Saturday, November 29, 2008
--Anne Case, Anu Garrib, Alicia Menendez, and Analia Olgiati, "Paying the Piper: The High Cost of Funerals in South Africa," on one last extravaganza
--Jonathan Gruber and Daniel Hungerman, "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," Quarterly Journal of Economics
--Robert Hall and Susan E. Woodward, "The Burden of the Nondiversifiable Risk of Entrepreneurship," NBER Working Paper 14219
Friday, November 28, 2008
--Joseph J. Doyle, Jr., Steven M. Ewer, Todd H. Wagner, "Returns to Physician Human Capital: Analyzing Patients Randomized to Physician Teams," NBER Working Paper 14174
--Michael M. Grynbaum, NYT, on sacrifices to the altar of consumerism
UPDATE WITH MORE DETAIL:
At 4:55 a.m., just five minutes before the doors were set to open, a crowd of 2,000 anxious shoppers started pushing, shoving and piling against the locked sliding glass doors of the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., Nassau County police said. The shoppers broke the doors off their hinges and surged in, toppling a 34-year-old temporary employee who had been waiting with other workers in the store’s entryway.
People did not stop to help the employee as he lay on the ground, and they pushed against other Wal-Mart workers who were trying to aid the man. The crowd kept running into the store even after the police arrived, jostling and pushing officers who were trying to perform CPR, the police said.
--Jack Healy and Angela Macropolous, NYT
“I wrote her back,” Dr. Chalfie said, “to say, ‘Why are telling me this now? Back then, it would have been a very useful piece of information.’”
--Clyde Haberman, NYT, on Martin Chalfie's new life as a chemistry Nobel laureate
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe.
A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor.
Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if he does it for a wayward woman.
--Proverbs 20:16 on the wisdom of demanding collateral when lending to AIG
--September 2008 seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller index housing prices relative to peak
Friday, November 21, 2008
These views may seem extreme. But I invite the reader to try and identify a single instance in which a "deep structural parameter" has been estimated in a way that has affected the profession's beliefs about the nature of preferences or production technologies or to identify a meaningful hypothesis about economic behavior that has fallen into disrepute because of a formal statistical test.
--Larry Summers, "The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics (1991), laying the smack down
--Tamara Gignac, Calgary Herald, on special considerations for the morbidly obese
Thursday, November 20, 2008
As one commentator asks, if we humans killed them off in the first place, does that mean we have any obligation to revive them now?
--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution, on the impossible becoming the inevitable
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The same would be technically possible with Neanderthals, whose full genome is expected to be recovered shortly, but ethically more challenging.
--Nicholas Wade, NYT, on a brave old world
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Sally Im, a Korean-American from Honolulu, recently traveled to Wooridul for back surgery. After her husband paid two months’ worth of premiums — about $90 — on their arrival, a portion of Ms. Im’s medical bill was covered by the South Korean government. The couple ended up spending $3,200, rather than the $30,000 that her operation would have cost in the United States, Wooridul said.
--Choe Sang-Hun, NYT, on a little-known backstop available to ethnic Koreans
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Deciding whether to speak to your Wall Street acquaintances about their misfortunes is like that, too.
--Philip Galanes, NYT, on what to say to friends whose firms are imploding
Thursday, November 13, 2008
--Roger Ebert on the lameness of Quantum of Solace's villain
--Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution, on how to pay for the bailout and more
Friday, November 7, 2008
The business school is being renamed the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
--Catrin Einhorn, NYT, on how much it costs to slap your name on Chicago's business school
Our price tag is $1 billion.
--A Stanford GSB professor I talked to yesterday
Monday, November 3, 2008
Objectives To determine whether parachutes are effective in preventing major trauma related to gravitational challenge.
Design Systematic review of randomised controlled trials.
Data sources: Medline, Web of Science, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases; appropriate internet sites and citation lists.
Study selection: Studies showing the effects of using a parachute during free fall.
Main outcome measure Death or major trauma, defined as an injury severity score > 15.
Results We were unable to identify any randomised controlled trials of parachute intervention.Conclusions As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.
--Gordon Smith and Jill Pell, British Medical Journal, on things we know without exogenous variation of the explanatory variable
"I'll never forget that order, 'hold and die'," Ripley said. ... "When you know you're not going to make it, a wonderful thing happens: You stop being cluttered by the feeling that you're going to save your butt."
--Associated Press on gaining life by losing it
The world is a tough place. You’re never going to get out of it alive.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
--Cornel West on why the presidency might be a booby prize