Links – 10/03/2017

  • L. J. Zigerell had an interesting exchange with the authors of a recent meta-analysis of field experiments about discrimination on the labor market. According to him, the data suggests there is a strong publication bias, but they argue that’s not really the case. I still haven’t decided what I think about this exchange, but I think another problem with this meta-analysis, regardless of whether there is publication bias, is that the literature it reviews is plagued with methodological problems. They were explained by James Heckman more than 20 years ago in this paper, which I strongly recommend if you want to know more about this. More recently, David Neumark published a paper in which he presents a statistical technique that is supposed to solve the main problem identified by Heckman, but I haven’t read it yet.
  • David Greenberg wrote a review of George Kennan’s diaries for The New Republic. I think the commentary is worse than mediocre, but I nevertheless link to it, because Kennan was a very interesting man and this is a good way to know more about him.
  • This piece by Suketu Mehta in Foreign Affairs is astonishingly bad, but it’s a useful compendium of the fallacies and falsehoods that pro-immigration activists use in this debate. The way in which Mehta’s resentment and even hatred toward the West seeps throughout the book is also remarkable. You should remember this article the next time you hear someone accuse people who oppose mass immigration of being motivated by hatred.
  • Noah Carl reviews the evidence that left-of-center people are more intolerant of people with opposite political views than right-of-center people. For each piece of evidence, there are sensible things one could say to resist the conclusion, but in my opinion the accumulation of the evidence makes it a lot harder.
  • Scott Winship criticizes the widespread claim that, starting from the end of the 1970’s, the income of a typical family has ceased to track productivity. He argues that, when you use the correct methodology, you can see that it’s false. As he explains in another piece, this implies that, despite what many people claim, labor’s share of the GDP has remained stable during this period. Winship is careful to note that, since he looks at the mean compensation of workers and the share of the GDP that goes to labor includes highly paid executives, this doesn’t show that inequality has not risen, which is another question. But he is right that it complicates the picture that is usually painted by people who think inequality is the main problem

One thought

  1. > Winship is careful to note that, since he looks at the mean compensation of workers and the share of the GDP that goes to labor includes highly paid executives, this doesn’t show that inequality has not risen, which is another question. But he is right that it complicates the picture that is usually painted by people who think inequality is the main problem

    A really frustrating point that I occasionally try to autistically make:

    In the lefty class-conscious criticism of capitalism, CEOs are _workers_, not capitalists.

    I mean, these days they are often both at the same time. But I’m led to understand that this is due to a tax code quirk causing everyone to want compensation in stock instead of money.

    But CEOs are not capitalists. They are not investors. They are not owners. They are employees. They are hired by the capitalists to run the companies. They can be fired by the capitalists if the capitalists do not like them anymore.

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