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Blog: Market Design | What values do we bequeath to our grandchildren? Alberto Alesina et al. on the generations following the Cultural Revolution in China — "[T]he revolutions were effective in homogenizing the population economically and culturally in the short run. However, the pattern of inequality that characterized the pre-revolution generation re-emerges today. Grandchildren of the pre-revolution elites earn 17 percent more than those from non-elite households. In addition, the grandchildren of pre-revolution elites differ in their cultural values: they are less averse to inequality, more individualistic, more pro-market, more pro-education, and more likely to see hard work as critical to success."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | That was then, this is now, Minneapolis racial animus edition — "Running an unconventional campaign that spent little money and relied on volunteer labor, Stenvig won the 1969 election by pledging to 'take the handcuffs off the police' and to crack down on 'racial militants,' criminals, and student protesters. Capturing 62 percent of the vote against a moderate Republican opponent, Stenvig shocked the city’s political establishment with his convincing victory. Running again as an independent in 1971, Stenvig defeated Harry Davis, Minneapolis's first black mayoral candidate, receiving a remarkable 71 percent of the vote..."

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Blog: Ben.Kuhn | Learning to build conviction — "Overall, I probably did a pretty bad job. But, importantly, I was able to see my mistakes play out in the real world. Instead of modeling what other people would tell me to do, I built a model of the problem directly. So when I got negative feedback, it wasn’t 'Mentor X thinks this plan is bad' but 'the world works differently than you expected.'..."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Is the coronavirus making UBI look better? — "Another positive sign for UBI is that most Americans seem keen to return to their workplaces. One fear has been that UBI would lead to a couch-potato culture, with people choosing to stay at home even when they’re finally able to leave. But blue-collar service workers are continuing to brave the front lines even when faced with reasonably high risks of infection. They are not trying to get fired so they can collect unemployment. White-collar workers, meanwhile, are feeling restless and unproductive. Working from home may become more common, but most people seem eager to get back to the office — especially if the alternative is a combination workplace/schoolhouse..."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | What is the FDA Doing Now??! — "An innovative coronavirus testing program in the Seattle area — promoted by the billionaire Bill Gates and local public health officials as a way of conducting wider surveillance on the invisible spread of the virus — has been ordered by the federal government to stop its work pending additional reviews."

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | The general lesson still has yet to sink in — "Apple Store’s Temperature Checks May Violate EU Privacy Rules, Says German Data Protection Office -- The general point is this: you cannot over the longer run have a society based on such inflexible rules of adjustment. For decades it may seem possible, due to underlying stasis, but eventually the truth will be revealed. No single anecdote will be so convincing, and it will take a long time for the failures to pile up. And in the meantime this will breed disrespect for the more valuable laws."

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Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | Legends of Runeterra: Early Review — "Overall, a mixed bag. I don’t want to discourage those looking for a new game. Check it out! It’s free, the joy of seeing what they’re up to makes the first few hours reasonable (and, again, totally free), and you’ll know quickly if what this game is offering appeals to you."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | “Our regulatory state is failing us” — "If you wish, consider a simple question. When the CDC pooh-poohed masks early on, or botched their testing kit thereby delaying U.S. testing by weeks or maybe months, did the permanent staff of the CDC rise up and rebel and leak howling protests to the media, realizing that thousands of lives were at stake? That is surely what would happen if say the current FDA announced it was going to approve thalidomide..."

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | Some reflections on GRE scores — "There are many top economists on Twitter, most of them Democrats, who would never ever utter a word about GRE scores in a blog post or on Twitter. Yet when on an admissions committee, they will ruthlessly enforce the strictest standards for math GRE scores without hesitation. Not only in top ten programs, but in top thirty programs and even further down the line in many cases. It is very, very hard to get into a top or even second-tier economics program without an absolutely stellar math GRE score, and yes that is enforced by the same humans who won’t talk about the issue..."

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | The Miracle of the Internet — "The surge in traffic, on the internet as a whole and on AT&T’s part of the network, is extraordinary in a way that the phrase 20 percent increase doesn’t quite capture. AT&T’s network is carrying an extra 71 petabytes of data every day. How much is 71 petabytes? One comparison: Back at the end of 2014, AT&T’s total network traffic was 56 petabytes a day; in just a few weeks, AT&T has accommodated more new traffic every day than its total daily traffic six years ago. (During the pandemic, the AT&T network has been carrying about 426 petabytes a day—one petabyte is 1 million gigabytes.)"

Blog: Marginal Revolution | World’s Largest Producer of Rubbing Alcohol Can’t Manufacturer Hand Sanitizer — "Surely now, with people clamoring for germ-sanitizing alcohol, this excess supply [of ethanol] can be put to good use. Not so fast. The Food and Drug Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have prohibited the use of ethanol in place of isopropyl alcohol even though both are equally effective as germ-killers..."