conditions have to hold: power has to be centralised and the institutions of power have to be inclusive." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 15, 2012 - 78 comments

Guessing the health effects of Obamacare

A new working paper by economists Charles Courtemanche (University of Louisville) and Daniela Zapata (UNC-Greensboro) shows that Massachusetts 2006 uniform healthcare coverage caused improvements for numerous health outcomes. To the degree that the Massachusetts experiment is a guide for the federal Affordable Care Act, this study provides some guidance for guessing which individuals and approximately how much the benefits of the program will be. [more inside]
posted by scunning on Mar 14, 2012 - 24 comments

The Sugar Daddy Recession

The bad economy has forced some women into arrangements with less than ideal men.
posted by reenum on Mar 13, 2012 - 54 comments

Opportunity cost: The Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan Problem.

Opportunity Cost: The Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan Problem. Think you understand the fundamental economic concept of opportunity cost? Answer this: "You won a free ticket to see an Eric Clapton concert (which has no resale value). Bob Dylan is performing on the same night and is your next-best alternative activity. Tickets to see Dylan cost $40. On any given day, you would be willing to pay up to $50 to see Dylan (because he's so cool!). Assume there are no other costs of seeing either performer. Based on this information, what is the opportunity cost of seeing Eric Clapton? A. $0 B. $10 C. $40 D. $50" [more inside]
posted by storybored on Mar 4, 2012 - 137 comments

The Precariat

The 'precariat' "consists of a multitude of insecure people, living bits-and-pieces lives, in and out of short-term jobs, without a narrative of occupational development, including millions of frustrated educated youth who do not like what they see before them, millions of women abused in oppressive labour, growing numbers of criminalised tagged for life, millions being categorised as ‘disabled’ and migrants in their hundreds of millions around the world". [more inside]
posted by hydatius on Mar 4, 2012 - 27 comments

The 0.01 percent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia

Writing in The Monthly, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan makes a cogent case for ongoing economic reform to deliver equity, contrasting Australian with US outcomes, and slamming three modern robber barons, Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart for their increasing political influence.
posted by wilful on Mar 1, 2012 - 57 comments

Austerity

If Britain were Greece... (audio slideshow)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 29, 2012 - 39 comments

cross your eyes and wait

Nearly four years into a global economic crisis that has withstood many attempted solutions, MMT theorists are trying to edge themselves into mainstream discourse. After an extended Dylan Matthews article in the Washington Post and a large Italian MMT Summit this weekend, some are claiming victory. But what is MMT? [more inside]
posted by crayz on Feb 28, 2012 - 13 comments

The Failure of Judges and the Rise of Regulators

The Control Revolution And Its Discontents - "the long process of algorithmisation over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
posted by kliuless on Feb 23, 2012 - 25 comments

Dermot O'Connor's "There's No Tomorrow"

"There's No Tomorrow" is a half-hour animated documentary that deals with resource depletion, energy, and growth. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 22, 2012 - 14 comments

Economic Development: The Examples of India and China

"This is an intriguing little video summarizing the hypothesis of a new study by Vamsi Vakulabharanam. It looks at the puzzle of why China and India are exceptions to the Kuznets curve, that economic development at first increases income inequality but then starts to produce less disparity. But that did not occur in India and China. Vakulabharanam argues that the difference lies in changes in institutional arrangements, and the inflection point was roughly 1980."
posted by marienbad on Feb 18, 2012 - 3 comments

Choose Your Own Greek Fiscal Adventure

Choose Your Own Greek Fiscal Adventure.
posted by escabeche on Feb 16, 2012 - 25 comments

The Greeks have no word for "Sovereign Default" OR timeo danaos et linguas quae futurum tempus habent dicentem.

I find that speakers of languages with little to no grammatical distinction between the present and future (weak-FTR ["Future Time Reference"] language speakers) engage in much more future-oriented behavior. Weak-FTR speakers are 30% more likely to have saved in any given year, and have accumulated an additional 170 thousand Euros by retirement. I also examine non-monetary measures such as health behaviors and long-run health. I find that by retirement, weak-FTR speakers are in better health by numerous measures: they are 24% less likely to have smoked heavily, are 29% more likely to be physically active, and are 13% less likely to be medically obese. [more inside]
posted by gauche on Feb 11, 2012 - 70 comments

The End of the Free Market?

We're All State Capitalists Now 'No, according to some commentators, the contest between the two Asian superpowers is also fundamentally a contest between economic models: market capitalism vs. state capitalism.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 10, 2012 - 29 comments

what goes up can always go down

Felix Salmon muses on why art prices keep rising. On the way, he discusses why some art becomes super-popular:

"Fine art has become the billionaire’s-club equivalent of a Louis Vuitton bag, slathered in logos. It’s not connoisseurship which drives values, so much as recognizability. Which in turn helps to explain why the most prolific artists (Picasso, Warhol, Hirst) are also the most expensive: the more of their work there is, the more exposed to it people become, the more they’ll recognize it, and therefore the more desirable it is."
posted by benbenson on Feb 8, 2012 - 23 comments

Sacred Economics and Beyond

"It’s a very ancient idea that the universe runs by the principles of the gift...in fact the purpose for our existence, the reason why we’re here, is to give." Writer Charles Eisenstein speaks on his book Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition.
posted by velvet winter on Feb 7, 2012 - 41 comments

Visualizing economics

Visualizing Economics. Catherine Mulbrandon makes visualizations of economic data, including the variation of the top marginal tax rate over time and the high cost of buying a TV on credit.
posted by escabeche on Jan 30, 2012 - 13 comments

The 7 Biggest Economic Lies

The seven biggest economic lies with Robert Reich.
posted by latkes on Jan 27, 2012 - 126 comments

How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

“You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.” Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the NY Times give an in-depth report on Apple's migration of electronics manufacturing to Asia and its impact on middle class Americans.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 21, 2012 - 158 comments

Warning Warning — Danger Danger

Why you will fail to have a great career [more inside]
posted by esprit de l'escalier on Jan 15, 2012 - 113 comments

This is why Jakob Ander won't hire you

This is why I don't give you a job. Hungarian blogger Jakab Andor breaks down the numbers and explains why taxes and regulations make it highly unappealing for him to start a small business employing people in Hungary. He also argues that these same factors make women and older people particularly unappealing prospects. His comments generated quite a bit of controversy (warning: most comments in Hungarian), to which he responded with an offer.
posted by shivohum on Jan 13, 2012 - 96 comments

the new humanism and socialism? developing human and social 'capital'...

The Future of History (non-gated, summary): Many have noted that democracy [1,2,3] does not often sit well with capitalism [1,2,3], but Foreign Affairs argues in its latest issue that, while the ideological battle was won in the 20th century, the challenge of 21st is one of implementation -- how to make liberal democracy work. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 8, 2012 - 12 comments

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