The closing of many days’ worth of browser tabs finds some gems.
- WeWork will be opening an entrepreneurship-focused primary school in New York.
- Legal entrepreneurship provides a new variant on tax farming in America. One law firm’s figured out how to cut a deal with city council letting it prosecute code violations on Council’s behalf, and charge those fined for their prosecutions. We don’t know how lucky we are in New Zealand.
- Sam Bowman on minimum alcohol pricing. One caution there: Pryce’s thesis does show far less price responsiveness among heavy drinkers, but one reason for that is that they shift on the quality dimension rather than the quantity dimension. Minimum pricing makes it harder to shift to lower per-unit-price products in response to a price rise for those heavy drinkers who have already downshifted to low-value products. Pryce does correctly warn that the benefits of minimum pricing in curtailing heavy drinking are highly overstated – the stupid models have a baked-in assumption that heavy drinkers are more price responsive than moderate drinkers, and that has things backwards.
- Marco Tabellini finds voter backlash against immigrants despite immigrants’ increasing employment among natives. He looks at European immigration to the US from 1910 to 1930. From his abstract:
Immigration increased natives employment and occupational standing, and fostered industrial production and capital utilization. However, it lowered tax rates, public spending, and the pro-immigration party’s (i.e., Democrats) vote share. The inflow of immigrants was also associated with the election of more conservative representatives, and with rising support for anti-immigration legislation. I provide evidence that political backlash was increasing in the cultural distance between immigrants and natives, suggesting that diversity might be economically beneficial but politically hard to manage.
Sounds like the last NZ election.
- This is just amazing. Here’s some folks at Laurier University in Canada berating a TA for a critical thinking course for having encouraged critical thinking. She showed video clips on two sides of an issue. The one that she’s in trouble for using was a clip from a University of Toronto professor. The cultural revolution has hit Canadian academia. May New Zealand continue to be immune.
- Another sledgehammer taken to Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains. This one hits on her allegation that James Buchanan supported school segregation. He didn’t.
- I’m quoted in this piece where I argue the case for Working for Families instead of minimum wage hikes.
- I provided Interest’s Top 10 last week. Highlights there include a nice NYT piece on the alcohol-cancer studies, a great piece from Russell Brown on how Auckland Council’s liquor people screwed up a Lorde all-ages show, and Dunedin’s impending problem where the Easter trading ban will coincide with an Ed Sheeran concert.