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Links for 2016-10-03 [del.icio.us]

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 0:25
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  • How far back did Americans accept interracial marriage? – The Unz Review
    In other other words, controlling for demographics, the propensity toward interracial marriage (counting Hispanics as a race) was 72% as great in 1980 as it is today. In other words, there was already quite a lot of propensity toward interracial marriage in 1980, 36 years ago. What has changed most since 1980 is not social attitudes but numbers.
  • Free trade has been good for the poor – Marginal REVOLUTION
    A study by Pablo Fajgelbaum of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Amit Khandelwal, of Columbia University, suggests that in an average country, people on high incomes would lose 28% of their purchasing power if borders were closed to trade. But the poorest 10% of consumers would lose 63% of their spending power, because they buy relatively more imported goods. The authors find a bias of trade in favour of poorer people in all 40 countries in their study, which included 13 developing countries. An in-depth study of European industry by Nicholas Bloom, of Stanford University, Mirko Draca of Warwick University and John Van Reenen of the LSE found that import competition from China led to a decline in jobs and made life harder for low-tech firms in affected industries. But it also forced surviving firms to become more innovative: R&D spending, patent creation and the use of information technology all increased, as did total factor productivity.
  • Golden State Rolls Out Private Sector Retirement Plan – The American Interest
    With the right oversight, in other words, Secure Choice just might turn out to be a limited, responsible program that makes a dignified retirement more attainable for a new generation of workers. Like policymakers in state capitals across the country, we will be watching closely.
  • Out of Prison, Out of Work – Bloomberg View
    A single variable — having a criminal record — is a key missing piece in explaining why work rates and LFPRs [labor-force participation rates] have collapsed much more dramatically in America than other affluent Western societies over the past two generations. This single variable also helps explain why the collapse has been so much greater for American men than women and why it has been so much more dramatic for African American men and men with low educational attainment than for other prime-age men in the United States.
  • Bugs, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
    The most compelling objection to animal rights, to my mind, has long been… bugs.  Bugs are animals.  Every human being directly kills bugs just by walking – and indirectly kills bugs by renting and buying constructed housing.  Yet I’ve never heard even a strict vegan express a word of moral condemnation for this mass animal killing. 
  • Tax Roundup, 10/3/16: Why the tax law needs net operating losses. And: Trump loss linkapalooza! « Roth & Company, P.C
    The idea of an income tax is to tax, well, income. In order to tax income, you have to determine income over some period of time. The convention is to do it on the basis of a 12-month year. That makes sense, as we think of most things in terms of trips around the sun, but it is still an arbitrary period. Just because a business has income in a year doesn’t mean it has made any money for its owners, or that the earnings cycle of a business fits neatly within a 12-month period. This should be an obvious and trivial point, but it apparently needs explaining.
  • Trump’s 1995 Return Shows Good Tax Policy at Work – Bloomberg View
    If Trump managed to pay no taxes for years, the most likely way he did this was by losing sums much vaster than the unpaid taxes. This is fair, it is right, it is good tax policy. There are many valid indictments of Trump as a candidate and as a businessman. But on the charge of unseemly tax avoidance, if this is all the evidence we have, then the grand jury would have to return … no bill.
  • TheMoneyIllusion » Another anti-EMH argument bites the dust
    When I started blogging I would occasionally defend the EMH.  A number of anti-EMH arguments were offered in response.  One by one they’ve all fallen by the wayside.  People who predicted the 2008 crash have done poorly since.  Hedge funds were held up as a way of earning excess returns—and they’ve done poorly in recent years.  I was told Australian house prices would crash any day now, and am still waiting.  Bitcoin was a “bubble” when the price hit $30—what’s the price today?  Shanghai house prices were a bubble—now I’d love to buy in at 2009 prices.  Oh wait, “if I just wait long enough, prices will fall”.  Is that so Sherlock?  Highly volatile asset prices occasionally go down?
  • When it comes to college, money isn’t the problem – Marginal REVOLUTION
    The results reveal modest, increasing, and only weakly concave effects of resources: wins less than $100,000 have little influence on college-going (i.e., effects greater than 0.3 percentage point can be ruled out) while very large wins that exceed the cost of college imply a high upper bound (e.g., wins over $1,000,000 increase attendance by 10 percentage points). The effects are smaller among low-SES households. Further, while lottery wins reduce financial aid, attendance patterns are not moderated by this crowd-out. Overall, the results suggest that households derive consumption value from college and, in the current policy environment, do not generally face binding borrowing constraints.

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