Pass-through rates of minimum wages into retail consumers
Fascinating study by Tobias Renkin, Claire Montialoux, and Michael Siegenthaler that uses micro-level supermarket scanner data (retail is famously good at tracking data).
Ben Sasse on the space between Nebraska and Neverland
Fantastic conversation between Tyler Cowen and Ben Sasse. Sasse is everything a conservative ought be (and, consequently, the opposite of what Trump is): thoughtful but principled, well-read but humble and aware of the limits of academic reasoning, and interested in root causes, rather than surface problems.
Identity politics and graduate economics
The empirical evidence that academia is far to the left of everyman views (at least in the US) are pretty clear. The debate tends to center around why – some on the left, for example, might argue that conservatives are just less intelligent (and thus would not cut it in academia – anecdotally, by the way, some of my conservative friends will argue that academia is a terrible occupation, and “smart people” will prefer to go into the private sector where they can both think for a living and get paid and not have to deal with tenure considerations), or that smart conservatives come to academia and learn the “truth,” becoming more liberal. But of course, there’s an intermediate hypothesis between “conservatives don’t try to enter the funnel of academia” or “conservatives who enter the funnel of academia become liberal” – perhaps conservatives try to enter the funnel, but are rejected, and the only ones who make it through either have weak enough convictions such that they are considered palatable (and therefore do become more liberal once they are surrounded by those with strong convictions) or enter in fields where ideological leanings matter less (e.g., science or math).
This article is not an empirical study, so it should not convince you that this third hypothesis is the state of the world – it is merely a set of anecdotes that show you how it could be the state of the world.
Chill, America. Not every Trump outrage is outrageous.
The argument put forth here is not that Trump is fine (he’s not), or that he doesn’t have unprecedented, reprehensible policies (he does).
Rather, it’s to make sure that the Trump counter-narrative is credible precisely in order to ensure that those policies which truly are unprecedented and reprehensible are most effectively countered.
But a continual state of panic serves no purpose and will eventually numb voters and their institutions to real threats when they inevitably arise. Trump is, without doubt, the most unusual chief executive in American history. He has promised to do many things, some of which are almost certainly impossible and a few of which are probably unconstitutional. In the meantime, he won his election fairly — as determined by the electoral college and certified by Congress — and he is thus mandated to staff and run a superpower.
Whether he will do so wisely or constitutionally remains to be seen, but the legitimate concerns of the president’s critics are not well served by attacking the normal functions of the executive branch merely because those powers are being exercised by someone they oppose.
About that bogus claim that North Carolina is no longer a democracy . . . – Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
A few reasons this matters:
- It wrongly hurts our credibility to condemn abuses abroad, as per the quote above
- It wrongly suggests that the best use of resources (government or nonprofit) is to focus on electoral abuses in NC, rather than places like North Korea
- (most important to me) It’s a reminder that academics often publish conclusions with sketchy methodology, and that even mainstream, credible media outlets will uncritically accept them if the conclusions fit their broader narrative. To me, this is equally (if not more) dangerous as (or maybe than) the fake news phenomenon. It’s also just indicative of a trend in American politics, particularly among the elite (on both left and right) to replace dialogue with one-line soundbites from studies that they didn’t read