Archive for July, 2018

How Ronald Coase continues to influence and inspire economics…

July 26, 2018

Prof Barak Richman has written a book Stateless Commerce.

He pays tribute to Coase for inspiring the book:

Although I never met Ronald Coase, his thinking has had a meaningful influence on my own work, nowhere more evident than in my recently
published book, Stateless Commerce: The Diamond Network and the Persistence of Relational Exchange.1 Although it is hubris to suggest that my
book might have garnered some of his attention, one of my biggest regrets in taking so long to complete the book—a project that by some measures was
nearly 20 years in the making—is that it was ultimately published after Professor Coase’s death.

At this panel at the Canadian Law and Economics Association Annual Meeting, which is dedicated to “the Legacy of Ronald Coase,” I take
this opportunity to identify three foundations of Professor Coase’s intellectual legacy—three paradigmatic elements of what constitutes a Coasean framework— that had deep influence on my research and my book.

First, Professor Coase encouraged economists to be curious about problems and puzzles of real-world phenomena. As Ning Wang remarked at this
panel, Professor Coase once asked rhetorically, “Do we concern ourselves not with the puzzles presented by the real economic world but with the
puzzles presented by other economists’ analysis?

Second, the Coasean analytical lens was never unidimensional. Both his 1937 and 1960 seminal articles pose contrasts between systems of commerce: in
1937,4 it was the market and the firm, and in 1960,5 it was the rancher and the farmer. Professor Coase’s overarching questions in both landmark articles were broad and ambitious, asking what happens when two separate spheres of commercial activity collide with each other within a common economic space.
The research questions never focused on single variables or myopic hypotheses. They instead understood the complexity of human behaviors and the many
economic forces that shape real-world endeavors.

And third, Coase urged employing comparative institutional analysis. The question is not how to achieve ideal efficiency but instead to understand and
compare alternative methods of organization. I consider this to be a consummately scholarly approach to economics. It rejects ideological predispositions
and hypothetically perfect markets and instead tries to assess the relative merits and drawbacks of different economic contexts.

He adds how his book tries to fit around Coasean framework..

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Targeted inflation targeting: A proposal to improve the ECB monetary framework

July 25, 2018

Anotine Levy, PhD candidate at MIT suggests that ECB should target weaker EMU countries more aggressively:

India needs a delicate macroeconomic balancing act

July 25, 2018

Sajjid Chinoy in this Mint piece gives his outlook on Indian economy. He brings ideas from Meade, Tinbergen, Johnson and Cordon:

In a critical insight seven decades ago, Nobel laureate James Meade postulated the importance of developing economies needing to strive simultaneously for “internal” and “external” balance. To achieve “internal balance” is to keep domestic activity close to an economy’s potential and inflation close to target. To achieve “external balance” is to ensure any current account deficit (CAD) is sustainable, given the hard budget constraint of external financing that emerging markets often come up against. Simultaneously, ensuring internal and external balance is critical to the sustainability of any equilibrium. If internal balance is achieved without external balance (for example, the CAD is unsustainably wide), either the exchange rate will eventually have to adjust or monetary/fiscal policy will have to tighten to rein in CAD—either of which will disrupt internal balance—and vice-versa.

Given these dual objectives, however, policymakers must have at least two instruments to satisfy Tinburgen’s assignment problem of there being as many instruments as objectives. Johnson (1958) and Cordon (1960) labelled these as “expenditure-control” and “expenditure switching”. The former is the traditional Keynesian use of fiscal and monetary policy to achieve internal balance—expansionary if output gaps are negative and inflation below target and, contractionary, in the opposite scenario. In comparison, “expenditure switching” is to change the relative attractiveness of the tradable versus non-tradable sector, typically through changes in the real exchange rate. A real devaluation should increase the attractiveness of the tradable sector vis-à-vis the non-tradable sector, while a real appreciation should do the opposite. Consequently, a real depreciation—by boosting exports and disincentivising imports—should help external imbalances, while a real appreciation should achieve the opposite. Policymakers can therefore rely on two instruments (“expenditure control” and “expenditure switching”) to simultaneously achieve the twin objectives of internal and external balance.

Hmm..

Venezuela Turns to Barter

July 24, 2018

Reports are coming on inflation touching 1 million % in Venezuela

Joseph Salerno of Mises Institute says the situation has led people to barter:

In the poorer areas of Caracas and its hillside slums, people in service industries regularly resort to barter. One barber charges 1 million bolivars (equal to about $0.30 at the current black-market exchange rate), but accepts food items as well. He also occasionally accompanies his customers to a local butcher shop where they buy him something of equal market value, presumably with debit or credit cards. The owner of an accounting firm allows his clients to settle their bills in steak, chicken, butter and deodorant. One hairdresser makes arrangements with his customers to pay their monthly bills by permitting him to select items from their stores. A plumber repairs a dishwasher in exchange for a few lbs. of pasta, a bit of beef and 200,000 bolivars (worth about $1.20 at the beginning of 2018).

Resourceful people have begun to develop their own crude media of exchange. A teacher with diabetes and a family member wait in line for hours to purchase highly salable items such as packages of pasta to trade for the insulin that she requires. She is able to exchange 1.5 kilos (about 3.3 lbs.) of pasta for the required dose of medication. With sources of protein in general demand, a professor of architecture at the University of Caracas discovered that that the egg is a “perfect” medium of exchange, while onions or bananas will not do. She paid cash and two eggs for parking and her university department compensated a computer programmer with a carton of eggs.

The currency shortage has added to the tremendous inefficiencies caused by widespread government interventions and pandemic political corruption. It is no surprise that the Venezuelan economy has been shrinking rapidly, with growth rates of -16.50% and -13.20% in the 2016 and 2017, respectively . With the government unlikely to give up its use of the printing press anytime soon, the collapse of the entire monetary system is imminent and the gruesome consequences of Chavez’s vision of a barter economy may come to pass.

 

If you want to know what money is, don’t ask a banker. Take a leap of faith and start your own currency

July 24, 2018

Longish interesting piece by Brett Scott.

Money is a complex cultural technology. Sometimes it breaks down, but that just gives us all the more reason to tinker with its blueprints. Each new system, though, will have its own psychological side effects and trade-offs. We know what mainstream currencies such as the US dollar are good for: overcoming barriers between buyers and sellers who don’t particularly know or trust each other. The trouble is, by reducing the need for personal trust relationships, mainstream money encourages social atomisation, to the point where arms-length purchasing starts to seem like the only valid kind of transaction. Look at the obsession economists have with measuring gross domestic product in monetary terms. GDP is supposed to reflect what is created in society, but if my grandad builds me a table in his workshop, it’s not included in GDP, and if I buy a table in Ikea, it is. The former is not considered valid production, whereas the latter is. That is arbitrary, and obviously something has gone wrong.

The problem might be that mainstream money is simply too efficient. It numbs people into forgetting that it’s a socially pragmatic delusion, and so we take it for granted, just as we take oxygen for granted. But oxygen is vital for our survival, whereas money is only an intermediary tool, cushioning us from the base-level economic production that actually sustains us. There’s an ecological dimension to this, of course, which is my overriding concern. Our ability to exchange without knowing where things come from blinds us to the real core of the economy: not money, but the physical things we must wrench from the ground by human effort, which is underpinned by agricultural systems, and energised by sunlight, water and soil.

The more we abstract and fetishise money as a thing in itself, the more we lose sight of its sources and its goals. We get confused, and feel disempowered relative to those who wield larger flows of it. Sealed off from inquiry in its hermetic shell, money distorts our perceptions of one another. We can’t seem to remember that it is merely one means of exchange among many. What energies would we unleash if we were to break open that opaque shell and split the monetary atom?

He discusses cryptocurrencies as well. The article was written in 2013 and the author was excited about this new form of money.

Formalization vs Informalisation: Lessons from history of indigenous banks

July 24, 2018

In a recent Mint article, Shruti Rajagopalan argued (Formalization of the economy is a form of coercion, 9 July 2018) that we must not treat informal sector unfairly and call it unproductive. The reasons for firms wanting to remain in so-called informal sector is mainly due to the burdensome regulatory framework for formal sector. By staying out of the formal sector, these firms avoid the costs of formalisation.

The article reminded me of a similar discussion that happened in India’s banking sector in 1930s. When RBI was established in 1935, one critical issue was linking the informal money market with the formal one.

RBI’s first history volume (1935-51, written in 1970) notes that organised sector comprised Imperial Bank of India, the exchange banks and the Indian joint-stock banks whereas unorganised sector comprised the indigenous bankers, moneylenders, chit fund, nidhis etc. The co-operatives were accorded an intermediate position. In this article, I just focus on this regulatory history of indigenous banks (and moneylenders) as history of nidhis and chits followed a different trajectory.

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New Rs 100 banknote: first made in India note?

July 23, 2018

RBI just released a new design of Rs 100 currency note.

Came across this ToI news which said this is the first indigenous/made in India note. Its design, currency paper, ink, and security features all are made in India. It is surprising RBI press release not mentioning this achievement.

 

History of Mutual Funds in India: Was UTI the first?

July 23, 2018

We are celebrating 25 years of private mutual funds in India. In 1993, the Government allowed entry of private sector in mutual funds. This liberalisation of mutual fund space was part of broader economic reforms initiated in the country after the 1991 crisis. The first private mutual fund was Kothari Pioneer which interestingly was based in Chennai and not Mumbai, the centre of Indian financial markets.

This is also a good time to reflect on history of mutual funds in India.

The history of mutual funds in India is usually seen as starting from Unit Trust of India (UTI) in 1964, started by the government to help retail investors get access to capital markets in India. UTI may have been the first public sector mutual fund in India but it was hardly the first-time funds were mobilised from small investors and give them exposure to stock markets.

Dr. V.V. Bhatt in this research paper (1979) on Syndicate bank pointed how the bank started a stock market scheme in 1960.

In 1960, the bank pioneered a unique investment service through its Investors’ Agency Department. This service enabled middle-income savers to invest in shares of reputable companies. The persons joining the scheme were ensured a return of 9 to 10 percent per year on their saving; the bank, in turn, invested these sums in shares. This scheme became very popular with middle-income groups in semi-urban areas persons who were not familiar with the stock market. It was a precursor to the Unit Trust of India sponsored by the Central Bank in 1964. The following year the Syndicate’s investment service ended because the Central Bank thought it could compete with the Unit Trust of India.

One was simply taken aback reading this as just like several others, one thought UTI was the starting point for such initiatives in India. But Syndicate Bank’s IAD pioneered this earlier. Dr. VV Bhatt could figure this as he =was an independent director with Syndicate Bank in the 1960s. Otherwise, this too would be lost.

My further research revealed that Syndicate Bank’s founder Dr T.M.A. Pai wished to start a scheme to provide better returns to the bank’s depositors.  He was also looking to boost the earnings of the overall bank which was reliant on its own operations where one earned the spread between loan rate and deposit rate (adjusting for establishment expenses).  In finance parlance, the idea was to shift reliance from fund income to fee income.

Syndicate Bank had earlier also started initiatives such as insurance company, land management company and so on. This was for both purposes, increasing sources of income and offering wider bouquet of services to depositors/investors.

The Bank came across this idea of a scheme which would help achieve both the objectives.  The bank would start a scheme to help its depositors to invest in stock markets and the bank would charge a fee for these services. As the idea was new, the bank did not open a new company but opened a new department within the bank called Investor Agency Department.

The organisation of IAD was different from today’s mutual funds. The bank would research stocks and send the list to depositors. The depositors in turn would invest in the stocks based on initial advice and suggestions by the bank. The Bank also acted as a custodian of the stocks given the small investors might not handle the certificates etc properly. The bank charged a fee for the advisory and custodian services.

This is unlike the model followed by UTI and mutual funds later. First there was a separate company/trust which would pool the savings of the investors. The trust was to be managed by professional fund managers who would then invest in stocks through their research and experience. The organisation was different but the idea was similar: provide a platform for the small investors who don’t have the expertise to access stock markets.

But then as Dr Bhatt notes, the scheme was objected by the RBI. Though, I don’t think the RBI objected on competition grounds. It was more to do with the fact that RBI wanted banks to just engage in banking business. This was also the time when banks were failing in large numbers. The non-banking business of banks was a constant source of headache for RBI and it had been asking banks to close their non-bank operations. Syndicate Bank’s earlier mentioned initiatives were also hived off to another entity or closed by the central bank. The central bank might have been weary of any more initiatives by the banks.

RBI History Volume (1951-67) while discussing formation of UTI has more insights:

Tracing the evolution of ideas about investment trusts in India, the study recalled Manu Subedar’s minority report as member of the Indian Central Banking Enquiry Committee (1931) in which he urged the creation of these trusts as vehicles for financing investment in industry. Manu Subedar’s plea was not altogether wasted, as the colonial government soon decided to exempt investment companies from super-tax.

Despite this concession, there were only a handful of such companies in India; and only two of them could be regarded as investment companies in the proper sense of the term. Many investment companies were promoted ‘only to collect public money … for employment to the advantage of the management and directors in their speculative activities’.

Investments of several such companies, the study emphasized, were concentrated in the shares of a few joint-stock companies which were often either ‘private companies’ or those whose shares were ‘not quoted on the Stock Exchanges’. Many investment companies, moreover, also counted direct loans and advances among their assets. The study found that the investments of a majority of these companies were not, by and large, ‘sufficiently diversified … or strictly disinterested’.

Only two investment companies, the Industrial Investment Trust associated with the stock-broking firm of Premchand Roychand and the Investment Corporation of India (controlled by the Tatas) held reasonably large and well-diversified portfolios of securities, the former having deployed over Rs 1.25 crores in 200 different securities and the latter Rs 3.5 crores in twice as many securities. Echoing the recommendation of the Shroff Committee, the article noted the wide scope that existed for large industrial or financial houses to form unit trusts.

The State, it suggested, should encourage the process and regulate the functioning of these intermediaries from the point of view of safeguarding the interests of their investors. Unit trusts, the article concluded, would help mobilize the resources of small savers for industrial investment and democratize industrial share-ownership as envisaged in the directive principles of the Indian Constitution.

Interesting to read name of Premchand Roychand come up again given he was seen as a central figure in the 1860s cotton and banking crisis in then Bombay. The crisis also led to brokers organising themselves to form Bombay Stock Exchange in 1875 in which again Premchand played a crucial role. It seems his broking firm could regain the lost trust fairly quickly and was mobilizing money from small investors.

One is also surprised RBI history not including Syndicate Bank’s IAD in the discussion. This is especially given the fact that RBI was behind closure of IAD.  The Bombay based  investment trusts must have had moneys of even big investors but Udupi/Manipal based Syndicate Bank’s IAD catered mostly (if not all) to small depositors/investors.

We really know very little about history of financial services in India. Whatever little, is mostly on banks. Others like insurance, fund management, venture capital etc are just given a miss. The financial history scholarship in the west is widely spread with scholars interested in all aspects of financial services.

One hopes to learn much more from these anniversaries such as the recent 25th year of private sector mutual funds.  They should not be allowed to just go like that.

It is a good time for the stock market regulator SEBI, to commission a study which looks at all these historic episodes of India’s fund management industry. More than anything else, it shows how the seeds of today’s trees were planted way back then through several ideas at work.

 

The political origins of section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act..

July 23, 2018

Parinitha Sastry (formerly at NY Fed) writes a fascinating paper which is based on this old school research. She digs through several archival material and reports to tell us how section 13 (3) of the Federal Reserve Act came into being. For the uninitiated, section 13 (3) was central to Federal Reserve’s policies during the crisis. It allows the Fed to lend to non-banking firms and invited fair bit of criticism including within Fed.

Her research shows this gradual evolution of Section 13 (3):

At the height of the financial crisis of 2007-09, the Federal Reserve conducted emergency lending under authority granted to it in the third paragraph of Section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act. This article explores the political and legislative origins of the section, focusing on why Congress chose to endow the central bank with such an authority.

The author describes how in the initial passage of the act in 1913, Congress demonstrated its steadfast commitment to the “real bills” doctrine in two interrelated ways: 1) by limiting what assets the Fed could purchase, discount, and use as collateral for advances, and 2) by ensuring that any newly created government-sponsored credit enterprises were kept separate from the Federal Reserve System. During the Great Depression, however, Congress passed legislation that blurred the line between monetary and credit policy, slowly chipping away at the real bills doctrine as it sought to combat the crisis. It was in this context that Congress added Section 13(3) to the Federal Reserve Act.

In tracing this history, the author concludes that the original framers of Section 13(3) meant to sanction direct Federal Reserve lending to the real economy, rather than simply to a weakened financial sector, in emergency circumstances. This Depression-era history provides insights into the evolving role of the Federal Reserve as an emergency provider of liquidity.

I wish more such papers were written. We might not realise but legal powers are key to central bank policies. Their decisions flow from the powers given by them to the government via their Act. Most of these legal powers come not via some scientific rule etc but based on trial and error. The author shows how multiple institutions were created to fight credit problems but eventually all things came at Fed’s door,

This blog looked briefly at evolution of the Section 7 (1) in RBI Act which allows the Govt to pass instructions to the Central Bank. This was under discussion during the demonetisation.

 

Douglass North, Shipping Productivity and Institutions: 50 years of his landmark paper…

July 20, 2018

We have been celebrating 50 years of Friedman’s landmark paper on monetary policy (1968).

In 1968, Douglass North also wrote a landmark paper looking at how shipping productivity had improved from 1600-1855. Interestingly, he shows that the productivity rose not because of technology but due to organisational developments.

Vincer Geloso reviews the North paper and how it influenced the subsequent thinking:

Douglass North is known largely for his work on institutions (1981; 1990; 1991; 2005; North and Thomas 1973; North, Wallis and Weingast 2009). This legitimate emphasis on this segment of his work overshadows his earlier contributions regarding the empirical measurement of the past. Yet, when awarding him the Nobel Prize in economics in 1993 (jointly with Robert Fogel), the Nobel committee justified itself by pointing to his “explanatory model for American economic growth before 1860” and his research on “productivity in ocean shipping”. Throughout his early career, North dedicated numerous articles and books to the topic of measuring economies in the past. Over time, these articles have been supplanted with richer empirical works, but it is necessary to realize how important these earlier works, especially the 1968 article on shipping productivity, were to shaping North’s later research agenda on institutions.

Nice bit..

25 years of private sector mutual funds in India…

July 20, 2018

The Indian Mutual Fund industry was opened to private sector in 1993. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary.

ET has interesting articles:

There is another piece by Arati Krishnan in Business Line on the hits and misses.

When a jewelery company questions practices and ethics in banking sector…

July 20, 2018

The popular history of banking in the west, suggests that banks actually evolved from goldsmiths. In the earlier years, these Goldsmiths kept reserves of merchants. The former gradually started loaning out part of these deposits leading to gradual development of banking as we know/understand today. The earlier currencies were either gold or backed by gold making this relationship even more complex and intricate than we can imagine.

Infact, even in India, where banking traditions precede those in the west by several centuries, we see the same historically. The gold/jewellery business have deep linkages with banking. The earlier bankers in India were mainly from the precious metals sector. Gradually, the banking became more professional and based on joint stock and these linkages diminished. But then Nirav Modi saga has led to a different type of problem. Earlier people ran away after borrowing from these jeweler bankers. Now we are seeing the opposite.

Thus, it was interesting when a jewelry company recently released an ad which mocked the practices and questioned the ethics in banking sector.

The banking union was obviously not impressed and demanded an apology:

A new TV commercial by Kalyan Jewellers highlighting its “trustworthiness” by Bollywood’s leading superstar and his daughter has got bank employees up in arms for showing them in a “derogatory” manner, and has now made the company tender an unconditional apology and promise to add a disclaimer.

The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), the largest association of bank officers, has objected to the Hindi version of the new TV advertisement by Kalyan Jewellers starring its brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda.

“We express our strong resentment against the management of Kalyan Jewellers and Amitabh Bachchan who have manifested a negative and false image of banks in the advertisement for their personal aggrandisement,” said the 3.2 lakh member strong AIBOC.

Seeking an unconditional apology from Kalyan Jewellers and withdrawal of the advertisement, the union had warned that it would otherwise take action, including dharnas and litigation.

“Due to various reasons, banks have already got a bad name. The advertisement has further hurt the sentiments. Customer service is our first priority,” said Soumya Datta, General Secretary, AIBOC, adding that public sector banks have been working for nation-building through schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra loans and Aadhaar enrolment. The union has also complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India.

In a communication to the bank union, Kalyan Jewellers has now promised that a disclaimer will be added within three working days before the advertisement stating: “Characters and situations depicted are fictional. The brand does not intend to disrespect or malign any person or community.” But the union is not happy with the disclaimer. “A letter has been issued by Kalyan Jewellers. But unless they stop airing the ad, it is not acceptable to us,” Datta told BusinessLine.

This is even more ironical as trust has eroded in both banking and jewelry sector..Perhaps some bank should react and show jewelry sector in similar light

The dark side (read political symbolism) of Croatia’s soccer ‘soft power’

July 20, 2018

Croatia and its football have captured imaginations like nothing else. Even after the match on Sunday, Croatia was right up as one of the top 10 trends on Twitter even till yesterday.

Venky Vembu in this article points to this interesting aspect of Croatia football. We were all amazed by the Croatian President’s conduct on and off the football field. Vembu says well there is no choice for the President as national football team is sacrosanct in the country:

In Croatia, sport is a highly politicised form of national expression, as researcher Dario Brentin at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies notes in a 2015 research paper ‘Ready for the homeland? Ritual, remembrance and political extremism in Croatian football’. Croatia’s first President Franjo Tudjman famously said: “After war, sport is the first thing you can distinguish nations by.” Croats consider any critique of the national football team as an attack on the entire nation because, Brentin notes, the national team is a “sacred institution of nationness.”

……At football stadiums, Croat fans frequently channel far-right sentiments that date back to the fascist Ustase movement, which was active in the years leading up to the Second World War. They have been fined for chants of ‘Za dom spremi’, the Ustase salute. And the team has been penalised in the European championship after a swastika was painted on a football field.

….Catherine Baker, a scholar on nationalism and ethnic conflict, notes in Prospect magazine, Grabar-Kitarovic’s World Cup appearances are “fully on-brand as part of a celebrity political persona that is based on entering conventionally masculine spaces of nationhood and embodying leadership.”

…..Croat soccer stars played their hearts out, but it’s impossible to separate the sport from the nationalist, far-right sentiments it is used to channel by politicians, even glamorous ones like Grabar-Kitarovic.

Hmm..

How a central bank (Bank of England) caused one of history’s biggest cons…

July 19, 2018

This is history in circles and not sure whether it connects that well.

However, the story of a Scotsman named Gregor MacGregor who goes to Central America and then cons investors back in London is interesting. How con artists have flourished globally and historically over the years:

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Belgium’s central bank to hack local financial institutions to prepare them against cyber attacks

July 18, 2018

How to catch a criminal prevent criminal activity? Think like criminals!

Central Bank of Belgium will hack banks to figure the preparedness of Belgian banks:

The National Bank of Belgium has announced it will test the ability of local financial institutions to withstand hacking attempts by performing tests that simulate cyber attacks by using the tactics, techniques and procedures employed by real hackers.

In May of this year, the European Central Bank greenlit a legal framework for this type of controlled cyber hacking aimed at testing the resilience of financial institutions. 

“We are seeing that the risks associated with cyber attacks continue to increase. Millions of dollars were for instance stolen when the Central Bank of Bangladesh was attacked two years ago,” National Bank of Belgium president Tim Hermans told the Trends financial weekly.

He added that the Belgian central bank’s hacking attempts would primarily focus on market infrastructures such as Swift and Euroclear, which are used to process most bank payments. “If something were to happen with them, this would be catastrophical,” he said.

The tests against cyber attacks will cost €150,000 per test, a cost that will be carried by the financial institutions themselves.

Looks like a really costly test…

Turkey’s Islamists and their economics

July 18, 2018

Gökhan Bacık, Prof of political science at Palacky university has a piece:

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Behavioural Government: Using behavioural science to improve how governments make decisions

July 18, 2018

UK’s Behavioral Insights Team has a new publication:

Governments are increasingly using behavioural insights to design, enhance and reassess their policies and services. Applying these insights means governments adopt a more realistic view of human behaviour than they have done in the past – and may achieve better outcomes as a result.

However, elected and unelected government officials are themselves influenced by the same heuristics and biases that they try to address in others. This report explores how this happens – and how these biases can be addressed or mitigated. To do this, we focus on three core activities of policymaking: noticing, deliberating and executing.

Just read a few pages and like most behavioral research, one is surprised with all these biases and illusions..

The world’s 10 best performing metropolitan economies

July 18, 2018

Max Bouchet and Joseph Parilla list the top 10 metro economies. Five are from China!

The blockchain trilemma

July 18, 2018

Econs are using different ideas/frameworks to figure this beast of blockchain/cryptos.

Markus Brunnermeier and Joseph Abadi in this piece use the trilemma concept to understnad blockchains:

Can democracy vote itself out of existence?

July 17, 2018

Manjeet Ramgotra of University of London points to this ongoing dilemma: Why are voters electing leaders who are autocratic?

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