Prediction markets or crowdsourcing?

Are markets more accurate than polls? The surprising informational value of “just asking” Psychologists typically measure beliefs and preferences using self-reports, whereas economists are much more likely to infer them from behavior. Prediction markets appear to be a victory for the economic approach, having yielded more accurate probability estimates than opinion polls or experts for […]

Skills gap, again

An excellent piece arguing against the “skills gap” hypothesis. The conclusion: There is no denying the importance of education and training to long-term outcomes for workers. But that does not mean the solution to stagnant or inadequate wage increases lies in addressing a skills gap. To address the wage problem, Congress and regulators need to ensure […]

Center-left neoliberalism and the Obama synthesis

Economist, blogger, and former Clinton-era Treasury staffer Brad DeLong made waves with a Twitter thread and subsequent interview with Vox in which he says center-left neoliberals like himself should “pass the baton” to more left-leaning Democrats. His argument is largely political; more on that later. But what about the policies? DeLong calls himself a “Rubin […]

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; […]