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Nothing new really going on at my home university. I look forward to the “Social Science Task Force” being created, chaired by the Chair of the Department of Cherokee Poetry Studies that will re-evaluate the proper place of economics on campus. To be fair, our university DID just host a talk on fracking that included one of the authors of a famous paper claiming that methane leaks from fracked wells make then as “dirty” as burning coal – I’ll leave it to readers to imagine what the scientific consensus actually concluded about that study. However, at that event, it appears that “other points of view” were also offered.


We’re hoping to visit a few frack sites in Pennsylvania in the next month. If they allow me to bring my camera I will report on it sometime in June.

ELSEWHERE in today’s research news:

  1. Exposure to radiation in the womb is bad.
  2. Up to a third of manufacturing firms misestimate their future production runs. I was surprised at how small this number was! The authors concluded that this kind of optimism and pessimism lead to “welfare” losses comparable to that of business cycle fluctuations. What does KrugTron say about this confidence fairy problem? Or does this say something about all of our cognitive limits and the problem of uncertainty?
  3. “We find industrial policy subsidizing either the R&D or the continued operation of incumbents reduces growth and welfare. ” We here in the U.S. not only subsidize incumbents, but underfund basic R&D and also when we are funding R&D are doing it with such innovations as awarding solar panel manufacturers who are trying to compete with Chinese manufacturers.
  4. It seems like charities that are awarded large outside grants do NOT face future funding losses from traditional donors. Call this a “crowd-in” effect.
  5. Here’s a neat new theory for why you and your spouse are perhaps better off by not assigning specific household chores to each other and the kids.
  6. Does losing a job induce teens to have more children? The folk wisdom, I think, is that the answer would be yes, since there is more time for kids and because of welfare benefits of having them. The newest research suggests precisely the opposite, ” For black teens, however, job losses to 1% of the working-age population decrease the birth rate by around 2% … We also find evidence that relatively advantaged black teens disproportionately abort after job losses, implying that the average child born to a black teen in the wake of job loss is relatively more disadvantaged.”

2 Responses to “Catholic Bishop to Chair Task Force on the Perils and Promises of Atheism”

  1. Harry says:

    Thanks for the update, WC!

    My neighbor told me she owns some property “up in the mountains” and that somebody had made overtures for drilling rights; she has retained a lawyer to represent her interests, and I sure hope she gets a jackpot, maybe a big one that pays her far more than what our socialist government thinks is “enough.” Her husband died last fall, too early.

    When you visit those wells, take pictures with your phone, pretending you are describing the horror to Governor Cuomo.

  2. RIT_Rich says:

    I really doubt anyone at your school (and most schools) pays attention to this stuff. I think at this point in time they’ve overplayed their hand so much, most people have stopped caring. Similarly at RIT they build their entrepreneurship center and were so proud of the LEED certification. First, I doubt most students know or care. Second, even the ones who make a living leeching off this stuff freely admit that LEED is a scam. And third, the building is better known as “the urinal” for its looks (you have to go inside to understand why), then as a symbol of “sustainability”. I say let them overplay their hand.

    So who cares what the apparatchiks do? I bet there’s more readers to your blog than to the UR Green News.

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