The Left could take us out of Europe

Nick Cohen: Writing from London

Europe has opened up an unbridgeable chasm in the Conservative party. Labour remains, near as dammit, united. On the EU referendum, an opposition accustomed to defeat has a rare chance of victory. Yet when Jeremy Corbyn makes the case for staying in he speaks without conviction. Like a man called into work on his day off, his weary expression and dispirited voice tell you he would rather be somewhere else. Tory MPs, so divided that it is hard to see how they can stay in the same party, unite in laughing at him.

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Did the Chicago School Overshoot the Mark?

Truth on the Market

I’ve posted to SSRN a new essay entitled Overshot the Mark?  A Simple Explanation of the Chicago School’s Influence on Antitrust.  It is a book review of Robert Pitofsky’s recent volume How the Chicago School Overshot the Mark: The effect of Conservative Economic Analysis on U.S. Antitrust, and is forthcoming in Volume 5 of Competition Policy International.

The book review is a critical review of the Post-Chicago antitrust agenda adopted by many of the volume’s authors, and a defense of what the editors describe as conservative economics (but seem to mean Chicago School), from an empirical, evidence-based perspective.  The idea of the review is avoid the ideological component of the Chicago v. Post-Chicago debate by choosing to focus instead on the relative predictive power of the economic models.  In short, the evidence-based antitrust concept is one that requires running a horserace between the competing economic models of…

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Note to Simon Johnson: I do not think antitrust means what you think it means

Truth on the Market

Simon Johnson is at it again, advocating the use of antitrust to break up the banks because they are, you know, big, and antitrust is about busting up big companies, right?

As Josh suggested back in July, the idea is gaining momentum, it seems.  The Financial Times is also pushing the idea.  What’s remarkable about both the FT’s and Simon Johnson’s “analysis” is that it is actually largely devoid of modern antitrust analysis.  It reflects the outdated, non-economic (dare I say anti-economic?) logic of the structure-conduct-performance paradigm of the 1960s.  Here, for example, is the FT:

The issue is not just market share in deposits, which attracts public attention. Many corners of the financial services market with a lower profile are highly concentrated and highly profitable.

Concentrated markets can still be competitive and high profits are not in themselves proof of anti-competitive behaviour. Market concentration is high in many…

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Macey on Anticapitalist Claptrap, Private Equity, and Politics

Truth on the Market

Jonathan Macey (Yale) defends private equity against nonsensical attacks from Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and others (Rick Perry is spared by Macey, but not by Bainbridge) in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Mitt Romney’s candidacy is subjecting the entire private-equity industry—where Mr. Romney spent most of his business career—to vicious attacks by journalists and several of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

Newt Gingrich’s political action committee is sponsoring a film called “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” that accuses Mr. Romney and his former company, Bain Capital, of taking over companies, looting them, and then tossing their workers out on the street. Jon Huntsman’s attacks on his rival include the description of private equity as a business that “breaks down businesses [and] destroys jobs, as opposed to creating jobs and opportunity, leveraging up, spinning off, [and] enriching shareholders.”

This is anticapitalist claptrap. Private-equity firms make significant investments…

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@Greens @sarahinthesen8’s solution to boat people drowning

About 1200 people drowned under Labour’s boat people policies. That would have put the percentage at risk of death in the low single digits. Taking a boat to Europe is very dangerous in comparison.

Utopia, you are standing in it!

Source: Another way for refugees | Australian Greens.

Arriving by boat in Australia does not increase the size of the refugee quota. It just changes who gets to the head of the queue and how many died trying to get to the head of the queue.

Source: Kiwiblog.

There is nothing compassionate about rewarding people for risking their lives. The chances of dying while attempting to come to Australia by boat are about 2%.

The recent experience in Europe confirms that just letting large numbers of refugees come to your country hardens the attitude of the majority of voters in that country to admitting refugees in general, much less more than their current quota.

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Intersectional Feminism: What is it? 

Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

Andrew Leigh's Archived Blog 2004-2010

I have a new paper on teacher effectiveness out today. So far as I know, it’s the first ‘value-added’ study to be conducted outside the United States.

Estimating Teacher Effectiveness From Two-Year Changes in Students’ Test Scores
Using a dataset covering over 10,000 Australian primary school teachers and over 90,000 pupils, I estimate how effective teachers are in raising students’ test scores from one exam to the next. Since the exams are conducted only every two years, it is necessary to take account of the work of the teacher in the intervening year. Even after adjusting for measurement error, the resulting teacher fixed effects are widely dispersed across teachers, and there is a strong positive correlation between a teacher’s gains in literacy and numeracy. Teacher fixed effects show a significant association with some, though not all, observable teacher characteristics. Experience has the strongest effect, with a large effect in the…

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Prophet Orders Followers To Bury Him Alive To Bring Him Closer To His Spirits . . . Followers Later Dig Up Dead Prophet


surrealism-painting-grandfather-clock-grave-digger-irony-humor-art_zps780e9a81He was known as Prophet Shamiso Kanyama in Zimbabwe and he instructed his followers to bury him alive as part of his ritual to cleanse their house of evil spirits. They did and were surprised when they dug him up to find out that he was dead. Now the family involved in the ritual is accused of murder despite the “Prophet” demanding that he be buried.

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New cause of exceptional Greenland melt in July 2012 revealed

Watts Up With That?

Keegan_fig1_Greenland_melt This image provided for illustration, but was not part of the original press release

From YORK UNIVERSITY and the “weather, not climate” department comes this study that adds to a previous study that suggests the Greenland surface “instamelt” of July 2012 was a short-term event that was not long-term climate change related. There was also the paper that showed that a shift in the jet stream caused warmer than normal temperatures in July 2012.

TORONTO, April 1, 2016 – A new study by researchers from Denmark and Canada’s York University, published in Geophysical Research Letters, has found that the climate models commonly used to simulate melting of the Greenland ice sheet tend to underestimate the impact of exceptionally warm weather episodes on the ice sheet.

The study investigated the causes of ice melt during two exceptional melt episodes in 2012, which occurred from July 8 to 11 and from July…

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The underbelly of The Great Escape: trends in New Zealand BMIs

New Zealand Trends and Forecast in Adult BMI

Source: Trends in Adults Body-Mass Index: Imperative to Develop and Implement Policies to Address Obesity | Health Intelligence.

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