The correlation between social welfare and innovation

I was refreshing a bit in the R programming language today, and to do so I did some exploratory data analysis on countries’ innovative capacities and measures of human welfare. Not surprisingly, innovativeness correlates with GDP per capita and with measures of social progress. Combining those measures predicts innovativeness better than either measure on its own. […]

Federal welfare spending, state innovation

An interesting paper: We suggest that increased federal welfare spending increases state government performance in the “new economy” development policy areas by helping states minimize welfare costs and divert more own-source resources into economic development… The authors find that federal welfare spending stimulates state new economy development directly, but also indirectly through its positive impact on […]

Pocket, WordPress, and what comes after social media

In March, I wrote a draft of a post but never published it (I don’t recall why) about how WordPress should get into the next-gen-RSS-reader game. I’m reminded of that by two recent headlines. First: How Firefox is using Pocket to try to build a better news feed than Facebook And, second: After years of growth, […]

Reading in piles

Tyler Cowen on the Ezra Klein podcast, as written up on Vox: As to what he’s currently reading, Cowen is in a deep classics period. Well, classics and books on tennis. He revisited Plato’s Symposium in preparation for an interview on his own podcast, and recently read Andre Agassi’s autobiography, which Ezra also loved. Cowen is reluctant to […]

The microeconomics of wisdom

Research suggests that both knowledge and thinking style contribute to better forecasts, and likely to more accurate empirical beliefs more generally.* Lately I’ve been thinking about how microeconomics might help explain how those two inputs fit together. (Disclosure 1: I’m sure papers have been written about this and I’d love to hear about them! Disclosure […]