Category Archives: Economics

PEDLARS AND HOLY CARDS—A REMINISCENCE.

PEDLARS AND HOLY CARDS—A REMINISCENCE. I asked Mary Jane to write up her memories of corsets and holy cards, and here is what she sent me: “I have a childhood memory of the lady who used to go from client … Continue reading

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PEDLARS AND HOLY CARDS.

PEDLARS AND HOLY CARDS. One passage from CELESTINE which Mary Jane read aloud to me involved holy cards. Mary Jane has always characterized the small area of Syracuse where she grew up as like a village in Italy which had … Continue reading

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THE HISTORY OF PEDLARS—CELESTINE.

THE HISTORY OF PEDLARS—CELESTINE. Mary Jane is reading CELESTINE, a favorite book of mine, which I posted about here. CELESTINE is a reconstruction by Gillian Tindall of French rural life in the 19th century. Tindall came into possession of letters … Continue reading

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RULES FOR MAILING LIVE ANIMALS.

RULES FOR MAILING LIVE ANIMALS. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Annupreeta Das has a front page article about the US Postal Service regulations that govern the mailing of live animals. It would never have occurred to me that you can … Continue reading

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ECONOMICS IS “A COLLECTION OF FUNNY STORIES ABOUT UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES”.

ECONOMICS IS “A COLLECTION OF FUNNY STORIES ABOUT UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES”. John Cochrane, at his Grumpy Economist blog, posts a response to the question Russ Roberts asks (what do economists know?). His answer: “Our field is, perhaps, best described as a … Continue reading

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“WHAT DO ECONOMISTS ACTUALLY KNOW?”

“WHAT DO ECONOMISTS ACTUALLY KNOW?” Professor Russ Roberts began his article entitled “What Do Economists Actually Know?” as follows: “A journalist once asked me how many jobs NAFTA had created or destroyed. I told him I had no reliable idea.” … Continue reading

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SO WHY ARE THEY CALLED “IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS”?

“SO WHY ARE THEY CALLED “IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS”? I can imagine Annalisa chuckling again over how counterintuitive economic jargon is. (Think of “rent” as an example). Economists have chosen to talk about the problem of determining (measuring) the effect of different … Continue reading

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IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS IN ECONOMICS.

IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS IN ECONOMICS. Kids, a rough way of looking at identification problems is to consider the problem of trying to determine the effect of more than one variable in causing something to happen. A good experiment, as explained by … Continue reading

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IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS ARE THE REASON “NATURE DOES NOT RUN VERY GOOD EXPERIMENTS.”

IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS ARE THE REASON “NATURE DOES NOT RUN VERY GOOD EXPERIMENTS.” Paul Romer explains what has happened in macroeconomics as the result of economists struggling with the “identification problem”. He begins the second paragraph of his essay: “In the … Continue reading

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AN ECONOMIST LOOKS AT “THE TROUBLE WITH MACROECONOMICS”.

AN ECONOMIST LOOKS AT “THE TROUBLE WITH MACROECONOMICS”. One of the recurring themes of this blog is how my beliefs and the world’s beliefs have changed in my lifetime. One of the things I look in at is what has … Continue reading

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