Are Dead People Voting By Mail?

The subtitle of this new paper is “Evidence From Washington State Administrative Records,” and the authors are Jennifer Wu, Chenoa Yorgason, Hanna Folsz, Cassandra Handan-Nader, Andrew Myers, Tobias Nowacki, Daniel M. Thompson, Jesse Yoder, and Andrew B. Hall.  Here is the abstract: A commonly expressed concern about vote-by-mail in the United States is that mail-in […]

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The best argument against the Electoral College

Contrary to conventional intellectual wisdom there are not many good ones, but this packs some real force: Starting from probabilistic simulations of likely presidential election outcomes that are similar to the output from election forecasting models, we calculate the likelihood of disputable, narrow outcomes under the Electoral College. The probability that the Electoral College is […]

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Claims emailed to me, probably true claims at that

Un-convinceable people are frustrating to talk to. But being around only convinceable people, you just end up at the average belief. Having a diverse variety of unconvinceable people to sample from (and move away from when it gets to be too much), and a group of convinceable people with whom to hash out the ideas and […]

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The Great Chinese Inequality Turnaround (?)

From Ravi Kanbur, Yue Wang, and Xiaobo Zhang: This paper argues that after a quarter century of sharp and sustained increase, Chinese inequality is now plateauing and, according to some measures, even declining. A number of papers have been harbingers of this conclusion, but this paper consolidates the literature indicating a turnaround, and provides empirical […]

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David Henderson needs a reboot

David is repeatedly writing critiques of my writings on Covid-19.  (Google to them if you wish, they are so off base and misrepresentative I don’t think they deserve a link, and furthermore I find it almost impossible to track down EconLog archives under their new system.)  Virtually all of his points revolve around simple or […]

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Soon they will seek to cancel the rooftops

Based on a simple and intuitive point, the title of the paper is: “How Should Tax Progressivity Respond to Rising Income Inequality?”, and the answer is something you hardly ever hear acknowledged: When facing shifts in the income distribution like those observed in the US, a utilitarian planner chooses higher progressivity in response to larger […]

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The biggest cost of the trade war — less access to Chinese vaccines

From my Bloomberg column: The current portfolio is multinational, including investments in Pfizer, Sanofi, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Ideally, there should be at least one Chinese vaccine included, but there is not. Obviously, given the rhetoric of the current administration, using a Chinese vaccine would be politically difficult. You can’t call it “the Chinese […]

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How to conduct clinical trials while releasing a vaccine

There are many ways to conduct clinical trials while releasing a vaccine—indeed, we can make the clinical trials better by randomizing a phased release. Suppose we decide health care and transit workers should be vaccinated first. No problem–offer the workers the vaccine, put the SSNs of those who wants the vaccine into a hat like […]

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