Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Big Bag of Miscellany: Moral Hazard, Gambling, and Assorted Rights

Greg Mankiw demonstrating "moral hazard" in the home: "if I do have an accident, make sure the fall kills me."

Laura Freschi lamenting the shift from women's rights to development for women as being cost-effective:
The seeming triumph of the 1990s had been that social justice was seen as a sufficient reason for efforts to be made to secure gender equality. Women’s and girls’ well-being was an end in itself. Today, it is all about calculating the rates of return from investing in a person as if she were a piece of machinery.
Jon Hunstman's (planned and now realized) retirement from being US ambassador to China has increased interest in whether he will run for the presidency.

Using statistics to game the lottery system. The tax on poor math skills may be upgraded to a way for advanced mathematicians to add a little something to their income...

And a short bit on the overuse of instrumental variables as a tragedy of the commons. But if it's a tragedy of the commons, doesn't that mean that we need to centralize economics research output? That's the standard economics answer (at least before Ostrom won the Nobel). Given that most researchers are government-funded, it's probably less of a stretch than it might be. Does someone else's use of my IV constitute a violation of my intellectual property rights?

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