Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Econlinks for 27-11-'07

  • Becker and respectively Posner, on tax evasion. Why is tax compliance higher than one would expect (with a reservation here: it also follows from Posner's argument than in fact tax evasion isn't necessarily lower than rationally expected...) and is that mainly due to the rational fear of punishment or to the taxpayers' feeling of moral duty/ fairness etc? For me Posner wins this argument (they do oppose each other on the essence herein, which after all rarely happens on the Becker-Posner blog...): it is much more the deterrence effect of the fear of punishment plus the costs associated with getting to know how to evade the taxes 'properly', than a feeling of moral duty or fairness, particularly when no other individual is directly involved; after all Posner's got the comparative advantage in this area and it is very very difficult to beat that...

  • From now on (until I'll exhaust all notable examples), I'll present within the 'econlinks' posts my favourite examples of 'markets in everything' from Tyler Cowen's recent book, "Discover Your Inner Economist"-- one of my best reads this year (that does not mean that its chapters cannot be ranked: there are very good and also not so good, parts). Check for instance some quotes from it previously taken over for my quote-of-the-week rubrique, here or here. For today about the drinking-and-dialing-problem and equally exotic market solutions to prevent it (and from a more personal perspective, I think there is scope for a drinking-and-emailing-problem resolution as well :-)).

We have all known people who make phone calls when they shouldn't, especially when they are drunk. A survey of 409 people by Virgin Mobile found that 95 percent had made drunk calls, mostly to ex-partners (30 percent), 19 percent to current partners, and 36 percent to others, including their bosses. Fifty-five percent of those people looked at their phones the next morning to see whom they had called-- similarly, someone is waking up in the world this minute and checking to see who it is he or she is sleeping with.
To alleviate the drinking-and-dialing problem, a phone company in Australia started offering customers blocked "blacklist" numbers, which they select before going out to drink. In Japan they sell a mobile phone with a breathanalyzer, to see if you are really fit to drive home, or for that matter to make a phone call. If a bus driver fails the test, his location is sent immediately to his boss by GPS.

  • And finally, I will be a millionaire (albeit in DK Kroner, but after all one has to start somewhere) for the next two years. I have been awarded (mange tak!) a prestigious (and generous, academe-wise) independent postdoctoral research grant of The Danish Social Science Research Council (Forskningsrådet for Samfund og Erhverv) for my project "Wages, Productivity and Firm Sizes in Imperfectly Competitive Markets", submitted for the grant applications' contest last August. So yes, you can congratulate me :-). And no, they won't let me buy Belgian beers for all that money. Though I guess that some top wine for research inspiration is allowed :-). Cheers!

17 comments:

Daniela said...

Complimenti, Sebissimo!!!!!!!!

Sebi Buhai said...

Grazie, bella! Next time a Brunello de Montalcino (you pick) on me :-)

Anonymous said...

Respect mastre! Fa-i praf! Nu banii, he he...

Nicu

Sebi Buhai said...

Domn Nicu, grantul nu e in contextul artelor martiale :-). Deci nimeni nu va face praf pe nimeni. Cel putin nu la propriu :-).

Nicole said...

Seb, nothing less than I expected. Enjoy the ride, as you used to tell me... And if you allow, I will call again :) N

Sebi Buhai said...

Wasn't I suppose to hear from you anyway, Nicole? :-)

Sebi Buhai said...

sorry: suppose should have been supposed...

Anonymous said...

ba de ma faci praf cu o duzina de lazi de bere io unu' nu ma supar chiar deloc..
Nicu

Sebi Buhai said...

Nu as vrea sa iti induc motivatia gresita, Nicule: cred ca e foarte probabil ca tu sa fii praf dupa juma' de lada de bere :-).

Nicole said...

Ok Seb, okok! I've got to admit it. You've earned it deserve it u'r da man, I owe you this one! :) And heyhey I learnt how to put links in comments ha hah! Just wait to see me start my own blog soon how about tht!! :) Should I make it wordpress or blogspot? Let me hear the expert :) Nico, at your service... :)

Anonymous said...

Felicitari, Sebi. Dai un vin fiert! mIRCEA {cel bATRIN}

Sebi Buhai said...

Wow. No, wait: WOW! Nico(le), I trust you're very serious now. Because I'll take you at a higher level :-): in a post, that is :-).

As for blogspot vs. wordpress, of course blogspot! I owe smth. to my hosts :-). Even better you should start your own domain, but I think it is best to start with a public one and see how you'll like it. And when will we delight in wisdoms from your new blog? I can't wait already!

Sebi Buhai said...

Batrane: deal! Si merci!

Anonymous said...

Hai maestre ca exagerezi: la ursoasa de-a noastra eu nu cad nici dupa 10 lazi! facem ramasag daca chiar crezi ca nu sun convingator sssssmileeyyyyyysssss
Nnicu

Sebi Buhai said...

Ok, my man. Daca tu poti sa le duci, no problem, cateva lazi vor fi :-). Dar retine: dupa fiecare 5 beri voi fi nevoit sa te testez. Nu de alta, dar vreau sa ma asigur ca esti inca okay. Vom incepe, evident, cu probleme de geometrie in spatiu :-).

Anonymous said...

I am the latecomer to the party but could not miss it.
CONGRATZ, El Professore!
MM.

Sebi Buhai said...

Gracias, MM. And a pack of M&Ms for you! :-)