Strong opinions, weakly held

Tag: economics (page 4 of 10)

Put a dollar figure on carbon emissions

Matthew Yglesias makes a pretty convincing argument that the most effective path to slowing down climate change is putting a price on carbon. Right now, carbon emissions are untaxed, so there’s no market mechanism to reward a reduction in carbon emissions other than the price of using energy. Unfortunately, energy prices are largely decoupled from their environmental impact.

The bubble pattern revisited

A couple of years ago I described the bubble pattern. It’s basically a three four step pattern:

  1. Clever investors find a class of asset that is undervalued.
  2. Dumber investors find out what the clever investors are buying, and pour their money into that class of asset.
  3. Bankers work as hard as they can to increase the supply of assets in that class, despite the fact that these assets are no longer really a good investment.
  4. The bubble bursts.

Chris Dixon explains how this pattern has manifested in venture capital.

Links for September 1

  • Ars Technica: John Siracusa’s Snow Leopard review. 23 pages of goodness.
  • How the economics of strip malls differ from the economics of commercial blocks in cities.
  • Jonah Lehrer: The Just World Hypothesis. One of the great moral insights I had at a relatively early age is that the world generally operates with no regard for or propensity toward just outcomes.
  • Dan Gillmor: Time Pundit’s Rant and (Partly) Misguided Sense of Privacy. You can’t expect email sent to a mailing list to remain private.
  • WebMonkey: Opera 10 Arrives. Opera has never caught on with me, but they’re to be commended for driving innovation in the browser market and putting the bigger browser makers to shame on a regular bases.

One interesting sentence

To borrow an idea from Tyler Cowen, here’s a really interesting sentence:

After crunching the numbers, he calculates that on a weekday, the average car driven into Manhattan south of 60th Street causes a total of 3.26 hours of delays to everybody else.

That’s from a Felix Salmon blog post on Charles Komanoff’s study of the externalities associated with driving in New York. Since my spell checker doesn’t know the word “externalities,” I’ll link to its definition as well.

Links from June 8th

Links from May 25th

Links from May 20

Long delayed roundup of links:

Monetary policy is not dead

Today the Federal Reserve announced it’s buying up $1.2 trillion in bonds as part of a program of quantitative easing. It’s a path to lowering interest rates once you’re in Paul Krugman’s famous liquidity trap.

A few weeks ago self-described right wing economist Scott Sumner suggested that quantitative easing be tried, and Tyler Cowen described his plan as the best he’d seen by far.

I know there’s been a surge of optimism lately, and an attendant degree of skepticism that we’re really even in a major crisis. This move should remind everyone that the Federal Reserve and Obama administration are still very, very worried about the state of the economy.

What would an economist do?

I really want to buy the new Neko Case album, released last week, but I have a suspicion that Amazon.com is going to make it the deal of the day sometime soon. What would an economist tell me? On one hand, it’s only $7.99, and it would probably be on sale for $1.99 (or $3.99, the daily deal price for most new releases). On the other hand, if I buy it for full price and they put it on sale a few days later, I’ll feel a tinge of regret. On one hand I want it now, on the other, I have the whole rest of my life to listen to it either way.

I’m pretty sure that any economist would tell me that every minute I’ve spent trying to time the market for this album has been wasted.

Links from March 1st

  • Dries Buytaert: Drupal sites. A big list of Drupal sites.
  • Hivelogic: Review: The NewerTech Voyager Q. Docking station that lets you use internal hard drives as external hard drives. Seems like a great solution for certain backup strategies.
  • Music Machinery: In search of the click track. Programmatically determining which drummers use click tracks and which don’t. Really, really interesting.
  • David Plotz: What I learned from reading the entire Biblee. I was obsessed with his Blogging the Bible series, and I’m glad to see it’s now a book.
  • TheMoneyIllusion: An open letter to Mr. Krugman. A really interesting alternative to the stimulus plan, suggesting novel monetary policy rather than fiscal policy. I have no idea whether this would work, but it’s an interesting idea.
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