Archive for May 16th, 2012

Predicting oil prices: Economist view vs Geologist view…

May 16, 2012

A fab IMF paper on the topic.

It is an important paper as it mixes the two views on oil prices. Econs (and technologists) believe that if oil prices increase and it becomes scarce, people will figure something else..some innovation will come in and people will move on. Infact, this is what has happened with many projections of food/oil etc running out not coming true. Geologists however believe oil is scarce and will run out soon. Hence, we need to preserve oil etc. Similar views of Geologists are held by Physicists as well.

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Why did Sicilian Mafia originate?

May 16, 2012

Arcangelo Dimico, Alessia Isopi and Ola Olsson have this paper on the topic, summarised in voxeu.

Economists have given an interesting perspective to why mafia etc exists and becomes powerful over a period. The reason is in absence of protection from government, mafia becomes a kind of an alternate government. It provides protection to citizens and businesses and demands a premium for providing the services which ideally government should be providing. [Those of us into watching hindi movies, we now have an economic  explanation for the hafta (weekly payment) collected by the hero/villain].

Now the next q is how did mafia originate in different regions? What businesses did they seek to protect etc. This paper by the trio looks into origin of Sicilian Mafia.

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