Monday, October 20, 2008

The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics ONLINE

...highly recommended for anybody interested in Economics, with or without much formal background in this science.

Start, for instance, with an excellent short exposition of "the Economics of Communism", by Bryan Caplan (recall him as the author of this book you should in no way miss).

PS. "Concise" is really the key word in the title. In other words these authors truly practice what they typically preach as economists, showing perfect understanding of the opportunity cost of time :-).

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

And the winner is...

... Paul Krugman, "for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity"! One of the younger/est Econ Nobel prize winners (perhaps second youngest after Ken Arrow). The official announcement. Definitely deserved, though I would have thought he'd get the prize somewhat later and perhaps not alone. The political context clearly favoured him this year (always utterly opposed to the Bush administration(s) and to the Republicans in general :-)).

PS. Got my prediction wrong, but so did Thomson Reuters and a lot of other betting agencies :-).

Econ Nobel '08: My prediction

Some two hours before they should officially announce it, here's my prediction for this year's Economics Nobel:
The 2008 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel goes to Oliver Hart, Bengt Holmstrom and Oliver Williamson for their contributions to the theory of the firm.

Now, this is not very original, since I predicted the same, obviously without success, last year :-). Let's see. It's either this or the macro side (Barro et al). Finance rather unlikely this year (Fama, French etc), though obviously deserved in the very near future.

PS. Steven Levitt seems to have spotted a proxy for who (among potential candidates) thinks will get the Economics Nobel, i.e. people who get a haircut shortly before the announcement :-).

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Business syphilis after credit orgy

... or just Stephen Colbert and his Formidable Opponent getting drunk on Dr. Pepper ... "It was a steaming pile of hot slapping assets", indeed :-).

This and Jon Stewart's Loan interview with Paulson and Bernanke are the best depictions of the 'financial mess & bailout' so far :-).

Friday, October 03, 2008

Nobel(s) '08

Far more important than the forthcoming US Presidential Election is the awarding of the Nobel titles this year. The official Nobel prizes will be awarded starting next Monday (see the schedule). As usually this blog's author is mostly (though not exclusively, eg. I've always followed the Physics prizes, too) interested in the Economics prize, which is to be awarded last, on Monday, October 13; my prediction should appear here at least a day before -- and no, unfortunately I don't get any private signals... :-). Meanwhile, see also the Thompson Reuters predictions (alternatives) for the Economics (and not only) 2008 winners.

On the wackier side of science, an Economist already won a "Nobel" this year. Namely, Dan Ariely just won the IG Nobel for Medicine: "the prize for medicine goes to the enterprising economist who found that expensive fake pills work better than cheap [fake] ones". At the same time, the IG Nobel for Economics was won by three evolutionary psychologists (ironically...), Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tyber, and Brent Jordan, "for discovering that exotic dancers earn more when at peak fertility" (more here). See the list of all Nobel IG prizes this year; 'official site' here. And here's an article about the recent winners (via Greg Mankiw).

Global Electoral College on the US Presidentials

We know already what the general outcome would be, given Obama's popularity outside USA, but still, interesting initiative from The Economist. Can you guess which country will have the highest proportion of Blue votes; France looks like a strong candidate, as of now. (The reverse question is much more interesting).

PS. Obviously one needs to take into account all kinds of selection and measurement issues, but let us ignore those for the moment and assume, e.g., that readers of The Economist are a random sample of the population of each of those countries :-)...