Quotes & Links #29

1) nytimes.com: Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge

Why aren’t schools, districts and states rushing to set up these measures? Maybe because the programs have no natural constituency. They are not labor- or capital-intensive, so they don’t create lots of jobs or lucrative contracts. They don’t create a big, expensive initiative that a politician can point to in a stump speech. They just do their job, effectively and cheaply.

2) medium.com: Draghi’s force multipliers

My reasoning was that a big intervention program could only have any chance of working if the banking system was able to support it by expanding credit, and that Mario Draghi knew that there was no point in pouring central bank funds into the leaky bucket of the Euroland banking system until the Asset Quality Review was finished.

In that context, the careful unpicking of institutional problems matters just as much as the big showy announcements of trillions of Euros of asset purchases.

Interesting piece throughout and compliments other comments very well.

3) economist.com: The roots of jihadism – A struggle that shames

But most scholars reckon that the factors behind jihadism will only abate when the region’s Muslim-majority societies become prosperous and politically and socially free. None of the Arab world’s leaders are making much progress towards that.

4) cnbc.com: What’s wrong with Davos

The worst thing about Davos isn’t really the obvious coziness of wealth, influence and state authority. It’s that they’re so wrapped up in the mythology that lionizes their personal qualities as “thought leaders” that they’ve mistaken being the primary beneficiaries of global prosperity and government stability with being the sources of these great accomplishments of humanity.

5) mainlymacro.com: Alternative Eurozone histories
Counterfactual analysis. Nice. Gotta read the paper.

6) thebookoflife.org: On Good Demand

We should feel less nervous about treading into the area of values. After all, in our own lives, we know there are better and worse things to spend money on. It’s not different at a macro scale.

So Good demand is defined as: a consumer choice that is in line with an accurate, fruitful understanding of one’s highest needs. It properly pays off.

I’m not sure I agree with his value judgement, but it’s good food for thought (and I do think that we should feel less nervous about treading into the area of values).

7) econlog.econlib.org: The Keynesian shell game
I like economics, but these blogpost discussions about what is more effective than * are kind of pointless.

8) washingtonpost.com: I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend, and I think I might be in love.
I’m not sure how to interpret this: 1) most humans suck at finding a partner or 2) some people have the wrong idea about love or 3) some people are very desperate.

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