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).
Thinking strategically about free speech and violence
Phenomenal article identifying the distinction between legitimacy and efficacy. Don’t agree with all of the conclusions, but well worth reading.
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.
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