Inequality and public policy

From ProMarket: Indeed, the analysis shows that the share of public expenditures in GDP has a negative, significant, and large effect on inequality. For a given level of inequality of market income, a rise of public expenditures by an additional percent of GDP reduces the Gini coefficient of disposable income by 0.35 percentage points. Since […]

Journalism, academia, and the worst of both worlds

I wrote last week that “Under the right conditions, it’s reasonable to think that the best analytical journalists will outperform at least the average academic.” Here’s a very different view, from Corey Robin at New York Magazine: When academic knowledge is on tap for the media, the result is not a fusion of the best […]

What will the new mixed economy look like?

“After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 20th century’s ideological contest seemed over,” The Economist wrote in last week’s cover story on millennials and socialism. “Capitalism had won and socialism became a byword for economic failure and political oppression.” These sentences aren’t wrong, but they are misleading. It’s true that market-oriented economies fared […]

Crowds and replicability, again

More evidence that prediction markets can anticipate which studies will replicate. My previous posts on this idea are here and here. H/t to the Vox Future Perfect newsletter, which discussed what this implies for journalism. I have thoughts. Short-version: the interpretive turn in journalism applies to research coverage, too. You don’t just report the findings; […]

Analysis vs. science

The work of an analyst and the work of a scientist have some things in common. They’re both fundamentally truth-seeking endeavors, and they both rely on versions of the scientific method. But they’re also quite different. What explains those differences? Among other things, I’d venture it’s that analysis is designed to maximize truth-seeking in the […]

Cass Sunstein on political expressivism

From The Cost-Benefit Revolution: Arguments about public policy are often expressive. People focus on what they see as the underlying values. They use simple cues. They favor initiatives that reflect the values that they embrace or even their conception of their identity. If the issue involves the environment, many people are automatically drawn to aggressive regulation, and […]

Network Propaganda: Truth-seeking institutions

One more bit from the end of Network Propaganda: Breathing new life into the truth-seeking institutions that operate on reason and evidence would require a revival of the idea that science, scholarship, journalism, law, and professionalism more generally offer real constraints on what one can say an d do, and that they are not all simply […]

Network Propaganda: Institutions and technology

I highly recommend the book Network Propaganda. I’ve written recently about institutions and technology, so wanted to highlight this bit from the end of that book: Our study suggests that we should focus on the structural, not the novel; on the long-term dynamic between institutions, culture, and technology, not only the disruptive technological moment; and on […]