- Links for 08-01-15
- 'There May be a Complex Market Living in Your Gut '
- Paul Romer: Freshwater Feedback on Mathiness
- Pictures of Austerity
- 'U.S. Paychecks Grow at Record-Slow Pace'
- Video: NBER Feldstein Lecture by Alan Krueger on Labor Force Participation
Posted: 01 Aug 2015 12:06 AM PDT
Posted: 31 Jul 2015 04:16 PM PDT
I found this amusing:
There may be a complex market living in your gut: Conventional theories used by economists for the past 150 years to explain how societies buy, sell, and trade goods and services may be able to unlock mysteries about the behavior of microbial life on earth, according to a study by researchers from Claremont Graduate University, Boston University, and Columbia University.
The findings, published July 29 in the open access journal PLOS ONE, provide new insight into the behavior of the planet's oldest and tiniest life forms, and also create a new framework for examining larger questions about biological evolution and productivity.
Joshua Tasoff, an economics professor at Claremont Graduate University, conducted the study with Michael Mee of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and Harris Wang of the Department of Systems Biology at Columbia University. ...
Although microbes are ubiquitous, they interact with each other in complicated ways that are not well understood. A large fraction of microbial life exists in complex communities where the exchange of molecules and proteins is vital for their survival. They trade these essential resources to promote their own growth in ways that are similar to countries that exchange goods in modern economic markets.
Inspired by these similarities, Tasoff, Mee, and Wang applied the general equilibrium theory of economics, which explains the exchange of resources in complex economies, to understand the trade of resources in microbial communities. ...
The results confirmed the team's predictions. As trade increased, the bacterial communities grew faster. And while all of the microbes benefited from trade, the more a bacteria strain exported, the slower it grew relative to the importing bacteria strain.
"That means that species face a tradeoff between growing their communities faster versus increasing their own population relative to that of a trading partner," Tasoff said.
The findings open the door for the application of other economic concepts that could improve our understanding of microbial and other biological communities, Tasoff said.
Posted: 31 Jul 2015 03:33 PM PDT
More from Paul Romer:
Posted: 31 Jul 2015 11:33 AM PDT
Brendan Mochoruk and Louise Sheiner of the Brookings Institution say that Fiscal Headwinds are Abating:
This is a pretty good summary of the charts:
But in my view the statement "neither is it a source of strength" understates how poorly fiscal policy has been managed. The strong headwinds never should have been there to begin with, and we have yet to feel the wind at our backs:
Posted: 31 Jul 2015 10:23 AM PDT
Martin Feldstein says that when it comes to income inequality, you're all a bunch of whiners:
...we should not lose sight of how well middle-income families have actually done over the past few decades. Unfortunately, the political debate is distorted by misleading statistics that grossly understate these gains..., the US middle class has been doing much better than the statistical pessimists assert. ...
So it's yet another another round of "inequality has not grown as much as Democrats claim." Thought we had gotten beyond that. Today's news:
U.S. wages and benefits grew in the spring at the slowest pace in 33 years, stark evidence that stronger hiring isn't lifting paychecks much for most Americans. The slowdown also likely reflects a sharp drop-off in bonus and incentive pay for some workers.
The employment cost index rose just 0.2 percent in the April-June quarter after a 0.7 increase in the first quarter, the Labor Department said Friday. The index tracks wages, salaries and benefits. Wages and salaries alone also rose 0.2 percent.
Both measures recorded the smallest quarterly gains since the second quarter of 1982.
Salaries and benefits for private sector workers were unchanged, the weakest showing since the government began tracking the data in 1980. ...
The employment cost index figures now match the sluggish pace of growth reported in the average hourly pay data that's part of the monthly jobs report. ...
Posted: 31 Jul 2015 09:45 AM PDT