Suppose three children—Anne, Bob, and Carla—quarrel over a flute. Anne says it's hers because she's the only one who knows how to play it. Bob counters that he's the poorest and has no toys, so the flute would at least give him something to play with. Carla reminds Anne and Bob that she built the darn thing, and no sooner did she finish it than the other two started trying to take it away.Who should get the flute? Tough, isn't it? I guess that I am going to stick with Economic History and Regional Economics.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Law is hard. Amartya Sen poses the dilemma:
I do not agree with Ha Joon Chang's (conspiracy) theory on the relationship between protectionism and development. But now he got it right: culture does not precule long term development.
HT Brad Delong.
HT Brad Delong.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Hans-Joachim Voth and Jonathan Hersh estimate that the introduction of coffee and sugar led to a 10% increase in welfare. They say that the stagnant wages before 1800 is a distortion caused by the exclusion of these goods from price indexes. Their method of estimation seems very interesting. Two phrases:
"Half of all spending was on beer and bread, and fully three-quarters of all calories came from these two sources alone."
"The reason why seemingly mundane goods like sugar, coffee and tea made a big difference to living standards is that life was not just “nasty, brutish, and short” at their time of introduction – it was also (in culinary terms) grey, boring, and bland."