Tuesday, July 27, 2010
"In contrast with the authors of bestselling books like Freakonomics, who are fascinated by obscure but intriguing questions like how to detect cheating by sumo wrestlers, Roth relishes real-world challenges." Much of Freakonomics was about crime and education, hardly obscure issues. I liked that Freakonomics presented economists as people who do research to try to find the answers to questions.
The problem with Freakonomics is the marketing, which was successful but dishonest. Graduating from MIT, teaching at Chicago, winning the John Bates Clark Medal, and publishing in top journals are not indicators that one has gone rogue. Exaggerting the novelty of Freakonomics does a disservice to people like Gary Becker, Douglass North and Roger Miller (who tried to sell a version of The Economics of Public Issues under the title of Abortion, Baseball and Weed), Dick McKenzie and Gordon Tullock, and many others.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Peter Rousseau "The Market For Bank Stocks and the Rise of Deposit Banking in New York City, 1866-1897" NBER Working Paper 15770
Although not traded as actively on the New York Stock Exchange as they had been in the past, the over-the-counter market for these securities was efficient and the local newspapers quoted bank stock prices on a regular basis. The prices revealed in this market became reliable sources of information about the soundness of these institutions. Most important,
ordinary depositors – mostly those not actually investing in bank stocks – used this information to choose among the options for placing their savings. It is in this way that the market for bank stocks in New York contributed to increased public confidence in the banking system and the observed rise in deposits.