Thursday, March 25, 2004

Figures lie, liars figure

That's a quote from an article in the Economist. The article cites a recent work by McCloskey and Ziliak on how economists often use statistics blindly, or worse, misuse them. (Not really related, but this reminds me of John's advice to me about the danger of focusing too much on significance and too less on magnitude -- I remember it, because he cited McCloskey, as well). Most interesting from the article is, McCloskey and Ziliak criticize Becker: "... that addiction is rational, mainly on the basis that people's response to changes in price is statistically significant. This is interesting, but does not really explain much...". Hm, a divison inside the "Sweetwater Camp"?

Thanks to Y. Chang for the link.

Thanks, Bob Edwards!

Sad news this morning. "...Morning radio will soon lose one of its most familiar news anchors. Bob Edwards, who for nearly 25 years has greeted millions of weekday listeners with the distinctive and richly toned opener "This is `Morning Edition' from NPR News," is being replaced as host of that flagship morning program...." I have gotten used to Bob's "Morning Edition" every day. It feels something is missing not to listen to his program at least once in two days. Well, I hope at least the NPR replaces him with another good host, Steve Inskeep.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Treat them like what Eliott Ness did to Al Capone

In a two-day series of op/ed in the Jakarta Post (here is the first one and here the second), Ross McLeod an Indonesianist at ANU talks about the collapse of IBRA. He concluded that Indonesia has lost $60 billion along the way. Citing Frecaut's paper in BIES, he suggests to get the money back from those criminal conglomerates through taxation mechanism. The way the U.S. IRS got Al Capone back then. Makes sense. For recent assessment on the general economy, read the special issue of BIES.

Pram wants to die in smoke. Let him do.

An article in Reuters on Indonesian kretek. Pram is used as an illustration. Why Pram? Had the article writer changed Pram's name, no one would really care. As for Pram, my favourite author, he chooses to smoke. And to die smoking. Which is fine. Still, I don't find any plausible reason why the article should use Pram to tell stories about Indonesian kretek.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Working Moms Good for Daughters?

Tyler Cowen argues that "...If a mother works, her daughters are more likely to earn an income commensurate with their familial status. Working moms should feel less guilty..." Well, that's only money, Tyler. Are those daughters happy? Are those daughters not lonely? I don't find the argument compelling. My take: working moms should feel less guilty (if they raised daughters who turn out to earn high income and be succesful and be happy and...), and so should non-working moms (if they raised daughters who turn out to earn high income and be succesful and be happy and...)

Tuesday, March 02, 2004