Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Various teaching links

1. Brad Jensen tells us about trade in services (via Tim Taylor). "Opportunities for U.S. Exports of Business Services"

2. Shane Greenstein: What is Google doing in KC?  Experimenting with superfast broadband.

3. What on earth is going on with EU Patent reform?  They have only been arguing over it for 40 years.  Here is my take on the latest:

The main sticking points are (a) the patent language and (b) location of Patent courts, (c) the ability of the European Court of Justice to have overall jurisdiction overruling member states.  In November 2011 the European Parliament reached agreement on location (Paris, London, Munich), language (English, German, French) and the jurisdiction of the Court.  However, at time of writing, the Spanish and Italians have refused to accept the language and the European Council have removed the agreement on the Court’s jurisdiction over member states.  Without such overall jurisdication, patent law goes back to being of national competence and hence one might win a patent case in member state A but lose it in member state B  (
See for example press release from the European Parliament, 10th July 2012, EU unitary patent: Council move wouldinfringe EU law, says EP rapporteur", ) 

Some quotes from EU MEPs

Raffaele Baldassarre (EPP, IT), “After 30 years of "national egoism (...), we need to find a solution that fully respects EU law and follows a transparent procedure with the Council".

Eva Lichtenberger (Greens, AT), who added "Council has acted irresponsibly in this area".

Cecila Wikström (ALDE, SE), the European Council's decision meant "national prestige won over the common good, which is a shame"

4. Vox EU has a very nice piece on financial innovation.  But it uses measures of R&D in finance, which is very badly measured in conventional data. Here is an alternative approach based on intangibles and here are some cross-country data.