Archive for April, 2014

How Indo-Pak ended up hosting the 1987 World Cup Cricket?

April 30, 2014

As I write this post, there is a real proud feeling.

First, this is the 5000th post of Mostly Economics. This is a huge personal milestone as had no clue that would end up writing so much! Thanks to WordPress and the visitors who have encouraged  this blog all this while. Huge pat to the blog..

Second, there could be no better way to write this 5000th post than talk about this wonderful book – The Story of the Reliance Cup by Mr. NKP Salve. The blogger has always been a huge fan of cricket and would love to write and think more on the sport. The events of the last few years has led to huge discontentment with the state of affairs. The blogger never cared to figure the man reason behind NKP Salve tournament and this autobiography gives you great insights about many things. As the authorities keep piling shame on Indian cricket, perhaps they should read this book to understand the challenges faced by authorities then to bring this whole cricketmania to India. Given how things stand today, even the guys who brought this whole game to Indian shores would be reflecting on whether they did any wrong?

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A review of History of RBI – 1982-97

April 30, 2014

Prof TT Ram Mohan of IIM Ahmedabad has reviewed the recently released history of RBI from the period 1982-97. One just wishes that we had far more coverage and research on monetary history. India seriously needs econ historians who help understand things apart from the official history alone.

The author begins with an interesting take:

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History of cricket in India and BCCI

April 29, 2014

I have always been curious about BCCI as an organisation and its historical foundations. Given the mess BCCI is in and its huge political clout, have always wondered how did this thing start?

Came across this really interesting description of history of cricket in India and what led to formation of BCCI. It is on BCCI website. It started in 1926 with a discussion to induct India into ICC:

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Currency management in India – issues and challenges…

April 29, 2014

One wishes central banks talked more about other issues they tackle other than mon policy.

This is a really interesting speech from RBI Dep Guv. Dr KC Chakrabarty (slightly dated) on this really interesting issue of currency management. People can choose to ignore what central banks do in mon pol but currency policy  is something  which no one can choose to ignore. Any policy change with respect to currency issues is followed and understood by all.

The speaker touches on several issues in currency management in India:

  • Demand and supply of currency notes – both process and trends are discussed
  • Demand and supply of factors that lead to currency production
  • Security and counterfeit issues

Useful stuff. May be with digital currency etc. one looks at other kinds of currency management challenges in future. 

Reforming teaching of economics – a roadmap

April 28, 2014

Economists love to use to word reform for changing anything related to economics. But how about a reform to change the way economists teach the subject?

Post Crash Economics, is this forum/society floated by Manchester School to reform economics teaching. The guys at Manchester are taking forward the movement launched by French students in 1999 to reform economics., The movement despite its appeal and support could not make much headaway.  This have hotted up after the recent crisis which has led many to introspect over econ teaching.

PCE has released this really interesting roadmap for reforming economics. The broad idea is – teach history and make economics connect to the real world:

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Do remittances and FII inflows lead to build-up of Dutch disease in Indian economy?

April 28, 2014

An interesting piece from AV Rajwade in recent EPW. It is quite a change in the views considering capital inflows which is amazing.

He says this continued reliance on remittances and FII inflows is actually leading to weakening of Indian industrial sector. This resembles the Dutch disease which hit the same economy in the past:

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War of words over Gujarat’s growth model…

April 28, 2014

As world econs debate Piketty, Indian econs are debating the growth models of states (read Gujarat) given the huge elections at stake.

Well there are only a few economics issues on which one gets to read active and vociferous debates from Indian economists. I mean there must be many such debates (as there are huge ideology differences in economics) but one does not get to read them. And as always the source of such debate is EPW.

So here are the articles:

  • It all started from this EPW article on 12Apr-2014 by Maitreesh Ghatak of LSE and Sanchari Roy of University of Warwick, the UK. They analyse looking at whether growth accelerated in Gujarat during the Modi regime and their answer is that there is no evidence of growth accelerating under Modi regime.
  • This has led to slew of articles by other scholars to and to each Ghatak et al have replied.

Interesting stuff. Am still trying to follow the nuances of each of these responses and rejoinders. The authors question the evidence presented in all these papers which helps build on the debate.

If anything, atleast it has led to interesting discussion using econometric techniques etc to figure the eternal truth. So one can see the advantages and limitations of these techniques and understand how one looks at these things like structural breaks etc.

 

Are active and vibrant financial markets safe too?

April 28, 2014

Atlanta Fed hosted this annual conference on financial markets.

Came across this interesting paper (ppt here) by Prof. Joseph Stiglitz. In the usual Stiglitz spirit and appraoch, he crticises this whole rise of active and vibrant markets:

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Measuring Misery around the World….(India ranks 21st in a list of 90)

April 28, 2014

Steve Hanke of Cato has this interesting article. I was not aware that there is something called misery index which measures economic and social costs of living in a country.

The index is also really simple: Inflation rate + unemp rate . It was developed by Arthur Okun and was further developed by Prof Robert Barro (added interest rate and subtracted per capita GDP growth to the two variables). There is this site which updates the index for US economy regularly (though only for Okun’s formula). It is interesting to note how the index has developed across the regimes of various US Presidents since 1948. Despite the mess US is in, the index is now as high in US (8.21) with most driven by unemployment. It was around 6-7 before the recent crisis.

Prof Hanke puts the list for 90 countries as well along with  the factor responsible for the misery. He uses Barro’s four factor model:

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What are the essential qualities of good cricket commentary? How does TV commentary differ from radio?

April 25, 2014

An interesting interview of Geoff Boycott who never minces words. He is asked about the new England coach and son.

The last q is on cricket commentary and its quality (f there is any). And as he mostly does, answers it with a straight bat. Such comparisons to cricket are useful as we see similar kind of  commentary on economics and markets as well- stating the obvious:

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Understanding Coase theorem the kindergarten way…

April 25, 2014

One surprising thing to read is highly math based papers for figuring the Coase theorem and its applications. For someone who shunned math openly and still won all accolades, it really is something.

Came across this really neat paper by Prof. Jeremy Kidd of  Walter F. George School of Law. He tries to explain the Coase theorem in a really simple way. So it is not in a kindergarten setting but in a kindergarten kind of language so that basics can be understood.

Excellent stuff.

Impact of soccer matches on stock market moods..

April 25, 2014

FIFA world cup fever is going to grip us soon. In other countries it must have but in India we currently have the election fever. So there is some time.

Came across this really interesting paper by Michael Ehrmannb of bank of Canada and David-Jan Jansenc of De Nederlandsche Bank. They try and figure the impact of soccer matches on stock markets. Best part is they track the stock market moods as the match enfolds using high intra-day data. They find (not surprisingly) that team which is about to lose sees a decline in stock prices:

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A year without dividends and profit distribution – what are the reasons?

April 25, 2014

The title of the post will most likely suggest that it is about some company. Well it is, except that the company is Swiss National Bank, the central bank of the nation.

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Gujarat’s agriculture growth – what is the real story?

April 24, 2014

Came across this piece in ToI by Prof. Ashok Gulati, the eminent agriculture economist. I wish more agri econs wrote for media as there is much to know and learn. Instead of the usual macro jumbo-mumbo the media guys should actively seek scholars who do research on real issues.

Anyways, Prof. Gulati says if there is anything to learn from Gujarat’s story, it is agri performance. More than Gujarat, the blogger is interested in the agri story:

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Are electronic cigarettes a public good or health hazard?

April 24, 2014

An interesting case study by Prof John Quelch of HBS. And much like most things in economics there is dilemma here.

It is discussed in HBSWK series. E-cigarettes pose a dilemma to public policy people. On one hand (apologies to bring on this dreaded phrase), e-cigs bring benefits but on the other has negatives as well:

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Is Okun’s law dead?

April 23, 2014

Okun’s law became famous as it linked GDP to unemployment. Prof. Okun showed that as GDP declines by 2% unemp rises by 2%. The law became unfashionable till the recent crisis. There people questioned relevance of Okun’s law saying the relationship does not hold anymore as GDP declined by little but unempoyment declined much more. Some said the law was dead.

Mary C. Daly, John Fernald, Òscar Jordà, and Fernanda Nechio of FRBSF look at the recent revisions in the macro data. And say the Law is pretty much alive:

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Is Sweden headed the Japan way?

April 23, 2014

Things are getting more and more complex. Countries which had recovered post-crisis are slipping. Sweden is the latest entrant to the list. The last reading was at -0.6% fueling debates over deflation in Sweden.

  • Krugman always on red alert to these developments started the debate – one and two .
  • Lars Svensson, former Riksbank MPC member and deflation expert added fuel to the fire. He blames the Riksbank rightaway:

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How law and economics as a stream/subject developed?

April 23, 2014

Martin Gelter of Fordham University School of Law and  Kristoffel R. Grechenig of Max-Planck-Institute have this nice paper on the topic.

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Women, Sports, and Development: Does It Pay to Let Girls Play?

April 23, 2014

Barbara Kotschwar of PIIE has this piece on encouraging girls to play sports.

The Policy Brief reviews the evidence that young women and youth in general who participate in sports are more likely to attain educational success and specifically that girls who play sports do better in school, suff er fewer health problems, achieve  more in areas dominated by men, such as science, and hold better jobs as adults. 

Well, a pretty obvious point. I mean discrimination has been so deep and wide, that we need to do many things even to start bridging the divide..

The cycling experiment in NY city- an update

April 23, 2014

Indian cities have more or less abandoned the humble bicycle(though price wise bicycles are no more humble!)  but the west cities are picking it up.  NY city had started an experiment called Citi Bike where one could rent and share the bike across the city.

Nicole Gelinas of City Journal has an article updating on the status of the experiment:

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