Lunch With FT: Richard Thaler

“One thing for sure is Remain is a horrible name. It’s weak. Whereas Leave is strong.”

Richard Thaler is by now a household name – well, I think so at any rate, and this interview that he gave to Tim Harford (who should be a household name!) is worth reading in its entirety. You’ll need to sign in/register, I think – sorry about that.

Quick update: we’re conducting a workshop on behavioral economics for undergrad students at GIPE this week, and I’ll post nuggets such as these along the way.

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India: Links for 19th August, 2019

CCS is organizing a conference around the theme “Legal Foundations of a Free Society”, and it is being hosted by the Gokhale Institute. One of the speakers is Shruti Rajagopalan, whose writing I have long admired. Here are five pieces by Shruti that I thoroughly enjoyed reading:

  1. The implementation of laws matters as much as their framing (as any parent will tell you!)
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  2. “Deshmukh, a former RBI governor who had argued against bank nationalization immediately after independence, was also contesting the election, this time supported by the Swatantra Party and Jan Sangh. Giri won with Gandhi’s support, and his legacy is often regarded as that of a rubber-stamp loyalist who damaged the independence of the President’s office.”
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    A little bit of trivia that I was completely unaware of, and makes me think of many counterfactuals – but the article is about how the nationalization of banks came to be.
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  3. Shruti explains (rather acerbically and entirely appropriately so) why the budget is a spectacle we’d all do well to ignore completely.
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  4. “First, we need to create more positions for judges, especially in the lower levels of the judiciary, as caseloads have exploded over the years. India has only 12-15 judges per million people compared to the US’s 110 per million. The immediate goal is to reach the Law Commission’s 50-judges-per-million recommendation. A good start is to double the number of judges across the board in the lower judiciary.”
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    On some much needed reforms to the Indian judiciary.
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  5. A paper by her on a favorite theme (and bugbear) of mine: the complete lack of true decentralization in India.

 

Video for 18th August, 2019

Federer Djokovic matches have a, uh, history

 

Tweets for 17th August, 2019

 

 

Etc: Links for 16th August, 2019

I have linked to brainpickings before, but this week, I have been reading it almost incessantly. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that I have economics textbooks coming out of my ears.

In particular, I have been reading about what Maria Popova has to say about Kurt Vonnegut – and that is a heady combination indeed. And so today’s links are five posts about Vonnegut by Popova (and a bonus sixth one at the end!)

  1. “I think it’s important to live in a nice country rather than a powerful one. Power makes everybody crazy.”
    An excerpt from a letter to his daughter.
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  2. “When I get home from school at about 5:30, I numb my twanging intellect with several belts of Scotch and water ($5.00/fifth at the State Liquor store, the only liquor store in town. There are loads of bars, though.), cook supper, read and listen to jazz (lots of good music on the radio here), slip off to sleep at ten.”
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    A part of his daily routine, as outlined to his wife.
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  3. “I have just demonstrated to you that Shakespeare was as poor a storyteller as any Arapaho.”
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    Hamlet from his viewpoint.
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  4. “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
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    This was the second piece that I read this week about Vonnegut, and the advice about how to write better is masterful.
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  5. “Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”
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    And this was the first.

And because it is Friday, and because why not, a short poem by Vonnegut.

EC101: Links for 15th August, 2019

Another student of mine, Amruuta, got in touch recently asking about fair valuation and how to think about it. That a) got me thinking about the topic, and b) going down a rabbit hole of articles about the topic. And you have her to thank for today’s lot 🙂

  1. This is (probably) why Amruuta got interested in the topic in the first place.
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  2. Bookmark, rather than read: a short explainer of the differences between the old and the new accounting standards. Note to readers: I am nowhere close to being more than a slightly informed layperson in this area. If anybody knows a more updated source, please let me know.
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  3. How to do valuations in the first place?
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  4. What is fair market value?
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  5. A blog post from Fred Wilson (who has scored a deserved hat-trick, by the way) on hands on valuation exercises. The spreadsheets alone are worth it.

 

Thanks, Amruuta! I learnt a fair bit myself.

RoW: Links for 14th August, 2019

Five links about gun control from the United States of America:

  1. First, from Chriss Blattman, who knows a thing or two about violence.
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  2. Slatestarcodex, on trying to make sense of the data
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  3. and what the comments section from that blog has to say.
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  4. Gun control, the Japanese way.
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  5. To circle back to the beginning, a contemplative article from Vox.