Thursday, April 28, 2011

My whereabouts

After a thought-provoking lecture yesterday by Daron Acemoglu on "Why Nations Fail" at Kellogg (if/when the previous link is replaced, you should be able to find the information on Acemoglu's lecture here)*, I am soon off to Vancouver, attending/presenting at the 2011 Society of Labor Economists (SOLE) meeting. Looking forward to the usually interesting SOLE conference, and to what I am being told should be a great city!

* I also attended Al Roth's excellent talk on "Market Design" a year ago, part of the same impressive Nancy Schwartz Memorial Lecture series; the more recent ones are all available in video format on the site; do not miss them!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Econlinks: The Dale T. Mortensen Nobel edition

Monday, April 18, 2011

2011 San Pellegrino world top restaurant ranking

See here the top 1-50. And I am proud to note that I have tried by now 4 places in the 2011 world top 12, namely:
  • Noma (1): been there twice already, see here impressions (and some pictures) from the first time, the second was a lunch in October last year-- still have to get hold of those pictures online somewhere. Vale?
  • Alinea (6): been there exactly a month ago, details yet to come.
  • Per Se (10): visited for lunch during a brief but intense visit to NYC in November 2010, promised I would write impressions soon. I liked it more than Alinea, for starters...
  • Les Créations de Narisawa (12): end 2009, there is a whole saga behind this. This is also the one place that I believe still has a lot of growing chances. Can only go up in the world rankings, looking forward to seeing that materialize.
Remark as well that Noma, Alinea and Narisawa are respectively the 2011 top restaurants on the three continents I know (to a little extent) so far. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Romanian article of the week: Dan Tapalaga with "Best of Boc, Blaga, Paleologu"

This blogpost is only for those who can read Romanian (and ultimately really regards only those still interested  in the political life, in particular concerned with various elections, in Romania-- who are less and less every day, including here the Romanians themselves; a by-product of the article linked below is in fact providing a rationale to explain that trend).

Asadar, un articol excelent al lui Dan Tapalaga; as zice probabil cel mai bun din tot ce am citit scris de el in ultima vreme. Nu necesita alte comentarii.

PS. Disclaimer: am o parere in genere destul de buna (uneori chiar prea pozitiva) despre Toader Paleologu, pe care il stiu personal pana la un punct (e.g., vezi aici sau aici-- istoria de la ultimul link fiind probabil rezumata prin "[] I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship"), doar ca omul nu intelege ca avantajul sau comparativ e in diplomatie, nu in politica autohtona (eventual la Ministerul de Externe... dar nu a fost si nu este momentul pentru asta nici acum; de fapt si acolo realizez ca am exagerat, exista mult mai multe incertitudini care trebuie rezolvate-- the unknown unknowns...-- decat ambitia personala). Si cine sa ii spuna asta, daca nu cei cu intentii bune, care inteleg ce este acela un avantaj comparativ?... Mais, à bon entendeur, salut!

Friday, April 08, 2011

US Government shutdown menorah

...and some of us were worried about Portugal...

At midnight, if the President and Congress have not reached an agreement on funding measures, the U.S. government will shutdown, referred to as a funding gap, until an agreement is reached to either extend a temporary funding measure or a final budget deal is made.

[...] The last time a funding gap took place was in 1995-1996 when the government experienced a 21 day shutdown.

Oh well, some, like Stephen Colbert, can see the positive side of all this: extinguishing one more candle on their government shutdown menorah (and... wishing for a pony).

Monday, April 04, 2011

Econlinks: The applied maths edition

Friday, April 01, 2011

Best LEED for developing countries

Word goes that Portugal is likely to soon join the category of developing countries (as you might have heard). However, before you start sobbing, consider this: not all is doom. In fact, this could well be heaven for economists working with the famous Quadros de Pessoal longitudinal "linked employer-employee data" (LEED), and, eventually-- as I will try to convince you-- it would materialize in tremendous success in improving the state of the whole world. Bear with me.

Firstly, these researchers working with Portuguese LEED would then be able to sell their papers also as research in development economics (I am already working on convincing my co-author Miguel to place "economic development" as keyword in our couple of projects using that data). And you tell me if any other developing country can come up with data that beats Quadros de Pessoal! More importantly, just imagine not having to worry any longer about sample sizes, representative samples, non-response, measurement errors-- issues that typically plague development economics research; imagine how much more could be uncovered about the economies of developing countries, imagine the giant leap in the research progress on development, imagine finding solutions to all developing world problems, imagine all the virtuous circle! Isn't Portugal's sacrifice then just a very kind gesture to humankind?

-Inspired by Tiago, the most enterprising  Econ PhD student at Northwestern-