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  • techno-determinism « Liam McHugh-Russell
    any attempt to manage their social consequences at all Tackling these claims to disruption democratic potential and to brand new never before seen processes can get pretty tiring Jill Lepore at The New Yorker has done a pretty devestating take down of the disruption discourse attacking head on the idea that economic change proceeds in big leaps rather than incremental steps Peter Frase at Jacobin points out that those most committed to disruption get cold feet when the disruptions aren t derived from a tech enabled business model Evgeny Morozov has made his career skewering those with a growing religious faith that more tech means everything is better for everyone and if he can be accused of throwing out the baby with the bathwater part of the reason is that there is just so so much dirty bathwater There are lots of reasons to be happy about increased access to certain financial services Bringing down the prices of life insurance and small business loans could put them within the reach of people who didn t otherwise have access to them That could make their lives better Al Erian may be right that technological change will reduce the cost of financial intermediation while providing for fairer risk pooling outcomes and better credit underwriting But here s the thing cell phones are now within the reach of almost everyone and it hasn t made society more democratic Buzzfeed may have displaced community newspapers but I can t see how that makes things more democratic The last 40 years of financial innovation brought us near unprecedented levels of wealth inequality and the largest economic crisis since the 1930s Why would anyone believe that the next 40 years of financial innovation are going to automatically create a utopia of equal democratic citizenship How can

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/techno-determinism/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Once more the refrain: Inequality is bad for growth « Liam McHugh-Russell
    there is the usual normative broadside of why do we care about growth but I also have a methodological concern I ve alluded to elsewhere As two of the authors Berg and Ostry make clear in a summary of the equality dimensions of this research t he immediate role for policy however is less clear More inequality may shorten the duration of growth but poorly designed efforts to reduce inequality could be counterproductive Such ambiguity fits perfectly with their actual data so often a repository of key information missed by linear regression high inequality countries may not be able to sustain growth but having relatively low inequality only makes sustained growth possible not assured What should be obvious is that the ability of more or less income equality to translate into growth has to do not only with national trade law or the frequency of elections or the independence of the central bank It also has to do with institutions Strictly speaking Berg and Ostry s study like much of the related literature from recent years do not ignore institutions or not exactly Somewhere in the background Berg and Ostry know that institutional structures are at play Their discussion of distorted incentives in Chinese farming policy makes this clear they totally ignore the qualitative structure of institutions But by referencing the quality of economic and political institutions they seem to suggest that the role of institutions can be reduced to a single numerical dimension Good institutions give people incentives to work or to save or to create jobs or to invest in human capital or in new technology bad incentives keep people lazy and greedy Anyone who has had to wrestle with actual on the ground policy making though knows that those incentives don t always line up and understanding

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/2012/10/25/once-more-the-refrain-inequality-is-bad-for-growth/ (2016-05-01)
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  • development « Liam McHugh-Russell
    game On the other hand there is a problem with this entire kind of analysis Sure there is the usual normative broadside of why do we care about growth but I also have a methodological concern I ve alluded to elsewhere As two of the authors Berg and Ostry make clear in a summary of the equality dimensions of this research t he immediate role for policy however is less clear More inequality may shorten the duration of growth but poorly designed efforts to reduce inequality could be counterproductive Such ambiguity fits perfectly with their actual data so often a repository of key information missed by linear regression high inequality countries may not be able to sustain growth but having relatively low inequality only makes sustained growth possible not assured What should be obvious is that the ability of more or less income equality to translate into growth has to do not only with national trade law or the frequency of elections or the independence of the central bank It also has to do with institutions Strictly speaking Berg and Ostry s study like much of the related literature from recent years do not ignore institutions or not exactly Somewhere in the background Berg and Ostry know that institutional structures are at play Their discussion of distorted incentives in Chinese farming policy makes this clear they totally ignore the qualitative structure of institutions But by referencing the quality of economic and political institutions they seem to suggest that the role of institutions can be reduced to a single numerical dimension Good institutions give people incentives to work or to save or to create jobs or to invest in human capital or in new technology bad incentives keep people lazy and greedy Anyone who has had to wrestle with actual on

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/development/ (2016-05-01)
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  • equality « Liam McHugh-Russell
    game On the other hand there is a problem with this entire kind of analysis Sure there is the usual normative broadside of why do we care about growth but I also have a methodological concern I ve alluded to elsewhere As two of the authors Berg and Ostry make clear in a summary of the equality dimensions of this research t he immediate role for policy however is less clear More inequality may shorten the duration of growth but poorly designed efforts to reduce inequality could be counterproductive Such ambiguity fits perfectly with their actual data so often a repository of key information missed by linear regression high inequality countries may not be able to sustain growth but having relatively low inequality only makes sustained growth possible not assured What should be obvious is that the ability of more or less income equality to translate into growth has to do not only with national trade law or the frequency of elections or the independence of the central bank It also has to do with institutions Strictly speaking Berg and Ostry s study like much of the related literature from recent years do not ignore institutions or not exactly Somewhere in the background Berg and Ostry know that institutional structures are at play Their discussion of distorted incentives in Chinese farming policy makes this clear they totally ignore the qualitative structure of institutions But by referencing the quality of economic and political institutions they seem to suggest that the role of institutions can be reduced to a single numerical dimension Good institutions give people incentives to work or to save or to create jobs or to invest in human capital or in new technology bad incentives keep people lazy and greedy Anyone who has had to wrestle with actual on

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/equality/ (2016-05-01)
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  • growth « Liam McHugh-Russell
    game On the other hand there is a problem with this entire kind of analysis Sure there is the usual normative broadside of why do we care about growth but I also have a methodological concern I ve alluded to elsewhere As two of the authors Berg and Ostry make clear in a summary of the equality dimensions of this research t he immediate role for policy however is less clear More inequality may shorten the duration of growth but poorly designed efforts to reduce inequality could be counterproductive Such ambiguity fits perfectly with their actual data so often a repository of key information missed by linear regression high inequality countries may not be able to sustain growth but having relatively low inequality only makes sustained growth possible not assured What should be obvious is that the ability of more or less income equality to translate into growth has to do not only with national trade law or the frequency of elections or the independence of the central bank It also has to do with institutions Strictly speaking Berg and Ostry s study like much of the related literature from recent years do not ignore institutions or not exactly Somewhere in the background Berg and Ostry know that institutional structures are at play Their discussion of distorted incentives in Chinese farming policy makes this clear they totally ignore the qualitative structure of institutions But by referencing the quality of economic and political institutions they seem to suggest that the role of institutions can be reduced to a single numerical dimension Good institutions give people incentives to work or to save or to create jobs or to invest in human capital or in new technology bad incentives keep people lazy and greedy Anyone who has had to wrestle with actual on

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/growth/ (2016-05-01)
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  • IMF « Liam McHugh-Russell
    game On the other hand there is a problem with this entire kind of analysis Sure there is the usual normative broadside of why do we care about growth but I also have a methodological concern I ve alluded to elsewhere As two of the authors Berg and Ostry make clear in a summary of the equality dimensions of this research t he immediate role for policy however is less clear More inequality may shorten the duration of growth but poorly designed efforts to reduce inequality could be counterproductive Such ambiguity fits perfectly with their actual data so often a repository of key information missed by linear regression high inequality countries may not be able to sustain growth but having relatively low inequality only makes sustained growth possible not assured What should be obvious is that the ability of more or less income equality to translate into growth has to do not only with national trade law or the frequency of elections or the independence of the central bank It also has to do with institutions Strictly speaking Berg and Ostry s study like much of the related literature from recent years do not ignore institutions or not exactly Somewhere in the background Berg and Ostry know that institutional structures are at play Their discussion of distorted incentives in Chinese farming policy makes this clear they totally ignore the qualitative structure of institutions But by referencing the quality of economic and political institutions they seem to suggest that the role of institutions can be reduced to a single numerical dimension Good institutions give people incentives to work or to save or to create jobs or to invest in human capital or in new technology bad incentives keep people lazy and greedy Anyone who has had to wrestle with actual on

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/imf/ (2016-05-01)
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  • institutions « Liam McHugh-Russell
    game On the other hand there is a problem with this entire kind of analysis Sure there is the usual normative broadside of why do we care about growth but I also have a methodological concern I ve alluded to elsewhere As two of the authors Berg and Ostry make clear in a summary of the equality dimensions of this research t he immediate role for policy however is less clear More inequality may shorten the duration of growth but poorly designed efforts to reduce inequality could be counterproductive Such ambiguity fits perfectly with their actual data so often a repository of key information missed by linear regression high inequality countries may not be able to sustain growth but having relatively low inequality only makes sustained growth possible not assured What should be obvious is that the ability of more or less income equality to translate into growth has to do not only with national trade law or the frequency of elections or the independence of the central bank It also has to do with institutions Strictly speaking Berg and Ostry s study like much of the related literature from recent years do not ignore institutions or not exactly Somewhere in the background Berg and Ostry know that institutional structures are at play Their discussion of distorted incentives in Chinese farming policy makes this clear they totally ignore the qualitative structure of institutions But by referencing the quality of economic and political institutions they seem to suggest that the role of institutions can be reduced to a single numerical dimension Good institutions give people incentives to work or to save or to create jobs or to invest in human capital or in new technology bad incentives keep people lazy and greedy Anyone who has had to wrestle with actual on

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/institutions/ (2016-05-01)
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  • economics « Liam McHugh-Russell
    So the question is is there some way that paying taxes to the government can be made to feel like gambling or like investing on their own account for society s wealthiest members The rise of social impact bonds seems to suggest one possible avenue of pursuing such behavioural policy making The only problem with these schemes as with a large portion of private public partnerships is that the private party often seems to be the one leaving the table with all the chips January 13th 2012 Category economics politics Comments are closed Corner Shop One of my favourite things about my neighbourhood is my local grocery store the Supermarché P A It s a half block away which means that my partner or I shop there almost every day for dinner makings It s tiny maybe twice the size of my apartment yet it almost always has the produce I am looking for and has a wider variety of prepared food than the big chain store I was in most recently plus the prices are better The staff are friendly and bilingual the owner greets us when we come in the door it s a huge provider of jobs in the neighbourhood and I often run into friends when shopping for dinner So Hurst and Pugsley two University of Chicago economists have written a paper to confront the recent and not so recent enthusiasm for small businesses asking What Do Small Business Do pdf Small businesses are often cast as being the haven of entrepreneurs manna from heaven for productive innovation jobs creation and economic growth So they surveyed people starting new businesses What s their conclusion few small businesses intend to bring a new idea to market Instead most intend to provide an existing service to an existing customer base Further using the same data we find that most small businesses have little desire to grow big or to innovate in any observable way We show that such behavior is consistent with the industry characteristics of the majority of small businesses which are concentrated among skilled craftsmen lawyers real estate agents doctors small shopkeepers and restaurateurs Lastly we show non pecuniary benefits being one s own boss having flexibility of hours etc play a first order role in the business formation decision In other words most small businesses are just that small businesses Essential to the economy but not engines of growth Small business owners don t generally have some better way of doing some old thing they don t usually plan to grow and they aren t motivated for the most part by a desire to work harder and reap more of the reward but simply by the desire to work at their own pace The undercurrent here these are University of Chicago economists after all is that there is no market failure which small business subsidies actually address Their point is that small businesses are a terrible proxy for innovative firms labour intensive production and services

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/category/economics/page/2/ (2016-05-01)
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