The Greatest Living Economist Has Passed Away: Notes on Kenneth Arrow Part I

A Fine Theorem

It is amazing how quickly the titans of the middle of the century have passed. Paul Samuelson and his mathematization, Ronald Coase and his connection of law to economics, Gary Becker and his incorporation of choice into the full sphere of human behavior, John Nash and his formalization of strategic interaction, Milton Friedman and his defense of the market in the precarious post-war period, Robert Fogel and his cliometric revolution: the remaining titan was Kenneth Arrow, the only living economist who could have won a second Nobel Prize without a whit of complaint from the gallery. These figures ruled as economics grew from a minor branch of moral philosophy into the most influential, most prominent, and most advanced of the social sciences. It is hard to imagine our field will ever again have such a collection of scholars rise in one generation, and with the tragic news that Ken has…

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47% of Jobs Not at Immediate Risk of Being Taken by Robots or Automation

RobotEnomics

Robotenomics Merlins skills.png

In 1812 the British government created an Act of Parliament which made the destruction of mechanized looms – or knitting machines – a capital felony and hence a crime punishable by death. The Act was implemented as a result of so called Luddite attacks on machines.[1]

It should be noted that in many cases the so called Luddites were not raging against the machines taking jobs, but against the employers who failed to provide them with a ‘living wage.’

According to the esteemed historian Eric Hobsbawm, the Luddites had: “no special hostility to machines as such,” their actions were in fact, “a normal means of putting pressure on employers.” Hobsbawm wrote: “Such misconceptions are, I think, due to the persistence of views about the introduction of machinery elaborated in the early nineteenth century.”[2] Adding:

This sort of wrecking was a traditional and established part of industrial conflict in the…

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George Orwell on #Corbyn and pacifism

Originally posted on Utopia – you are standing in it!:
It's irresponsible&unworldly to be a pacifist in US these days, says caricature in #NYTribune. No way to escape… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… — Tweets from WW1 (@RealTimeWW1) February 23, 2017 Utopia – you are standing in it! View original post

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Assessing the claims that the Google-AdMob merger will "leverage Google's dominance" and also kill kittens

I thought leveraging of market power into another market was dead and buried but resurfaced today in New Zealand in a merger between SkyTV and Vodafone.

Its exclusive deal over rugby was apparently to allow it to leverage that power into other markets once it had merged with Vodafone.

Truth on the Market

News items continue to pile up suggesting that the FTC is likely to challenge Google’s acquisition of mobile application and website advertising provider, AdMob.  See this recent article from the Wall Street Journal.  News reports today contain this quote from an anonymous source:

“The staff (at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission) believes there is a significant competitive problem and they are prepared to make a recommendation to sue,” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Senator Herb Kohl also opined on the deal this week (having conducted his own thorough economic analysis, of course) and offered his assessment in a letter to the FTC:

Critics of this transaction worry that this deal will allow Google to merge with one of its biggest rival mobile advertising competitors, and leverage its dominance of PC-based search advertising market into the emerging mobile advertising market, particularly with respect to advertising embedded…

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Robots and job fears: Destruction of large numbers of jobs unlikely, says new OECD Study

RobotEnomics

There is so much doom and gloom associated with robots and jobs it is time to add some common sense to the misunderstandings created by so called experts opinions about robots and jobs – thankfully authors from the OECD may have added some clarity to the debate — ‘finding that on average, across the 21 OECD countries, ‘9% of jobs rather than 47%, as proposed by Frey and Osborne face a high automatibility.’

Capitalism, the term for our global ‘free’ markets, is a uniquely future-oriented economic system in which people invest, make innovations, apply for patents, and in other ways bet on the future. Behind all of this we find the hallmark of humanity, which is our creative intelligence.

It is intelligence that drives these investments and innovations, and intelligence that forges within many of us an intense curiosity of what the future may hold.

It is also…

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