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Thursday, March 16, 2017 0:25
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  • Final Reply to Dolan on the UBI, For Now, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
    I deliberately said “ineligible for most benefits,” not all.  What kind of people do I have in mind? Healthy, childless (or non-custodial) adults, aged 18-64.  Labor force participation for this group is already shockingly low for people without college degrees.  I can easily see it going far lower under a UBI.
  • The Truth About Deportations | City Journal
    In virtually any other country, the deportation of aliens who have overstayed their visas or who are working in the underground economy might merit a brief mention in the newspaper. Deporting aliens who have committed serious crimes is understood in most nations to be a necessary duty of the state, like sanitation or the licensing of medical professionals. Nobody thinks twice about deporting criminals in these countries, and immigration enforcement is an uncontroversial aspect of national life. 
  • Deirdre McCloskey on the Unsavory History of the Minimum Wage – Cafe Hayek
     These early advocates of the minimum wage correctly understood not only that the minimum wage destroys jobs for some low-skilled workers, but also that the low-skilled workers most likely to suffer the consequent job losses are those who are held in lowest esteem by their fellow human beings.
  • The election of Trump and the stock market: further and more specific results – Marginal REVOLUTION
    The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America on 11/8/2016 came as a surprise. Markets responded swiftly and decisively. This note investigates both the initial stock market reaction to the election, and the longer-term reaction through the end of 2016. We find that the individual stock price reactions to the election – that is, the market’s vote – reflect investor expectations on economic growth, taxes, and trade policy. Heavy industry and banking were relative winners, whereas healthcare, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and apparel were among the relative losers. High-beta stocks and companies with a hitherto high tax burden benefited from the election. Although internationally-oriented companies may profit under some plans of the new administration, several other arguments suggest a more favorable climate for domestically-oriented companies. Investors have found the domestic-favoring arguments to be stronger. While investors incorporated the expected consequences of the election for US growth and tax policy into prices relatively quickly, it took them more time to digest the consequences of shifts in trade policy on firms’ prospects.
  • The political economy of vouchers and churches – Marginal REVOLUTION
    We use a dataset of Catholic-parish finances from Milwaukee that includes information on both Catholic schools and the parishes that run them. We show that vouchers [funded by the government] are now a dominant source of funding for many churches; parishes in our sample running voucher-accepting schools get more revenue from vouchers than from worshipers. We also find that voucher expansion prevents church closures and mergers. Despite these results, we fail to find evidence that vouchers promote religious behavior: voucher expansion causes significant declines in church donations and church spending on non-educational religious purposes. The meteoric growth of vouchers appears to offer financial stability for congregations while at the same time diminishing their religious activities.
  • Understanding the Long-Run Decline in Interstate Migration – Marginal REVOLUTION
    We analyze the secular decline in gross interstate migration in the United States from 1991 to 2011. We argue that migration fell because of a decline in the geographic specificity of returns to occupations, together with an increase in workers’ ability to learn about other locations before moving. Micro data on earnings and occupations across space provide evidence for lower geographic specificity. Other explanations do not fit the data. A calibrated model formalizes the geographic specificity and information mechanisms and is consistent with cross-sectional and time-series evidence. Our mechanisms can explain at least half of the decline in migration. As I put it in the book, if you are a dentist you probably are not going to move from Columbus, Ohio to Denver, Colorado for higher dentist wages.  Rather you will figure out pretty early on which location you prefer and then stay there.
  • Charter Schools Still Work | City Journal
    Charters succeed using various strategies. The most successful schools adopt a mix of high expectations, more instructional time, and improved teacher effectiveness. This is hardly revolutionary. Recent research shows that these practices yield similar positive results when applied within traditional public schools. Resistance to reform is strong within traditional school systems, however, where teachers’ unions and entrenched education bureaucracies wield formidable political influence. The charter sector’s innovations, which prioritize the education of children, often run counter to the interests of the adults running most public school districts.
  • Betsy DeVos v. the Education Monopolists | City Journal
    The viciousness toward DeVos is animated by several things: she is rich, a Christian, a Republican, and, worst of all, a school-choice supporter. As chairman of the American Federation of Children, she has devoted much of her adult life trying to provide children with the best possible education, whether via a private school, home school, charter, or traditional public school. This drives the public-school monopolists crazy, as it hints at an alternative to the nineteenth-century, one-size-fits-all education model they control.
  • Did Jesus Have a Wife? – The Atlantic
    He had a proposition. He had no talent for storytelling, he said, but he possessed the erudition to produce hundreds of pages of background material for a book—a thriller—that he wanted me to write. Instead of doing my own research, which could take years, I should rely on his. “I’d do all the legwork for you, and I wouldn’t want anything in return.” The book’s subject, he said, would be “the Mary Magdalene story,” the “suppression of the female element” in the Church, and the primacy of the Gnostic Gospels, “maybe accumulating to a thriller story in the present.” It sounded an awful lot like The Da Vinci Code.
  • Why For-Profit Education Fails – The Atlantic
    As frustrating as they may be to education investors, modest, incremental successes can serve as both a platform and a stimulus for broader transformations to come. Without a sustainable business model, however, even the most inspired investors and entrepreneurs will ultimately only build a legacy of disillusionment.


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