Some Unpleasant Arithmetic

Some Unpleasant Arithmetic delves into the intricate relationship between economic principles and societal issues. It explores themes like housing and urban policy, gender wage gaps, immigration, nepotism, and the impact of economic decisions on the environment and social equality. The Substack critically examines market dynamics, entertainment economics, and policy implications, weaving together a narrative that connects economic theory with real-world problems and cultural phenomena.

Economic Principles Societal Issues Housing and Urban Policy Gender Wage Gap Immigration Nepotism Environmental Impact Social Equality Market Dynamics Entertainment Economics Policy Implications

The hottest Substack posts of Some Unpleasant Arithmetic

And their main takeaways
7 implied HN points β€’ 18 Mar 24
  1. The Oppenheimer movie explores the economics of science and how political beliefs can impact a career trajectory.
  2. Scientific progress is becoming harder and slower, influenced by factors like declining population growth and changing incentives for scientists.
  3. Cluster areas, like El Alamo for nuclear physics, play a significant role in scientific breakthroughs, showing the importance of collaboration and location in innovation.
9 implied HN points β€’ 30 Jan 24
  1. There is a battle of the sexes in terms of political identity and beliefs, with young women becoming more progressive while young men are not.
  2. Economic imbalances and cultural resentments contribute to the divergence of young men and young women politically.
  3. The shift from in-person to online socialization has played a role in radicalization and extremist views among young men.
7 implied HN points β€’ 13 Feb 24
  1. Socioeconomic mobility, the movement of individuals between income levels, shows a decline over centuries, with rich families likely to remain wealthy while others struggle to move up.
  2. Ancestral wealth and profession continue to influence present-day earnings, with a notable correlation between the wealth of families in the 15th century and their economic status today.
  3. The persistence of surnames and professions over generations suggests a significant impact on individual economic outcomes and social mobility, showcasing long-term wealth patterns.
5 implied HN points β€’ 02 Mar 24
  1. Economics can impact everyday life - like how male-dominated spaces affect women's performance and how integrated teams lead to more success in research
  2. Ethnic violence like lynchings can have significant economic impacts, reducing total factor productivity and output, as shown by historical data
  3. Research shows that changes in policies like legalized same-sex marriage can influence career choices, as seen in the declining enrollment of new priests following these laws
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9 implied HN points β€’ 12 Jan 24
  1. The new President has focused on shock therapy, deregulation, and an omnibus bill to tackle multiple fields.
  2. The government has implemented fiscal and monetary measures in response to urgent economic issues.
  3. The Milei/Caputo Plan is an emergency adjustment plan lacking a clear nominal anchor for long-term economic stability.
4 implied HN points β€’ 11 Mar 24
  1. Movies with racist content, like 'Birth of a Nation,' can contribute to a rise in racial violence and support for hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
  2. The popularity and influence of a racist movie such as 'Birth of a Nation' had a significant impact on racial violence and the growth of the KKK.
  3. The study found that the screening of 'Birth of a Nation' was associated with an increase in racial violence and Klan membership over a period of time.
4 implied HN points β€’ 04 Mar 24
  1. City attitudes towards housing directly impact housing policy and costs due to the close relationship between housing quantity and cost.
  2. Measuring housing regulation complexities involves identifying cities' own estimates of accommodating new residents, influencing their regulatory output.
  3. California's Regional Housing Needs Assessment provides a unique opportunity to gauge cities' preferences for constructing new housing, revealing insights into regulatory impacts on housing production.
4 implied HN points β€’ 14 Feb 24
  1. Valentine's Day can spark arguments about marriage rates and fertility, especially concerning the decline in marriage rates due to changing expectations and financial disparities in relationships.
  2. Factors like higher education levels in women, financial independence, and changing societal norms are contributing to lower marriage rates and different relationship dynamics.
  3. Cultural influences, economic factors, and policy changes are impacting fertility rates and family structures, highlighting the need for more affordable childcare, housing, and supportive policies for families.
3 implied HN points β€’ 23 Feb 24
  1. Having children can significantly affect the time use, work hours, and pay of mothers, with a burden of caregiving often falling on them.
  2. The gender wage gap is partly attributed to differences in pay and labor force participation between mothers and men, but not between fathers and childless women.
  3. After childbirth, women in Mexico tend to experience a decrease in paid work hours, an increase in unpaid work hours, and other family members, especially females, also take on more unpaid work.
2 implied HN points β€’ 08 Mar 24
  1. Attending elite prep schools like the fictional Barton Academy can significantly impact future success, leading to better chances of admission to prestigious colleges and higher income levels.
  2. Distinctively Black names have always existed in the United States, and research shows that having these names does not necessarily imply disadvantages in the labor market.
  3. Moving to better neighborhoods during childhood can have a positive impact on future outcomes, such as higher education attainment and earnings, particularly if the move occurs at a young age.
9 implied HN points β€’ 30 Jun 23
  1. Understanding how markets function is crucial for businesses to operate efficiently.
  2. Companies exist to simplify complex decision-making and to manage relationships between owners and workers.
  3. The dynamics of a country's economy are vastly different from those of a single company due to the scale, complexity, and interdependence of various factors.
8 implied HN points β€’ 03 May 23
  1. Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics explore economic behavior in various aspects of life through vignettes.
  2. The books present controversial theories and findings, such as the impact of abortion legalization on crime rates and climate change cost-benefit analysis.
  3. Critics argue that while the books offer a unique perspective, they may lack rigor in answering complex economic questions.
8 implied HN points β€’ 07 Jun 23
  1. Taylor Swift's monopoly on her brand and the limited competition in her music genre lead to high ticket prices for her concerts.
  2. Ticketmaster's dominance in the ticketing market allows for high prices, low quantities, and lower quality of service.
  3. Price discrimination, differences in supply and demand dynamics, and economic productivity explain varying ticket prices between US and Latin American Taylor Swift concerts.
7 implied HN points β€’ 06 Feb 23
  1. The biggest economic question is whether there will be a recession in the United States, with signs pointing to 'maybe.'
  2. The Federal Reserve's goal is a 'soft landing,' decreasing inflation without causing a recession, but their strategy and indicators have faced criticism.
  3. There is concern over a potential recession due to public perception and 'bad vibes,' even though current data suggests the economy is strong and may not need a recession to address inflation.
6 implied HN points β€’ 09 Mar 23
  1. Cities are often built for and by men, leading to limitations on women's public participation.
  2. Zoning ordinances have historically been used to promote racial segregation and inequality in cities.
  3. Urban policy and city planning have a significant impact on societal equality and wealth distribution.
6 implied HN points β€’ 03 Mar 23
  1. The movie NOPE explores the idea that certain things should not be produced or sold, highlighting themes of commerce and spectacle.
  2. Repugnance in markets can lead to government intervention when outcomes are not socially optimal, with examples like banning organ sales or slavery.
  3. The debate on moral limits of markets involves normative (what should be) vs positive (what is) economics, with economists often lacking background in non-math disciplines.
5 implied HN points β€’ 25 Apr 23
  1. Twitter drama over blue check verification sparked controversies among celebrities and users.
  2. Celebrities face trade-offs between engaging with a large audience and avoiding risks to their reputation on social media platforms.
  3. Challenges arise when the system allows anyone to be verified, potentially mixing important figures with undesirable individuals.
5 implied HN points β€’ 22 Feb 23
  1. Location choice for businesses is influenced by factors like market size, transportation costs, and differences in costs
  2. Cities experience agglomeration of economic activities due to labor market demand and specialization
  3. Urban development is constrained by limited urban land types and non-infinite demand for services
4 implied HN points β€’ 12 Jul 23
  1. Disney Princesses have only been an official thing for 18 years.
  2. The Disney Princess brand has undergone changes and controversies over the years.
  3. Brand management and integrity are crucial for Disney and have driven major decisions.
4 implied HN points β€’ 05 Apr 23
  1. The film industry is prioritizing big budget spectacles over creativity, resulting in low output and little interest.
  2. There is a trend of exhaustion with the current state of movies, with audiences craving new and innovative content.
  3. The history of the film industry shows cycles of innovation, exhaustion, and reinvention, suggesting a potential new realignment in the future.