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2018-01-21T16:19:32.917Z
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Limits to Confidentiality: As UC employees, all course instructors and tutors are Responsible Employees and that we are required to report incidents of sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by university policy to the Title IX officer. We cannot keep reports of sexual harassment or sexual violence confidential from the Title IX officer, but the Title IX officer will consider requests for confidentiality. There are confidential resources available to you, including the CARE Advocate Office (http://sa.berkeley.edu/dean/confidential-care-advocate), which serves survivors of sexual violence and sexual harassment. Here at U.C. Berkeley the Title IX officer currently is: Denise Oldham 510-643-7985 dwoldham@berkeley.edu
Amici Curiae in Janus v. AFSCME: No. 16-1466 :: In the Supreme Court of the United States :: MARK JANUS, Petitioner, v. AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 31, ET AL., Respondents. On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: Henry J. Aaron, Katharine G. Abraham, Daron Acemoglu, David Autor, Ian Ayres, Alan S. Blinder, David Card, Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Angus Stewart Deaton, Bradford DeLong, John J. Donohue III, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Henry S. Farber, Robert H. Frank, Richard B. Freeman, Claudia Goldin, Robert J. Gordon, Oliver Hart, David A. Hoffman, Lawrence F. Katz, Thomas A. Kochan, Alan Krueger, David Lewin, Ray Marshall, Alexandre Mas, Eric S. Maskin, Alison D. Morantz, J.J. Prescott, Jesse Rothstein, Cecilia Elena Rouse, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Stewart J. Schwab, J.H. Verkerke, Paula B. Voos, David Weil: BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE ECONOMISTS AND PROFESSORS OF LAW AND ECONOMICS IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS: INTRODUCTION: Amici curiae are leading economists, including three Nobel laureates, along with distinguished professors of law and economics, who submit this brief to discuss the free-rider problem this Court identified in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977).1 In Abood, the Court declined to interfere with legislative decisions that collecting fees from employees who are covered by union agreements, but are not union members, helps “distribute fairly” the costs of union representation “among those who benefit.” Id....
2018 on bCourses: https://bcourses.berkeley.edu/courses/1469149 Brad DeLong's Office Hours: Th 10-12 Blum Hall 200G, and by appointment: send email to: delong@econ.berkeley.edu Course Meeting: Tuesday @ 4 PM in Evans Hall 639 Topics (Preliminary): Jan 16: Organizational Jan 23: Robert Allen: Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction Jan 30: Joel Mokyr: A Culture of Growth Feb 6: Barry Eichengreen: Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses and Misuses of History Feb 13: Robert Allen: The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective Feb 20: Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson: Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality since 1700 Feb 27: Lawrence Katz and Claudia Goldin: The Race Between Education and Technology Mar 6: Robert Gordon: The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War Mar 13: Peter Temin: The Roman Market Economy Mar 20: Sven Beckert: Empire of Cotton: A Global History Apr 3: Ian Morris: Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future Apr 10: Richard Baldwin: The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization Apr 17: Presentations Apr 24: Presentations Requirements: http://delong.typepad.com/teaching_economics/great-books-course-requirements.html: This course aims to provide students with an introduction to interesting current debates in economic history by studying a curated list of recent books in the field. We will undertake a critical reading of these books, focusing on both their strengths and weaknesses, while paying attention to the context—both historical and...
Must-Reads: Michael J. Boskin: Another Look at Tax Reform and Economic Growth: "Barro and I have clearly come to a different conclusion than Summers and Furman have about the bill... Ezra Klein: Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” is a damning portrait of an unfit president: "It would be easy enough for Trump to run a presidency that left him better-liked... Paul Krugman Notes on Farrell and Quiggin: "I’m not sure how many readers will realize the extent to which anti-Keynesian economic arguments, as opposed to those that Keynesians made, were invented on the fly... Matthew Yglesias: Trump’s North Korea tweet was based on a cable news segment: "Matt Gertz... undertaking the valuable investigative work of figuring out which Fox News segment had set Trump off... Jonathan Kirshner (January 15, 2017): America, America: "Consider what it took in Germany to bring about a Hitler... Paul Krugman: The Gambler’s Ruin of Small Cities: "Once... towns and small cities... served as central places serving a mainly rural population engaged in agriculture and other natural resource-based activities... Highlighted: AAAAIIIIYYYYEEEE!!!!: Monday Smackdown—BitCoin Edition Determining Bargaining Power in the Platform Economy: Reinvent Full Transcript Why Low Inflation Is No Surprise: Fresh at Project Syndicate Across the Wide Missouri: MHO, the most interesting thing about the SALT provisions in tax "reform" is who this one element of base-broadening is aimed at: squarely at those who used to...
Some people wish me ill. They keep emailing me things from John Cochrane. I wish they wouldn't. Or I wish I would develop some self-control. This is not making me happy: First, let me set forth an intelligent, rational, measured assessment of BitCoin, made by somebody who was never a tenured finance economist at the University of Chicago: Glenn Loury 2.0: @justabloodygame on Twitter: "Seriously, I read stories about people mortgaging their homes to buy Bitcoin and I want to rip my hair out..." We can then compare this with the irrational word salad of John Cochrane. To the extent that there is an argument, it goes like this: BitCoin is not a "bubble". It is not a mania of irrational crowds. It is, rather, "a fairly pure instance of a regularly occurring phenomenon in financial markets.... What's going on with Bitcoin... [is] a perfectly 'normal' phenomenon.... Such price surges only happen with restricted supply, and accompany price volatility, large trading volume, and short holding periods... [rather than the] madness of crowds..." At and after some future moment BitCoin will be worthless. But before that moment there will be a peak fundamental demand for BitCoin for money laundering and ransom payment. At that moment of peak fundamental demand, the value of BitCoin will be high—after all, you cannot short it. Before that moment, there is money to be made by going long, whenever you have private information that future peak fundamental demand will...
Tim Carmody: The People’s History of Tattooine: "The Tusken People. 'Raiders' presumes some malevolent intent. They are trying to preserve the desert habitat and Luke wants to race through it in his speeder. The Tusken are just trying to keep parts of Tatooine wild and undeveloped by heavy industry..."
Reinvent: Determining Bargaining Power in the Platform Economy: Our political system has been hacked by time, circumstance, chaos, and disaster... ...The failings of the electoral college, the fact that small states hacked the constitution in 1787, so we now have a world in which the minority in the Senate represents 175 million people, while the majority represents 145 million people, and the gerrymandering after the 2010 census are primary examples of this dysfunction. Fixes for the economy?: A 4 percent inflation target from the Federal Reserve, Incentivizing businesses to invest in workers, Reinvigorating the idea that technology should be used to augment workers, not replace them. The possibilities for positive human flourishing from the platform economy are immense, provided the platforms actually work. Uber’s investors are currently paying 40 percent of Uber’s costs. What happens when these investors start wanting their money back? The platform economy moves bargaining power away from the service providers and from the customers, and into the hands of the platforms. This is a problem for both consumers and independent workers. What bargaining power workers will have will be correlated to the time and resources devoted to training them: when you walk, you disrupt a general production value chain, and it is expensive to figure out how to replace you, even if there’s someone else who certainly could do the job just as well. But if it is not very expensive, you have little power. Nevertheless, here in California...
Project Syndicate: Why Low Inflation Is No Surprise by J. Bradford DeLong: BERKELEY – The fact that inflation has remained stubbornly low across the global North has come as a surprise to many economic observers. In September, the always sharp and thoughtful Nouriel Roubini of New York University attributed this trend to positive shocks to aggregate supply.... In my view, interpreting today’s low inflation as a symptom of temporary supply-side shocks will most likely prove to be a mistake. This diagnosis seems to misread the historical evidence from the period between the early 1970s and the late 1990s... Read MOAR at Project Syndicate
Yes, this feature was dropped on the floor during chaotic December. Why do you ask? But it is now time to pick up the slack: Worth Highlighting at Grasping Reality: Six Tax "Reform"-Related Appeals to Various People to Do Their Jobs for Their Country's Sake—and Even, in the Long Run, Their Selves' Sake Tax Foundation Score of the Tax "Reform" Conference Report Deer in the Headlights? An Appeal to the Republican-Supporting Plutocrats of America An Appeal to the Republican-Leaning Entrepreneurial, Enterprising, and Lucky White Christian Upper Middle Class of America An Appeal to the Kansas Congressional Delegation: Jerry Moran, Pat Roberts, Roger Marshall, Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder, and Ron Estes Robert Barro here is neither "serious" nor "careful". He is, instead, delivering a piece that nails the 0.3% per year growth boost that the Republican political spinmasters have settled on as the talking point... Hoisted from the Archives: Night Thoughts on Dynamic Scoring Monday Smackdown: Treasury Document Translation: Steve Mnuchin Is Not a Professional Treasury Secretary. He and His Personal Staff Are Grifters Do Not Expect too Much from Individual Senators How to Be an Unprofessional Republican Economist in Four Easy Steps... Dan Alpert, et al: Sales Factor Apportionment and International Taxation (Early) Monday Smackdown: Tax Reform Intellectual Garbage Cleanup Edition
Project Syndicate: America’s Broken Political System: From an Olympian perspective, the "tax reform" bill is not the biggest of deals. It is medium-sized news. The big news is elsewhere—but related. First, the medium-sized news: The “tax reform” bill, if it should pass, would most likely reduce the federal government's resources by about 1%-point of national income. It would most likely transfer those resources to the top 1%—raising the top 1% share of income from 22% to 23%, and even those gains would be concentrated, with the top 0.01% share of income most likely going from 5.1% to 5.5%. It would most likely do nothing to speed economic growth. But it would not be likely to do anything material to slow economic growth either. It would complicate the tax system by opening many loopholes—if it passes, I would not expect to ever understand my own taxes again. It would be another brick, not a huge brick but a medium sized brick, in the wall that American plutocracy is constructing to enrich and entrench itself. But now, second, the big news: The Anglo-Saxon model of representative government is in deep trouble. For four hundred years there was a very strong case that the republican semi-principality of the Netherlands, the constitutional monarchy of Great Britain, and the constitutional republic of the United States of America had managed to hit the sweet spot with respect to liberty, security, and prosperity. Countries...
Reinvent: Determining Bargaining Power in the Platform Economy: Our political system has been hacked by time, circumstance, chaos, and disaster... ...The failings of the electoral college, the fact that small states hacked the constitution in 1787, so we now have a world in which the minority in the Senate represents 175 million people, while the majority represents 145 million people, and the gerrymandering after the 2010 census are primary examples of this dysfunction. Fixes for the economy?: A 4 percent inflation target from the Federal Reserve, * Incentivizing businesses to invest in workers, Reinvigorating the idea that technology should be used to augment workers, not replace them. The possibilities for positive human flourishing from the platform economy are immense, provided the platforms actually work. Uber’s investors are currently paying 40 percent of Uber’s costs. What happens when these investors start wanting their money back? The platform economy moves bargaining power away from the service providers and from the customers, and into the hands of the platforms. This is a problem for both consumers and independent workers. What bargaining power workers will have will be correlated to the time and resources devoted to training them: when you walk, you disrupt a general production value chain, and it is expensive to figure out how to replace you, even if there’s someone else who certainly could do the job just as well. But if it is not very expensive, you have little power. Nevertheless, here...
Ken Murphy asked me for three books for 2017. Mine are: Amy Goldstein: Janesville: An American Story, Jean Tirole: Economics for the Common Good, and James Kwak: Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality: Amy Goldstein: Janesville: An American Story (9781501102233): The best of the very large and very uneven crop of ground-level books attempting to explain why those parts of America that are treading water or losing ground have been unable to adapt to changing technology and organization in the global economy... Jean Tirole: Economics for the Common Good (9780691175164): A very wise book on what high-quality economics is and is not, from the guy who was truly the smartest guy in the room back when I spent a year as a young lecturer in the MIT economics department... James Kwak: Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality (9781101871195): How a very large part of the economics profession has failed to get the true message of economics through its own biases and the political and ideological filters... Amy Goldstein: Janesville: An American Story (9781501102233): This is the best of the very large and very uneven crop of ground-level books attempting to explain why those parts of America that are treading water or losing ground have been unable to adapt to changing technology and organization...
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benét: John Brown's Body I: INVOCATION American muse, whose strong and diverse heart So many men have tried to understand But only made it smaller with their art, Because you are as various as your land, As mountainous-deep, as flowered with blue rivers, Thirsty with deserts, buried under snows, As native as the shape of Navajo quivers, And native, too, as the sea-voyaged rose. Swift runner, never captured or subdued, Seven-branched elk beside the mountain stream, That half a hundred hunters have pursued But never matched their bullets with the dream, Where the great huntsmen failed, I set my sorry And mortal snare for your immortal quarry. You are the buffalo-ghost, the broncho-ghost With dollar-silver in your saddle-horn, The cowboys riding in from Painted Post, The Indian arrow in the Indian corn, And you are the clipped velvet of the lawns Where Shropshire grows from Massachusetts sods, The grey Maine rocks--and the war-painted dawns That break above the Garden of the Gods. The prairie-schooners crawling toward the ore And the cheap car, parked by the station-door. Where the skyscrapers lift their foggy plumes Of stranded smoke out of a stony mouth You are that high stone and its arrogant fumes, And you are ruined gardens in the South And bleak New England farms, so winter-white Even their roofs look lonely, and the deep The middle grainland where the wind of night Is like all blind...
Weekend Reading: From Sidney Blumenthal: Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln: "In 1836, the legislature granted a charter for a railroad running from Galena in the northwest corner to the southernmost tip of Illinois at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers... ...The company that got the charter was the partnership of Darius B. Holbrook, a Boston investor, and Sidney Breese, then a district court judge. Holbrook purchased the land that would be the southern terminus to be called Cairo, and the company was called the Cairo City and Canal Company. But when the Panic of 1837 struck and its whirlwind destroyed the London bond house financing the scheme, it collapsed. Breese was elected U.S. senator in 1842, became chairman of the Committee on Public Lands, and sought a federal charter for a land grant to a new company based on the old one, called the Great Western Railway, of which he and Holbrook remained the partners. The bill passed the Senate, but failed in the House, where it was undercut by Douglas, who thought it was a confidence game to jack up the value of the virtually worthless tract at Cairo to make a windfall profit for Breese. After Douglas’s election to the Senate, he battled Breese for two years over their competing proposals. Finally, Douglas succeeded in ousting Breese from the Senate by securing...
Hoisted from the Archives: Karl Polanyi, Classical Liberalism, and the Varieties of "Neoliberalism": Virtual Office Hours from Espresso Roma CCXXVI: July 25, 2014: Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation is certainly the right place to start in thinking about "neoliberalism" and its global spread. But you are right to notice and do need to keep thinking that Polanyi is talking about pre-World War II classical liberalism, and that modern post-1980 neoliberalism is somewhat different. First, as I, at least, see it, there are three strands of thought that together make up the current of ideas and policies that people call "neoliberalism": The revived and restored classical liberals, via the Mont Pelerin society and so forth—-and they do indeed have an attachment to the gold standard. The Milton Friedman neoliberals—-who believe that the gold standard was a disaster and the government needed to guarantee full employment (and low inflation) via activist monetary policy. But, they go on, attempts by the government to do more than simply maintain full employment and price stability would inevitably come to grief. Government policies would be turned to enrich the politically powerful rather than to enhance social welfare, and so almost always do more harm than good. (Why he thought that activist monetary policy was different—-why...
An appeal to Republican economists should do their job, and not be deer in the headlights An appeal to Republicans to regain contact with Blue America An appeal to economists to recognize that political pressure makes "dynamic" estimates lose the bias-variance tradeoff via "static" estimates: Hoisted from the Archives: Night Thoughts on Dynamic Scoring An appeal to Republican economists should do their job, and not be deer in the headlights An appeal to Republicans to regain contact with Blue America An appeal to economists to recognize that political pressure makes "dynamic" estimates lose the bias-variance tradeoff via "static" estimates: Hoisted from the Archives: Night Thoughts on Dynamic Scoring
Comment of the Day: JEC: An Appeal to the Republican-Supporting Plutocrats of America: "I've written more about this in my own space, but the short version is: 'Would somebody please remind the plutocrats that they are not the kleptocrats' natural allies; they are the kleptocrats' natural prey?'... ...Kleptocrats enrich themselves by expropriating plutocrats. Why folks like the Kochs and the Mercers imagine that a Putin-style strongman would permit them to keep their money continues to mystify me. But I suppose that Wilhelmine aristocrats imagined that Hitler would save them from the evils of Bolshevism, so perhaps illusory hope is what plutocracy is made of.
Weekend Reading: Richard Thaler: Behavioral Economics/a>: "Exactly 100 years ago, the JPE was poised to be at the forefront of the field that would eventually come to be called behavioral economics... ...[but] the subsequent editors of the JPE did not take up [Clark's] call to arms. Behavioral economics papers have made only scattered appearances in the journal in the subsequent century.... The editors gave us a limited amount of space for these essays, but that has not proved to be a major problem for the topic to which I was assigned. I cannot say for sure whether the small number of behavioral economics papers published in the JPE was a shortage of supply or demand, but there are entire branches of behavioral economics that have not made (much of) an appearance.... It will be a shame if the JPE does not include more behavioral research in its pages. I suggest the editors all read that paper by John Maurice Clark... Full essay: Weekend Reading: Richard Thaler: Behavioral Economics/a>: "Exactly 100 years ago, the JPE was poised to be at the forefront of the field that would eventually come to be called behavioral economics... ...John Maurice Clark, a JPE editor, University of Chicago faculty member, and son of John Bates Clark, authored the lead article of the January 1918 issue titled “Economics and Modern Psychology: I.” (Part II appeared in the next issue.) His message was a simple one: “The economist may...
OK. It appears likely that you will “win” this round. It appears more likely than not that the tax “reform“ bill will pass, and thus that you will redistribute an extra 0.5 percent of national income from the bottom 90% to your 0.1%-0.01%—depending on how exclusively you define yourselves—selves. That will move your share of America’s resources devoted to satisfying your desires up to 5-10%, from a baseline of back in the 1970s of 1.5-3%. Nearly all of your children will be fellow plutocrats. Many of your grandchildren will be plutocrats. But odds are more than half of your great grandchildren will not. Since, as far as your needs and desires are concerned, your money is simply a way of keeping score, shouldn’t you be focusing more of your energy and attention on making a better America for those of your great grandchildren who will not be plutocrats to live it? Yes. And you are doing a very lousy job of that. Moreover, you are also doing a profoundly lousy job at creating America in which your grandchildren those of your great grandchildren who will be plutocrats will be secure. Respect for the rule of law and confidence that the distribution of property is not grossly unfair and grossly rigged are essential protective supports for wealth. In their absence, the only protection for wealth is political influence. And political influence is always evanescent. In the America the politicians you support are building,...