Monday, 9 May 2011

Ireland's banking crisis

1. Michael Lewis, of Liar's Poker fame writes and tells you that Morgan Kelly saw it all.

2. Morgan Kelly,  professor of economics at University College Dublin, writes .  (HT, my student Jerry Teahan)

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Various links

1  Supply and demand.  For those who doubt that supply reponds to market prices, read about the low supply of housing with very strong rent control in San Fransico.

2. A regulation parable: what if supermarkets were run like state schools?  From Don Bourdreau, via Greg Mankiw.

3. The excellent Evan Davis opines on intangibles:

We're less clear and that's because we've moved towards the intangible sectors more than other developed economies. We are a huge net exporter of business and commercial services: insurance and finance, surveying, architecture, legal services, advertising, university education.
Is that a good thing?
The service sector raises a number of problems. Here's the nub of it: old industries – manufacturing industries – had lots of good reasons to disperse geographically. You had shipbuilding in Sunderland, steel in South Wales and coal scattered around the country. The new industries are brainy industries and so-called knowledge workers tend to like to be near other people who are the same. Think of the City or Hollywood. People cluster. This means you have winning regions, such as London and Cambridge, and losing regions. The people who want to be top lawyers in Sunderland are hoovered up by London.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Various links

1. Via Tyler Cowan, markets in everything: Osama Bin Laden example.

2. Who is more brilliant on the history of innovation than Joel Mokyr?  Note here the interesting non-use of patents.  The Rate and Direction of Invention in the British Industrial Revolution: Incentives and Institutions.

3. The use of discount rates to calculate pension liabilities: good example of discounting for lecture 3 on costs.

4. Tim Harford very good links on AV.  I particularly liked this one by Dennis Leech. He says

"I will be voting in the referendum for AV because, while it is flawed, it is better than First Past The Post for two good reasons. First, it rules out the possibility of an unpopular extremist being elected due to the vote being divided among the main parties. Second, it frees voters to express their true preferences without having to think about voting tactically. Voters can vote for the candidate they prefer, rather than for the candidate they think is most likely to keep out the one they least prefer, in the knowledge that second preference votes will count if his or her preferred candidate is eliminated before the last round of counting."