Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wrap Up for March '15

March felt quite eventful in the blogosphere, perhaps because of the short February. I started off the month looking for recent information on innovative housing, hence these first two links. One wonders how long it will take for more ideas such as this to take off, especially in the U.S.

A WSJ post provides some interesting visuals, as to general affordability (or not) in various cities. Just the same: given differences in lifestyle and the like, some suggestions may be taken with a grain of salt! http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/03/04/where-should-you-move-for-a-decent-job-market-and-affordable-housing/?mod=marketbeat

Why would Noah Smith want to give readers the impression that while economics can do many things, it cannot help the economy? Wow, a lot of us could be doing something better with our time if that were really true! From his Quartz post:
Three big changes stand out in particular: Econ today is more data-driven, far less politically conservative, and in general much more like engineering than it used to be.
He also proceeded to bash philosophizing and theories. What's wrong with theorizing? Particularly given the fact that scientifically driven data often applies to up close and specific circumstance. This, in a world where the larger economic circumstance of our lives are quickly changing. Plus, economics needs more of a people orientation, not just an engineering perspective. In fact, people are economic beings, and economics matters at a personal level. What's right or left wing, about that? Also, regarding present day statistical matters, Noah says:
What this means is that, more and more economists are demanding of each other "Oh yeah? Prove it!"
To which I would simply reply, "Give people a chance to prove what they are capable of!" Last but certainly not least, economics can help the economy. Darn good thing, too.

Rural areas need help in multiple ways:

How many of these were you already familiar with? (99 sites) http://www.businessinsider.com/sites-every-professional-should-know-about-2015-1

Already a "problem", well over a hundred years earlier!

Improving house values isn't exactly the point. Do enterprise zones really work to lift inner cities? (James Pethoukoukis)

Vivek Wadhwa (Washington Post) Here's why patents are innovation's worst enemy 

How can it be so difficult, to settle the fact once and for all that these individuals are no longer alive!

"The bones of a city are hard to reset, so the decisions we make today will affect how people live in the future." http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/17/opinion/designing-private-cities-open-to-all.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0 Here is Tabarrok's MR post with additional links: Designing private cities, open to all

Could this town gain a new start? I am reminded of a picturesque town in Arkansas nearly a decade ago, when a local bridge was closed so as to open a new one, several miles away. Perhaps a domestic summit candidate...http://www.wsj.com/articles/donora-steels-itself-for-the-loss-of-its-bridge-1426536848?google_editors_picks=true

Another oddity, when production is purposefully kept low: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/03/16/heres-the-real-reason-medical-residents-make-just-47000-a-year-study-suggests/?mod=blogmod

The latest Econtalk with Paul Romer, this time on urban growth: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2015/03/paul_romer_on_u.html

The biggest problem with the graph in this post? Healthcare is outpacing other forms of job growth, and yet the way much of healthcare is currently structured, it relies on other forms of job growth for the biggest part of its compensation. This puts a tremendous crimp in future growth aggregates, until the problem is resolved.

How does one convince central bankers to move towards the sanity of nominal targeting instead of the firefighter role of putting out innumerable fires? Perhaps the willingness of some politicians to assume firefighter roles doesn't help...http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/the-paranoid-style-of-ted-cruz/388391/?google_editors_picks=true

"...disruptive competitors only enter if they have the right to do so." (John Cochrane) As one commenter noted, wage competition is "allowed" at the lower end of the pay scale. Perhaps sticky educational costs are a factor! Another commenter reminded everyone that Medicare caps the number of medical residencies. http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2015/03/hospital-supply.html

A good rant against "bubbles": http://equitablegrowth.org/2015/03/24/rant-use-word-bubble-context-bond-market/

Perhaps blaming the construction problem on delayed infrastructure is a bit too convenient! http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/03/24/where-construction-continues-to-struggle-years-after-the-bust/?mod=blog_flyover

Great answer from Alex Tabarrok: https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-relationship-between-the-economics-blogosphere-and-academic-economics

Good to see this link - an important factor which doesn't always get the attention it deserves: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/03/24/the-long-distance-relationship-between-americans-and-jobs/?mod=WSJBlog

The first commissioned paper from Brookings based on a blog comment, or a story about Matthew Rognlie: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/19/meet-the-26-year-old-whos-taking-on-thomas-pikettys-ominous-warnings-about-inequality/
Noah Smith spells out the Rognlie contribution to the Piketty debate. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-03-27/piketty-s-three-big-mistakes-in-inequality-analysis

Some of that "data" sharing, long before the present day problem, was disregarded in the twentieth century as old wive's tales! http://www.aei.org/publication/data-silos-health-cares-silent-tragedy/

One way to think about the "return" to suburbs and exurbs is not so much the Great Recession in the rearview mirror making this possible, but the temporary lull in oil/gas prices which encouraged households to purchase new vehicles so as to continue their earlier transportation patterns. New community planning now would make the eventual shock much easier to withstand, once oil and gas prices once again begin to rise in earnest. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/03/26/recessions-ebb-fuels-a-slow-return-to-the-suburbs/?mod=WSJBlog

"...America's hospitals have become predatory monopolies. We have to break them before they break us." (Reiham Salam) http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/03/america_s_hospitals_our_system_lets_big_hospitals_charge_exorbitant_prices.html

Finland looks at some educational alternatives: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-03-26/finland-is-bored-with-school

Megan McArdle writes about "My Love-Hate Relationship with Gentrification"

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