Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Must-reads of 2017, from monopolies to sexism

By Noah Smith. He is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University.

Here are my three favorites of the top ten (the others will all be listed below but you can read about them at the link above).

"2. “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream,” by Tyler Cowen
My Bloomberg View colleague took a look at the U.S. economy and society and saw a story of stagnation -- falling productivity, declining geographic mobility, fewer startups, fewer people moving between jobs and more people dropping out of the workforce. He wove all of these trends, as well as his own cultural observations, into a story of “complacency” -- of a society that had become so good at delivering us the things we already know we want that it never prods us to get out and find new goals and new dreams.

3. “Housing Constraints and Spatial Misallocation,” by Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti

As cities become more important to the U.S. economy, the problem of NIMBYs -- local landowners who oppose urban growth -- has received a lot more attention. In San Francisco and other hot-tech hubs, rent has skyrocketed as demand has increased with no concomitant increase in supply. Hsieh and Moretti attempt to quantify just how much this is hurting the economy, and they come up with some pretty eye-popping numbers. Even if those numbers turn out to be too high, there’s a growing economic consensus that urban land-use restrictions are a problem that needs fixing."

"10. “Economics for the Common Good,” by Jean Tirole

Nobel Prize-winning economist Jean Tirole isn’t known for his public policy advocacy -- instead, he’s the consummate academic, penning highly mathematical theories that only a few people are qualified to understand and apply. But in “Economics for the Common Good,” Tirole descends from the ivory tower, offering a number of ways that he believes economic models can inform public policy debates on a huge variety of pressing issues."

1. “The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications,” by Jan De Loecker and Jan Eeckhout
4. “Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality,” by James Kwak
5. The Ongoing Macro Debate
6. “WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us,” by Tim O’Reilly and “Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future,” by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson
7. “The New Urban Crisis,” by Richard Florida
8. “The Power of Bias in Economics Research,” by John P. A. Ioannidis, T. D. Stanley, and Hristos Doucouliagos
9. “Gender Stereotyping in Academia: Evidence from Economics Job Market Rumors Forum,” by Alice H. Wu

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