Categories ▸ Economics
While looking again at the proposed changes to the ASA’s dues, I noticed that, under the new scheme, a few lucky duckies will pay nothing at all. How is this possible, you ask? Consider the table:
As you can see, for those sociologists lucky enough to earn between $125,000 and $125,998 per annum, the new system requires them to pay no dues at all. What a great deal!
Speaking of good deals, it’s worth comparing the generous terms of the new ASA dues structure to what’s currently on offer from the American Economic Association.
Lucien Karpik’s Valuing the Unique: The Economics of Singularities came out with Princeton University Press recently. From the book jacket:
Singularities are goods and services that cannot be studied by standard methods because they are multidimensional, incommensurable, and of uncertain quality. Examples include movies, novels, music, artwork, fine wine, lawyers, and doctors. Valuing the Unique provides a theoretical framework to explain this important class of products and markets that for so long have eluded neoclassical economics.
A useful bit of interactive data visualization for Emmanuel Saez’s time-series on historical trends in income growth and distribution in the United States. As you can see, between 1970 and 2008 people in the bottom 90 percent of the income distribution typically chose not to partake of annual increases in total income, presumably because of a tendency to prefer and thus self-select into lower-paying jobs, or possibly because of an innate dislike for the more complex mathematics (surrounding tax calculations, car payments, and budgeting generally) that is associated with earning more money.
Via Tyler Cowen comes a Michael Lewis thumbsucker about Ireland. Lewis is a great writer, but I do wonder whether he should have listened to his driver a bit less:
When I went looking for some Irish person to drive me around, the result was a fellow I will call Ian McRory (he asked me not to use his real name in this article), who is Irish, and a driver, but pretty clearly a lot of other things, too.
Via John Gruber, Horace Dediu looks at how poorly analysts fared when it came to predicting the size of the market for the iPad. Apple sold just shy of fifteen million iPads in 2010. (starting in April, when it launched.) Every pundit with any kind of audience underestimated how successful it would be, usually by a long ways. Moreover, Philip Elmer-DeWitt notes that professional analysts (employed by investment firms and so on) did much worse than “unaffiliated” analysts with blogs, even when it came to just the previous quarter:
Here’s a very nice Op-Ed from Viviana Zelizer on what (if I remember rightly) Michel Callon once described as the central question that animates her thinking in economic sociology: can one give money as a gift?
The key to the problem, early 20th-century gift-givers found, was to camouflage money inside a traditional gift. This took effort and it had nothing to do with efficiency, but it enabled people to elevate the gift of cash.
DragonDictate for iPhone had better learn not to write “Martian” when I say “Marshallian”. Just saying.
It’s not often you see a case where the jokes literally write themselves.
Via Cosma Shalizi, reports of a very interesting piece of work: Prejudice and truth about the effect of testosterone on human bargaining behaviour, C. Eisenegger, M. Naef, R. Snozzi, M. Heinrichs & E. Fehr, Nature 463, 356-359 (21 January 2010). The abstract:
Both biosociological and psychological models, as well as animal research, suggest that testosterone has a key role in social interactions0^0^0^0^0^0^0^. Evidence from animal studies in rodents shows that testosterone causes aggressive behaviour towards conspecifics0^.
Some work of mine on presumed and informed consent for organ donation has been picked up by Catherine Rampell at the New York Times’ Economix blog. It’s a good summary of the paper. I’ve discussed this stuff before on CT, in the context of the possible introduction of a presumed consent rule in Britain.
A prompt from Dan Hirschman made me dig up this review essay on Donald MacKenzie’s An Engine, Not a Camera. A shorter version appeared ages ago on OrgTheory, and this version never quite got finished, but some people have found the discussion useful so here it is as a PDF.
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