Sunday, April 18, 2010

The funniest paper ever published in "American Economic Review"

In fact, only cliometricians (and their enemies) will laugh:
"Shatter and Filth (1975) consider "what if Fogel had never written his article" and projected that economic historians would have turned to cocaine use instead of counterfactuals."

"The new economic geography, now middle-aged" by Krugman

Krugman's talk at the Association of American Geographers. (It happened two days ago. Oh boy, I do love the internet). Highly interesting, especially when he argues that NEG is still useful to understand contemporary issues:
"... new economic geography has a kind of steampunk feel, so that the stories it tells seem more suited to the U.S. economy of 1900 than that of 2010. Well, China is an economic powerhouse, but it’s still quite poor; .., China today appears to have roughly the same level of per capita GDP as the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.
And guess what? Chinese economic geography is highly reminiscent of the economic geography of advanced nations circa 1900 – and it fits gratifyingly well into the new economic geography framework."
(Via Brad Delong)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hydraulic Keynesianism

The Philips' machine (yes, himself ) at work. Amazing!

The Future of Regional Economics

A special issue of the Journal of Regional Science. Everybody is there: Duranton, Overman, Puga, Glaeser, Storper, Thisse...
I haven't read the papers, but the best title is: " The data avalanche is here: shouldn't we be digging?".
(HT Bruno Cruz)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Red Water Ordeal

Nathan Nunn on the many ways to produce slaves in Guinea-Bissau
The chief of the Cassanga used the “red water ordeal” to procure slaves and their possessions. Those accused of a crime were forced to drink a poisonous red liquid. If they vomited, then they were judged to be guilty. If they did not vomit, they were deemed not guilty. However, for those that did not vomit this usually brought death by poisoning. Their possessions were then seized and their family members were sold into slavery.
"The Long Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trade" Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 123, No. 1, February 2008, pp. 139-176.