The world this week with ESSA
Hand picked selection of economics content from around the web. This week: A look at the US Job market, the Australian working age and a comparison of global finance with Ponzi Schemes in the Global Economy. Also, the economics of video games.
ESSA, 30 September 2012
U.S. economy added 386,000 more jobs in past year than we thought – The Washington Post
At 8:30 a.m. on the first Friday of each month, political and financial analysts across the country begin refreshing their browsers maniacally. That’s when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly jobs numbers — one of the most closely-watched indicators of the state of the U.S. economy. Yet it turns out that the monthly numbers are often wrong. In fact, over the past year, they’ve been off by quite a lot. How can the data be a reliable indicator of an election when the data can be prone to such wild variations?
VIDEO There’s one issue on which Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are in agreement – outsourcing. Every week, politicians on both sides of the aisle bash outsourcing. Each accuses the other of shipping jobs to China. But what is so bad about outsourcing? A Let’s look at the facts involving studies done by the LSE and the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.
What’s the difference between today’s global finance system and a Ponzi scheme? This is the question that a 56-year-old veteran Russian financial scammer has been asking his victims. Read about the incredible ‘Success’ story of Sergei Mavrodi, a man who started an ‘official’ Ponzi Scheme and actually got away with it as well as his thoughts on the current state of the financial services sector.
Democracy’s Burning Ships – Project Syndicate
Since the late 1970’s, the academic diffusion of game theory has led macro-economists to emphasize the importance of “commitment,” a strategy that aims to enhance long-term economic outcomes by restricting policymakers’ discretion. The idea seems counter intuitive: How can less produce more? The article examines historical cases of credible commitment and how economists and policy makers today might be able to use it to help the crisis in the Euro Zone.
Here in Australia
It’s time to redefine the traditional working age – The Conversation
The phenomenon of population ageing is often summarised in a simple ratio. Known as the dependency ratio, it measures the proportion of those of traditional working-age (15-64 years) to those above it (65 years and over). In Australia, as in most other countries, this dependency ratio is on the increase, having risen from 15% in 1980 to 20% in 2012. By 2050 it is expected to reach 36%. Is this a cause for concern and should something be done?
Former Minister Lindsay Tanner joins us to explain his criticism of the current ALP and his doubts about the party’s workings, in this extended version of the interview that aired on 7.30 on Wednesday 26 September.
On Macro, the Financial Crisis, Global Warming, and Plato – Core Economics
VIDEO Dr. Jan Libich from Latrobe University’s televised series on economics. This particular session involves a crash course in macroeconomics, long run growth, developments in China etc. along with lively debate from the audience.
For your interest
Central Bwankers – Youtube
VIDEO Having trouble understanding Central Bank policy around the world today? This animated short attempts to recreate some of the decision making process to help explain the workings of the federal reserve while keeping things as realistic as possible.
Valve Economics – Valve
A blog by Yanis Varoufakis, an economist who works for the Billion Dollar online gaming corporation Valve and studies the artificial economics inside video games. There are some interesting experiments he has performed as one can only do inside video games with thousands of willing participants. The results may be of interest to video gamers and economists alike.
Who said economists are dull? – Daily Mail
Economists are traditionally seen as being among the most hardworking and conscientious of students – perhaps even a little dull. So it might come as a surprise that economics undergraduates have been found to be the most promiscuous students on campus in a survey of undergraduate students in the UK.
See you next week!
The ESSA team