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rajivsethi 7 HN points 31 Oct 21
I recently came across a paper by Ursina Schaede and Ville Mankki that contains a fascinating empirical finding with major implications for the way in which we think about meritocracy. The paper examines the long run effects on students of a change in the manner in which their teachers were selected into a graduate program. Finland is well known for having an extremely effective school system, in part because primary teacher education has been “exclusively taught as a research-oriented, five year masters’ degree at universities” since the 1970s. These programs are in very high demand among applicants, with acceptance rates of about 10 percent. The admissions process has a first stage based largely on scores on a high school matriculation exam, followed by a second stage involving interviews and the evaluation of live teaching. Candidates are ranked again at the end of the process, and those at the top are taken until capacity is filled.
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rajivsethi 16 likes 04 Jun 22
The sheer senseless brutality of the mass killings in Buffalo and Uvalde have set in motion a familiar rhetorical dance. Advocates of stricter gun control accuse opponents of pandering to the gun lobby, or putting selfish interests ahead of the lives of innocents. Opponents respond by accusing advocates of trying to strip law-abiding citizens of their property and constitutionally protected rights. In less polite corners of the social media space, people are accused of being child killers on the one hand or gun-grabbing tyrants on the other. It’s a depressing situation, revealing an enormous cultural and conceptual gulf that seems impossible to bridge.
rajivsethi 5 likes 05 Aug 22
The prediction market PredictIt has been operating under a no-action letter from the CFTC since 2014. This permission has now been withdrawn, and the exchange has been ordered to liquidate all open positions by February 15 of next year: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) today announced it is withdrawing CFTC Letter No.
rajivsethi 5 likes 19 Jun 22
There were about 45,000 gun deaths in the United Sates last year, including 24,000 suicides and 19,000 murders. Of the murder victims, about 500 died in mass shootings. That is, mass shootings account for less than three percent of all killings. But their brutality and scale garners considerable media attention and calls to action.
rajivsethi 4 likes 13 Oct 21
A few years ago, Al Roth published a wonderful book called Who Gets What and Why, that describes in a breezy and informal way the highly technical fields of matching and market design. These are fields to which he has made pioneering contributions. Whenever I’m asked what economics has ever done for the world, I point to the third chapter of this book, which is called “Lifesaving Exchanges”. Here Roth describes the extraordinary role played by non-directed living kidney donors, whose single gift can end up saving not one but dozens of lives by initiating a chain of transplants.
rajivsethi 3 likes 08 Aug 22
In late November 2020, almost four weeks after the US presidential election, the race had been called, a transition had been initiated, and vote totals in a decisive number of states had been certified. And yet, the odds that the incumbent would be reelected were
rajivsethi 2 likes 21 Jun 22
The following is a lightly edited version of a review of The Resilient Society by Markus Brunnermeier (originally published in India Today a couple of weeks ago). The devastating spread of the novel coronavirus has had dramatic effects on economic and social life. It has also had an impact on the direction of scientific research. In this wide-ranging book, Markus Brunnermeier argues that the discipline of economics should pay closer attention to the concept of resilience, defined as the capacity of a system to rebound quickly “like a trampoline” from large and unexpected adverse shocks.
rajivsethi 2 likes 28 Jul 22
Many people were taken by surprise yesterday when Senator Joe Manchin announced his support for an ambitious legislative package that addresses climate change, clean energy production, prescription drug prices, and health insurance costs: Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a key centrist Democrat, announced on Wednesday that he had agreed to include hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs and tax increases in a package to subsidize health care and lower the cost of prescription drugs, less than two weeks after abruptly upending hopes for such an agreement this summer.
rajivsethi 1 likes 17 Jan 22
The brilliant and courageous scholar Lani Guinier died on January 7 at the age of 71. It just so happens that I was reading her book on meritocracy when I heard the news. In this work, as elsewhere, Guinier considered how American institutions and society could be transformed to promote both greater fairness and increased efficiency. I’ll lay out some of her key arguments here, as best I can, by way of tribute.