Kiwi start-up to the Venus rescue

On Monday, scientists announced the astonishing discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. This chemical could have been produced by a biological source, but scientists won’t know for sure without sending a spacecraft to the planet. As luck would have it, Rocket Lab, the private small rocket company founded in New Zealand, has been […]

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How to make yourself happier during the pandemic

There is plenty of relevant psychological advice, here is some more narrowly economic advice from my latest Bloomberg column.  Start with this key point: …it is a common result in empirical economics that consumption habits are slow to adjust to changing circumstances, especially unprecedented circumstances. It is not enough for you to develop new spending habits — […]

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Singapore markets in some things not everything

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is looking to launch no-destination flights that will depart from and land in Changi Airport next month, in a bid to give its ailing business a lift. Sources told The Straits Times that the national carrier is working towards launching this option for domestic passengers – dubbed “flights to nowhere” – by end-October. […]

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My Conversation with Matt Yglesias

Substantive, interesting, and fun throughout, here is the audio, video, and transcript.  For more do buy Matt’s new book One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger.  Here is the CWT summary: They discussed why it’s easier to grow Tokyo than New York City, the governance issues of increasing urban populations, what Tyler got right […]

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Uh-oh Mumbai

The spatial layout of cities is an important feature of urban form, highlighted by urban planners but overlooked by economists. This paper investigates the causal economic implications of city shape in India. I measure cities’ geometric properties over time using satellite imagery and historical maps. I develop an instrument for urban shape based on geographic […]

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From the comments, on alien visitation

it looks like Avi Loeb (Harvard astronomer) is writing a book that will argue that we have been visited by aliens. Harvard’s top astronomer lays out his controversial theory that our solar system was recently visited by advanced alien technology from a distant star. In late 2017, scientists at a Hawaiian observatory glimpsed an object […]

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What should I ask Edwidge Danticat?

I will be doing a Conversation with her, she is the famed Haitian author.  Here is her extensive Wikipedia page.  Or here is part of a shorter bio: Author Edwidge Danticat was born on January 19, 1969 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to André Danticat and Rose Danticat. In 1981, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, where […]

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Claims about Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir

Viking society wasn’t homogeneous. They had dealings with many different cultures and they lived in varied environments, from Danish and Swedish pasture to the sub-Arctic tundra of Norway and Iceland. In the early 11th century the best-travelled woman in the world must have been Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, whose remarkable journeys demonstrate the great distances the Vikings covered. […]

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My Conversation with Nathan Nunn

Here is the transcript, audio, and video.  Here is part of the summary: Nathan joined Tyler for a conversation about which African countries a theory of persistence would lead him to bet on, why so many Africans live in harder to settle areas, his predictions for the effects of Chinese development on East Africa, why […]

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My podcast with David Perell on “the Tyler Cowen production function”

Here goes, it is not for me to judge the quality of the result, but I can say that David is a very good interviewer.  Here are his summary notes: Tyler ends every episode of his podcast asking about other people’s production function. How do you get so much done? What’s the secret sauce of […]

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