Marginal REVOLUTION

Small Steps Towards A Much Better World

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Saturday assorted links

1. Recreating tarot cards in Port-au-Prince. 2. Julia Galef interviews Vitalik, with transcript. 3. For not entirely transparent reasons, China censors Nomadland (the director is ethnic Chinese, but American).  And the real America has reemerged, in Texas. 4. Keynes was more “buy and hold” for his institutional trading for King’s College than...

Detroit Fauci

The major of Detroit has turned down an allocation of the J&J vaccine. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan declined an initial allocation of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine….”So, Johnson & Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best. And I am going to do everything I can to make sure the residents of the...

My Economics in Argumentation seminars job

You can trace my earlier jobs here, my next job, which I believe started at age nineteen, involved giving summer talks to high school debaters.  The program was called Economics in Argumentation, and it continues today in a much broader form under the name Economic Thinking, led by the excellent Gregory Rehmke, who was program leader back then as well....

Bad Advertising Bans

In Australia physicians are currently banned from recommending COVID vaccines as this is considered a form of advertising.  (See also this twitter thread). Crazy, but then I am reminded that one year ago Britain’s Advertisement Standards Authority banned advertisements for masks ruling that: Public Health England did not recommend the use of face...

Friday assorted links

1. “It is stunning to me that Spain and Italy have had negative TFP growth for 20 years.” 2. A theory paper on optimal social distancing. 3. Those they call idiots.  I just ordered the whole book. 4. Images of academics in Britain and Turkey. 5. Popular music from Madagascar. 6. Tim Wu, major critic of Big Tech, appointed to NEC (NYT). 7....

The traffic impact of Covid

For the first time since 2007, preliminary data from the National Safety Council show that as many as 42,060 people are estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. That marks an 8% increase over 2019 in a year where people drove significantly less frequently because of the pandemic. The preliminary estimated rate of death on the roads last...

Modestly silly Australian markets in everything

To combat the “border blues,” Australia’s national carrier said Wednesday that it is launching three mystery flights to unspecified domestic destinations. The announcement came a day after government officials announced the country’s international border closure would stretch through at least June, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Mystery-flight...

Are prediction markets going to make it this time around?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt: A skeptic might say that demand is limited because there are already so many good and highly informative markets in other assets. In 2009, for instance, was a market necessary to predict how well the iPhone was going to do? The share price of Apple might have served to perform a...

Thursday assorted links

1. Reopen the schools. 2. Biotech to revive the woolly mammoth? 3. Chad Jones on the economics of a declining population. 4. Europe is failing. 5. Deirdre McCloskey memoir update.  Good stuff, more interesting than the core memoir itself. 6. Letter and petition from Glasgow University against Greg Clark (not a good look). The post Thursday...

Canada: An Official Strong Recommendation for First Doses First

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), a scientific advisory group to the government, has made a forceful and dramatic statement strongly favoring First Doses First (delay the second dose.) This is a very big deal for the entire world. Basically NACI have endorsed everything that Tyler and I have said on First Doses First since...

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