Monthly Archives: August 2011

Socialists in France want to lower the retirement age

Socialists in France want to reduce the retirement age to 60. My question is “what effects would such a policy have on the odds of the ratings agencies lowering France’s credit rating.” (Perhaps amusingly, there are others among the socialists … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, social and commercial policy, Policy | Leave a comment

Technology adoption and monopolies

I was taking another look at this article and had what I think is an interesting thought. First, the main premise is that coalitions and monopolies in developing markets may be a major factor holding back adoption of new technologies … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Business and entrepreneurship, Development, Economics, pure theory, Policy | Leave a comment

Using Google to choose standard terminology

A Google search of “Solow” turns up sixteen million results, “Solow residual” turns up nearly sixty thousand and Solow “productivity residual” has over ten thousand results, while half of those disappear when Solow is excluded from the search. A return … Continue reading

Posted in Arts, media & society, Epistemology, History, International | Leave a comment

Are patents worth it?

$14 billion in litigation costs, $4 billion in gains from patents. The Economist goes on to mention some sensible ways to address this mismatch, incuding a suggestion to go further with sector-specific patent duration to reflect the pace of technological … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, pure theory, Economics, social and commercial policy, Policy, Political science, Science | Leave a comment

TFP in SSA – both the past and the future remain obscure

Has total factor productivity been growing in agriculture in Africa over the last 50 years? Apparently even the experts are not really sure. Rezek et al report estimates from other researchers ranging from negative 0.15% a year to a more … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Development, Economics, pure theory | Leave a comment

Knight in shining armor or stealthy ploy

The downside risks of the Euro crisis may just be a little less severe than some may have thought. It appears that China may be willing to step up to the plate to make sure that the financial mess in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, social and commercial policy, Policy | Leave a comment

The end of the Dengue fever?

It appears as though efforts to put an end to the Dengue fever have stumbled across a tantalizingly promising solution. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, infects 50-100 million a year, leads to half a million hospitalizations and kills 15-25000 … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Leave a comment

Kurds in Turkey?

If anyone thought the Kurds would have a homeland any time soon, guess again. The heat is turning up on Kurdish nationalists in Turkey. It’s a complicated situation: they allied with the US in Iraq, but given the importance of … Continue reading

Posted in Arts, media & society, Policy | Leave a comment

Ghadafi’s time has come

A few short days ago, the rebellion against Ghadafi and friends was said to be be bogged down and no significant advances were expected for some time. As it turns out it looks like Ghadafi’s time has come.

Posted in International | Leave a comment

Surprise! History sets the stage for the present

One explanation of underdevelopment is that poor market outcomes result from monopolies. This may occur via cartels where government regulators cosy up with friends and family to create businesses that are highly profitable for themselves but do not generally benefit … Continue reading

Posted in Development | Leave a comment