Friday, August 29, 2014

Links of the Week 29.8.14

1. Biography of the 5 co-authors of a recent Science paper on ebola who died from the disease

2. Courtemanche, Heutel & McAlvanah (2014), Impatience, Incentives and Obesity, The Economic Journal
Abstract: This article explores the relationship between time preferences, economic incentives and body mass index (BMI). We provide evidence of an interaction effect between time preference and food prices, with cheaper food leading to the largest weight gains among those exhibiting the most impatience. The interaction of changing economic incentives with heterogeneous discounting may help explain why increases in BMI have been concentrated amongst the distribution's right tail. We also model time-inconsistent preferences by computing individuals’ quasi-hyperbolic discounting parameters. Both long-run patience and present-bias predict BMI, suggesting obesity is partly attributable to both rational intertemporal tradeoffs and time inconsistency.

3. "Saving Horatio Alger" from the Brookings Institute (full of terrific graphs)

4. Teaching fish to walk from National Geographic (summary of a new Nature paper)

5. From 538: Is the polling industry in stasis or crisis?

6. Babcock, Congdon, Katz& Mullainathan (2010), Notes on Behavioral Economics and Labor Market Policy

7. This graph from from p40 of Autor (2014), Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth, showing the sharp decline in middle-income jobs over the last 20 years

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