Archive for May 20th, 2011

Comparing Donald Trump to Silvio Berlusconi

May 20, 2011

Luigi Zingales  of Chicago Booth School writes this nice article on the same.

He says it is a boon for US that Donald Trump’s announcement that he will not run in the Republican presidential primaries.

The only thing more frightening than Trump’s running for president would be Trump’s getting elected president. From a party perspective, while losing an election is bad, winning one with the wrong candidate for the party and for the country is worse. I know something about this: I come from Italy, a country that has elected as prime minister the Trumplike Silvio Berlusconi.

(more…)

Limitations of income inequality statistics and India’s BPL census

May 20, 2011

Thomas Garrett of St Louis Fed serves a nice reminder on limitations of calculating inequality.

Income quintiles from different years are often compared to demonstrate the growing income inequality over time between, say, the poorest 20 percent of households and the wealthiest 5 percent of households. For example, in 1970 the income of the wealthiest 5 percent of households was 6.3 times greater than the income of the poorest 20 percent of households, whereas in 2007 the income of the wealthiest 5 percent of households was 8.8 times greater than the income of the poorest 20 percent of households. When such comparisons are made, it is implicitly assumed that each quintile contains the same households over time. 

For most people, income increases over time as they move from a usually low-paying first job to better-paying jobs later in life. Some others, however, may lose income over time due to business cycle contractions, demotions, career changes, retirement, and so on. Because incomes are not constant over time, the same households do not necessarily remain in the same income quintiles. Thus, comparing income quintiles from different years is a proverbial apples-to-oranges comparison because the households compared are at different stages in their earnings profile.

(more…)

Using power blackouts to help understand the determinants of infant health

May 20, 2011

Jed Friedman writes an intriguing post on WB evaluation blog. He points to a study which looks at the impact of power blackout on infants health born 7-9 months later.

(more…)

RBI must opt for soft inflation targeting

May 20, 2011

Says C. Rangarajan in this interview.

Do you recommend inflation targeting as a mandate for RBI?

(more…)

Nudging to choose elevator arrows correctly

May 20, 2011

Outside the elevator one mostly gets these two signs for going up or down.

(more…)

India’s forbidden cities

May 20, 2011

Francesco Giavazzi of Bocconi Univ Italy writes this nice article deploring the state of cities in India.

He begins the article  recalling his class in economics where an Indian student decides not to come to India despite a job offer. He choses to shift to London instead. He wants to come back but thanks to poor work-life balance has decided to remain away:

(more…)


%d bloggers like this: