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Updated: 2017-01-22T19:13:48-08:00

 



Links for the Week of January 22, 2016

2017-01-17T05:03:03-08:00

**Must-Reads:** * **Kenneth Arrow et al.:** (2004): [Are We Consuming Too Much?](https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/0895330042162377): "We consider two criteria for the possible excessiveness (or insufficiency) of current consumption... * **Luigi Zingales**: _[Donald Trump’s Economic Policies: Pro-Business, Not Pro-Market][]_: "Trump is eliminating lobbyists by putting them in charge of all departments... * **Gillian Tett**:...



Reading: Robert Allen (2011): Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction, chapter 4

2017-01-22T14:28:04-08:00

Robert Allen (2011): _Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction_ (New York: Oxford), chapter 4 As you read, focus on: 1. The "standard package" of economic policies that, if successfully implemented, allows a 19th century economy to catch up to the world's then industrial leaders. 2. The absence of large...



Reading: Robert Allen (2011): Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction, chapters 2 and 3

2017-01-22T14:09:48-08:00

Robert Allen (2011): _Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction_ (New York: Oxford), chapters 2 and 3 1. Bob Allen has his own theory of what laid the foundations of the Industrial Revolution of 1750-1870. It is a smart theory. It is a good theory. It is a well-argued theory....



Reading: David Landes (2006): Why Europe and the West? Why Not China?

2017-01-22T13:24:02-08:00

David Landes (2006): [Why Europe and the West? Why Not China?][] As you read, note: * Adam Smith laid out what went wrong as the background for his picture of how things can go right, while Landes is as interested in the roots of relative--and absolute--economic failure as of success....

David Landes (2006): Why Europe and the West? Why Not China? http://tinyurl.com/dl20161210b

As you read, note:

  • Adam Smith laid out what went wrong as the background for his picture of how things can go right, while Landes is as interested in the roots of relative--and absolute--economic failure as of success.
  • This is a profoundly eurocentric history. Is that a problem for Landes, given his aims?

  • Focus on Landes's account of why Europerather than China--or India, or Islam--eventually led the way to industrial civilization. I find it convincing...

  • But there is no doubt that it looks as if Chinese civilization had a clear half-millennium as the world's leader in technological innovation from 500 to 1000: Chinese civilization in the millennium before the Ming dynasty appears to have been the most intellectually confident and technologically progressive on the globe. Thereafter innovation in China appears to flag. I do not understand this. Does Landes claim to? Does Landes?


My review of Landes: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/08/hoisted-from-the-archives-1998-review-of-david-s-landes-the-wealth-and-poverty-of-nations-why-are-some-so-rich-and-oth.html


Housekeeping:




Reading: Jared Diamond (1997): Agriculture: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

2017-01-22T13:07:31-08:00

Jared Diamond (1997): [Agriculture: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race][] The coming of agriculture would seem to have only pluses: 1. You can obtain a lot more food with less work compared with hunting-and-gathering. 2. You no longer have to carry your babies around the landscape...



Reading: Alan Taylor (2012): Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction

2017-01-22T12:58:47-08:00

**Alan Taylor** (2012): _[Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction][]_ (New York: Oxford University Press: 019538914X) 1. This is what you need for background: Know this, and the pre-1800 part of the American economic history course will make sense. Don't know this, and it won't... Housekeeping: [Colonial America: A Very Short...



Reading: Paul Boyer (2012): American History: A Very Short Introduction

2017-01-22T12:50:42-08:00

Paul Boyer (2012): _[American History: A Very Short Introduction][]_ (New York: Oxford University Press: 019538914X) 1. This is what you need for background: know this, and the American economic history course will make sense. Don't know this, and it won't... [American History: A Very Short Introduction]: http://amzn.to/2gQw7QE ---- _**Housekeeping:**_ *...



Reading: Barry Eichengreen (2011): Economic History and Economic Policy

2017-01-22T12:41:18-08:00

**Barry Eichengreen** (2011): _[Economic History and Economic Policy][]_ As you read, formulate your answers to the following questions: 1. What does Eichengreen think are the *uses* of history, as shown in the use of history in trying to understand the macroeconomic crisis that began in 2008? 2. What does Eichengreen...



Reading: Trevon Logan (2015): A Time (Not) Apart: A Lesson in Economic History from Cotton Picking Books

2017-01-22T12:26:51-08:00

**Trevon Logan** (2015): _[A Time (Not) Apart: A Lesson in Economic History from Cotton Picking Books][]_ 1. I--that is, Brad DeLong, the lecturer--am an economist. Trevon Logan is an economist too. We focus on numbers: prices and quantities, incomes and expenditures, productivity and preferences. In our view, the economy is...



Looking Forward to Four Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted

2017-01-22T08:31:12-08:00

With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi: bunga-bunga governance, with a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters and a major drag on the country--except in states where his policies are neutralized. Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!




2017-01-22T08:23:44-08:00

**Should-Read: Robert Allen** (2004): _[Progress and Poverty in Early Modern Europe][]_: "At the end of the middle ages, the urban, manufacturing core of Europe was on the Mediterranean with an important offshoot in Flanders... [Progress and Poverty in Early Modern Europe]: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/users/allen/povprog3NEW.pdf >...The Netherlands was thinly populated, and England was...



Has Protectionism Ever Worked?: DeLong FAQ

2017-01-22T06:48:54-08:00

Q: Has protectionism ever worked? Are there examples of countries throughout history that have embraced protectionist policies, and did that yield positive results? And what do these examples, if there are any, tell us about the economic plans of Mr. Trump? A: If I were you, I would go grab...



Weekend Reading: Richard Feynman: Math and Science

2017-01-21T08:50:56-08:00

**Richard Feynman**: _Math and Science_: "I’m going to describe to you how Nature is—and if you don’t like it, that’s going to get in the way of your understanding it... >...It’s a problem that physicists have learned to deal with: They’ve learned to realize that whether they like a theory...




2017-01-21T05:31:49-08:00

**Should-Read:** We are narrative-loving animals. It's how we think. We are jumped-up East African Plains Apes, only 3000 generations removed from those who first developed language, trying to understand the world as monkeys with, as Winnie-the-Pooh would say, “very little brain”. We are lousy at remembering lists—that is why we...




2017-01-20T18:52:23-08:00

**Should-Read: Xavier Jaravel**: _[The Unequal Gains from Product Innovations: Evidence from the US Retail Sector][]_: "From 2004 to 2013 higher-income households systematically experienced a larger increase in product variety and a lower inflation rate for continuing products... [The Unequal Gains from Product Innovations: Evidence from the US Retail Sector]: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/xavier/files/jmp_xjaravel_dec26.pdf...




2017-01-20T18:51:32-08:00

**Should-Read: Larry Summers**: _[Disillusioned in Davos][]_: "I am disturbed by (i) the spectacle of financiers who three months ago were telling anyone who would listen that they would never do business with a Trump company... [Disillusioned in Davos]: https://www.ft.com/content/290f05c8-0260-3396-86e4-d9d2095aa1a4 >...rushing to praise the new administration; (ii) the unwillingness of business...



Weekend Reading: John Scalzi: The New Year and the Bend of the Arc

2017-01-20T14:47:47-08:00

**John Scalzi**: _[The New Year and the Bend of the Arc][]_: "As we begin 2017... >...there is something I’ve been thinking about, that I’d like for you to consider for the new year. It starts with a famous quote, the best-known version of which is from Martin Luther King, but...



Procrastinating on January 20, 2017

2017-01-20T11:05:18-08:00

**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * **Duncan Black**: _[Conservative Health Care Plan][]_: "Liberal Trump fanfic scenarios aside... * **Kevin Drum**: _[Why Do Republicans Hate Obamacare?][]_: "Why the continued rabid opposition to Obamacare?... * **Nick Rowe**: _[AD/AS: A Suggested Interpretation][]_: "Many macroeconomists don't like the Aggregate Demand/Aggregate Supply framework.......



Links for the Week of January 15, 2017

2017-01-15T18:49:41-08:00

**Must-Reads:** * **Allegra Kirkland**: _[Rand Paul: Trump Backs Plan To Repeal, Replace Obamacare Simultaneously][]_: "Rand Paul: 'I just spoke to @realDonaldTrump... * **Antonio Fatás and Lawrence H. Summers**: _[The Permanent Effects of Fiscal Consolidations][]_: "The global financial crisis has permanently lowered the path of GDP in all advanced economies... *...