Category Archives: United States

U.S. military… random thoughts

A former student is thinking of going to law school to then become a JAG. He shared with me some thoughts on a book Saving Sandoval, by Craig Drummond. According to the blurb: Saving Sandoval is the true account of … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Great op-ed by my colleague Nancy Unger on tiny houses

The homeless and their advocates envision tiny houses as a practical solution to soaring housing costs. Environmental activists tout them for encouraging a minimalist, non-wasteful lifestyle and for being far more sustainable than recreational vehicles. Tiny houses have also fired … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Compromise and the Civil War: Rejecting the euphemism of John Kelly

Nobody has to be a professional or even amateur historian to understand the import of General John Kelly’s words (below), stated in his capacity as Chief of Staff of the President of the United States, in a formal public interview, … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Quantifying effects of rent control in San Francisco… very large redistibrution and inefficiency

It almost seems like the uncontrolled landlords are quite content to keep rent control in place: their rents go up substantially. In this paper, we exploit quasi-experimental variation in the assignment of rent con-trol in San Francisco to study its … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Some notes on criminal justice reform in the U.S.

Vox’s German Lopez reviews Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform, by John Pfaff. Prison population growing because violent offenders being incarcerated at state and local level, not Federal.  Pfaff: “In reality, only … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Productivity growth during WWII in the United States, Alex Field version

My colleague Alex Field presented a working paper on productivity growth legacy of WWII.  Robert Gordon has argued that war production led to huge learning by doing that carried over into manufacturing.  Alex strongly disagrees, amassing lots of data suggesting … Continue reading

Posted in Development thinking, Teaching macroeconomics, United States

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment expressed by colleague Bill Sundstrom

Granddad had a gun He died when I was still a kid, but his memory is vivid to me. He fished, and he hunted. He had German shorthaired pointers – sleek, nervous, beautiful dogs that might, or might not, help … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Puerto Rico water authority says water established for 45% of customers, but fluctuating

The director says everyone is filling up their tanks etc, so demand is overwhelming the system. En cuanto al restablecimiento del servicio, Díaz sostuvo que se sitúa en un 45% de los abonados.“Esto está fluctuando. A veces hay unos generadores … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Economics of affordable housing in Bay Area

Santa Clara County Housing Authority finalized the purchase of a Palo Alto mobile home park in 2017. In 2012, the owners of the park, the Jisser family, announced their intention to close and sell the 4.5-acre site to a private … Continue reading

Posted in San Jose, United States

Puerto Rico bankruptcy rolls along

Puerto Rico, the biggest government in the U.S. to ever go bankrupt, will argue this week that it shouldn’t be treated like a broke business during the proceedings: Its residents, not creditors, should come first.Government lawyers will argue with bondholders … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be fraternity brothers…

Full story in NYT. And for what?  So he could do the same to other pledges in future years? A night that began with laughs and elaborate handshakes quickly devolved into dangerous drunkenness. The pledges were forced to participate in … Continue reading

Posted in United States

U.S. judge freezes Puerto Rico debt payments

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the trustee for Puerto Ricos COFINA bonds not to make a $16 million payment due on June 1, allowing creditors to litigate competing claims to the money that could be central to how the … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Ira Kukin passed away

Ira Kukin was a chemist, and was the benefactor of Henry Rosovsky’s dream, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.  The couple times I met him as an Academy Scholar, he was engaged and curious. Yeshiva University mourns the … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Apparently U.S. does not want to release H-1B gender breakdown

Computerworld filed a FOIA request for H-1B gender data last year and was told that providing such information would be “unreasonably burdensome.” “In order to determine the gender of H-1B applicants, USCIS staff would have to manually search each applicant’s … Continue reading

Posted in United States

How much was spent on public services for the homeless in Santa Clara County in 2015? $520 million a year

But now, for the first time, a staggering fiscal cost has been calculated: $520 million annually. A new study, described as the most comprehensive look ever at the expense of homelessness on a community, has determined that more than $3 … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Daily dose of Akerlof: The rat race

Somehow he succinctly describes the key insight in one page.  Here is the full paper at jstor.  I vainly searched the web for “Akerlof rat race intuition” and of course there was nothing better, because why bother?  The article marked … Continue reading

Posted in Development thinking, United States

Bill Sundstrom three years ahead of me on BIG

But there are virtues to being a late-comer. One does not have to write as much. From 2014: Having acknowledged all these drawbacks of the BIG idea, I still can’t help thinking it deserves a bigger place in our political … Continue reading

Posted in Development thinking, United States

The American Health Care Act “scoring” by the Congressional Budget Office… the old one…

The relevant quote: CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Puerto Rico Declares a Form of Bankruptcy

I am sure President Trump with his extensive experience with bankruptcy, and his many friends owning island property, will be deeply involved in the negotiations and eventual resolution.  From NYT. The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, said he would … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching international trade, Teaching macroeconomics, United States

Ethics of collecting $400,000 for a speech, random notes

The context is here. Reactions to detractors seem to be: “Hey Ruth Marcus, let me know how many $400K speaking gigs you pass up after doing the toughest job in the world for eight years.” “Seems to me only women … Continue reading

Posted in Development thinking, United States