Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Economics'

‘Baked In’ Voter Perceptions – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 3rd, 2012 · Comments Off on ‘Baked In’ Voter Perceptions – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg · Economics, Electoralism, Policy, Political Communication, Politics, Power

When a pollster asked if someone would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate in favor of shipping jobs overseas—a typical way of auditioning what was then a promising line of attack against Bush—they would often hear from voters across the board that it made them “less likely.” But when the AFL […]

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Velocity Trading – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver

November 23rd, 2012 · Comments Off on Velocity Trading – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver · Economics, Policy

This furious velocity of trading is something fairly new. In the 1950s, the average share of common stock in an American company was held for about six years before being traded—consistent with the idea that stocks are a long-term investment. By the 2000s, the velocity of trading had increased roughly twelvefold. Instead of being held […]

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Markets for Predicting Macro-Economic Variables – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 20th, 2012 · Comments Off on Markets for Predicting Macro-Economic Variables – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Economics, Policy, Prediction

One of the most basic applications might simply be markets for predicting macroeconomic variables like GDP and unemployment. There are already a variety of direct and indirect ways to bet on things like inflation, interest rates, and commodities prices, but no high-volume market for GDP exists. There could be a captive audience for these markets: […]

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The Limitations of Economic Forecasts – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 19th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Limitations of Economic Forecasts – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Economics, Policy, quote

Instead, economic forecasts are blunt instruments at best, rarely being able to anticipate economic turning points more than a few months in advance. Fairly often, in fact, these forecasts have failed to “predict” recessions even once they were already under way: a majority of economists did not think we were in one when the three […]

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The Predictable Housing Bubble – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 15th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Predictable Housing Bubble – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver · Data, Economics, ICT, Policy

Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize–winning economist, wrote of the bubble and its inevitable end in August 2005. “This was baked into the system,” Krugman later told me. “The housing crash was not a black swan. The housing crash was the elephant in the room.” Ordinary Americans were also concerned. Google searches on the term “housing […]

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Valuing Employment – “Gang leader for a day: a rogue sociologist takes to the streets”, Sudhir Venkatesh

November 4th, 2012 · Comments Off on Valuing Employment – “Gang leader for a day: a rogue sociologist takes to the streets”, Sudhir Venkatesh · Crime, Culture, Economics, Policy, Sociology

J.T. once asked me what sociologists had to say about gangs and inner-city poverty. I told him that some sociologists believed in a “culture of poverty”—that is, poor blacks didn’t work because they didn’t value employment as highly as other ethnic groups did, and they transmitted this attitude across generations. “So you want me to […]

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Karate Chop Political Advertising – “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

October 17th, 2012 · Comments Off on Karate Chop Political Advertising – “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn · Campaigning, Economics, Political Communication

The big surprise (in 1974) was the defeat of Brisbane’s popular Lord Mayor, Alderman Clem Jones – or was it such a surprise, considering the advertising campaign mounted by his Liberal opponent, Don Cameron. He ran a series of television commercials in which he moved around in front of a big pile of roofing tiles […]

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The Same Wall St Kitchen – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

September 16th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Same Wall St Kitchen – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams · Economics, Policy, Political Communication, Politics

Long: “They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.”

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Long on the 1% – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

September 14th, 2012 · Comments Off on Long on the 1% – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams · Economics, History, Policy

Springing another Long innovation on the Senate, he had prepared and mounted a number of charts showing the continuing concentration of wealth in the country, and as he explained the bills, he pointed in schoolmaster fashion to data on the charts. His speech was largely a rehash of things he had said before, but in […]

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A Bank Run in Louisianna – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

September 12th, 2012 · Comments Off on A Bank Run in Louisianna – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams · Economics, Policy, Politics, Psychology, Social Psychology

(The first man in line in a bank run) soon appeared (at the opening of the bank), waving a check for $18,000 and confident that he, at least, would get his money. Entering the office, he was startled to see Governor Long behind the desk. Huey was waving a check himself. “The state of Louisiana […]

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