Saturday, August 09, 2014

Some random links

Andrew Gelman has an interesting analysis of the Jamaica pre-school paper

NBER working paper on the link between extending unemployment benefits and reducing foreclosures

One for the social dilemma literature. A group of commuters band together (following instruction from the platform manager) to move a train to free a man who was trapped between the train and the platform.

On the evolutionary origins of the endowment effect.

Very good LSE politics blog piece by our colleague Professor Ron McQuaid on the multiple scarring effects of unemployment.

Time Preferences and Consumer Behaviour

Glaeser, Gottlieb and Ziv NBER paper on whether people trade off well-being for other benefits of living in cities.

Chair of the House of Lords committee on behavioural intervention follows up with this interesting letter.

Evgeny Morozov is a polemicist on issues around technology, surveillance and has often been critical of the Nudge agenda in behavioural economics. He outlines a critique here. I am sure a lot of readers working in that area will feel he is mischaracterising what they are doing but his point that focusing on nudges risks reductionism is certainly worth keeping in mind.

Every few months I encourage people to read this book by various methods. Elsters' "Explaining Social Behaviour: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences" is a powerful statement of how social science should be conducted and taught. There is a lot to learn in the book for behavioural science and Elster himself has been a pioneer in areas like intertemporal choice, emotions, rationality and so on. I am not sure I would go as far as predicting it will happen but there are similar alternative universes where Elster wins the Nobel in Economics for making the discipline more human and social.

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