Sunday, January 20, 2008

Econlinks for 20-01-'08

  • I made a mistake last time when I mentioned Gelman and Cai's recent research on whether the US political parties would gain from shifting their position on the economic axis, focusing on the Kerry vs. Bush former election. In the paper they did have more electoral dimensions (they analysed the case with one, two and three dimensions), which makes it very very interesting, so my comment concerning analysis done on solely the economic dimension was not very sound :-). But see below the most interesting parts, from my point of view, of that study. Self-explanatory. I think they both confirm and complement one of the 5 myths of ballot-box behavior in Bryan Caplan's recent short article, which I mentioned here.

"Democrat's views of Bush's position on social issues is negatively predicted by self-perceptions on economic issues, with self-perception on social issues not coming into the equation at all. In contrast, Democrats' views of Kerry's positions on social issues are entirely predicted by self-perceptions on social issues. Now we look at the coefficients for Republican respondents: to predict their views of Bush's position on social issues, only their self-perception on social issues is relevant, but when predicting Kerry's position on social issues, only their self-perception on economics is relevant. To summarize: voters appear to characterize their own party's nominee's positions in a way consistent with their self-perception on each issue dimension. But their views of the other party's nominee, in both dimensions, is predicted (with a negative coefficient) solely based on self-perception of economics"


"We also see that the coefficients for idelogical distance are greater for Democrats than for Republicans, which is consistent with the idea that Democrats are more diverse in their political preferences (so that conservative Democrats are more likely to vote for Bush than liberal Republicans were to vote for Kerry)."

  • Read Brian Snowdon's excellent interview with Oded Galor, the artisan of the unified theory of economic growth. This (very informative!) article takes you very briefly through Galor's research in this context; for the details you should start reading his many papers in the area (taking into account that Oded Galor comes up with two-three new papers before you finish reading one of his older ones :-)).

  • Harford, Rodrik and Cowen discuss further--- here's the whole summary of that by Tyler Cowen on MR-- on what do we owe the losers from free trade, with the initial article by Landsburg (which I mentioned as last bullet point here). I think Cowen concludes this nicely with "Tax the pollution, not the trade".

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