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Articles by kevin quinn

Labor market monopsony and Peter Diamond

May 16, 2021

These are some no-doubt under-informed thoughts on monopsony  and labor markets that I’ve had preparatory to teaching the principles course.  In Peter Diamond’s first search article, I believe, he briefly discusses a model of  search-friction-induced monopoly that is simple but provocative.  The idea is (I am embellishing here, so this is loose) take a large number of sellers and we’ll say an equal number of buyers. Give each buyer a downward-sloping demand and let marginal cost  be constant and identical for each seller.  In a competitive equilibrium, the good sells for marginal cost and each seller serves one buyer. Now add search costs for the buyers–it doesn’t matter how big or small.  If we start from the competitive price, each seller now faces a demand which is downward-sloping

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All a simple misunderstanding

March 26, 2021

“It was zero threat. Right from the start, it was zero threat,” Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “Look, they went in — they shouldn’t have done it — some of them went in, and they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards, you know? They had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in, and they walked out.”Yeah, they were yelling "Hug Mike Pence!" not "Hang Mike Pence!"The deaths of  Capitol police officers? — they were evidently smothered with kisses.

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Summers and Ricardo

February 6, 2021

I share some of Summers’ concerns about the magnitude of Biden’s proposed stimulus.  The comparison to the January 2009 situation is marred by the fact that we are not now in a Demand-deficient Keynesian-style recession as we were then. What’s holding back output now is clearly pandemic-induced supply constraints. On the other hand, if the Ricardian Equivalence theorem holds, perhaps some non-negligible portion of the transfer component of the stimulus will be saved. (Even borrowing-constrained individuals will save some of a big-enough transfer.)

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Don’t get too close!

January 21, 2021

Politico on Fauci:One day into the Biden presidency, the longtime infectious disease expert described it as “a refreshing experience.”Shouldn’t we have a disease expert who is not infectious?! Just sayin’.At any rate, I realized yesterday that I have been in a foul mood for 4 years.  No longer!  We have finally rid ourselves of a Horse’s Ass and replaced him with an actual President.

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Signs and Portents

November 1, 2020

My favorite ; A hand-made sign a few blocks away from my house:ONE DAY, LIKE A MIRACLE, HE’LL BE GONEAmen to that!

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Laughing to keep from Freaking Out

September 25, 2020

On the theory that one effective weapon against an Insane Clown Would-be Dictator is ridicule, here is something I wrote a while ago.The Second Coming “This is the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world. Not just in America,
Trump is the best president for Israel in the history of the world. And the Jewish people love him like he
is the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God." –Wayne Allan Root “I take the gospel whenever it’s possible, but with a grain of salt.” –Sportin’ Life, in Porgy and BessOk, Scoffers, I scoffed, too. But I went back to the Scriptures –the true scriptures, not the ones the dem–marxist-atheist haters just make up—and Lo, what do I find? Jesus made his first million shekels selling water with a little

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The Wit and Wisdom of A. Fauci

September 12, 2020

From Woodward’s book: Fauci says Trump’s attention span is a negative number. By the way, is there any group organizing to raise money to pay the "poll-tax" that the egregious Florida Republican legislature and courts are assessing on ex-felons?

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Cancel Culture: Retail vs. Wholesale

July 12, 2020

When my stomach can take it, which is rarely, I take a look at Marginal Revolution.  Tuning in today, I see Cowen predicting that the intellectual right  will become much more open to deviations in the future — as long as all agree in being anti-leftist. And the latter involves, of course, the condemnation ad nauseam of "Cancel Culture." Look I don’t like this retail stuff they go on about either, but isn’t it rich to hear the GMU crowd, using Koch money and the influence it buys to keep the groves of their Academy  quite free of any left-wing ideas –wholesale Cancel culture, that –making the case!

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Blowing Smoke

July 7, 2020

The President’s keeps saying that the US has the lowest Corona-virus fatality rate in the world.  And he keeps talking about how we have a high number of cases because we test more. The game he is playing is evident, but I keep waiting for  the talking heads to point it out and being disappointed. He is referring to the US case-fatality rate, not the per-capita fatality rate. More testing lowers the case-fatality rate (deaths/case), simply by increasing the denominator. But it simultaneously raises the infection rate (cases/population) by the same proportion, leaving what we are really concerned about, the per-capita mortality rate (deaths/population =(deaths/cases) * (cases/ population)) unaffected. And on this measure, the US is the 7th highest in the world, at 39.82 deaths per 100,000.

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Protectionism and the election

December 29, 2019

Democrats need to campaign inter alia on a full-throated condemnation of Trump’s protectionism. Over and over again, they need to point out that Trump has raised taxes on ordinary people with his tariffs — we need to get an estimate of the net effect of the tax "cuts" less tariff-induced price increases and run with it. I have to say that years and years of  "progressives’ " apologia for protectionism — the nonsense about the jobs destroyed by NAFTA (when jobs created are ignored!) is a case in point–has contributed to the current muteness of the Democrats on these issues.Surely a full-throated anti-protectionist message could capture votes in rural America. And a non-negligible part of the pervasive corruption of this administration centers on the quid pro quos, explicit or implicit,

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capital-T Truth

March 13, 2019

Peter writes:

"I was provoked into thinking about this by a dreadful book review in The Nation: David Bell on Sophia Rosenfeld’s Democracy and Truth.  I haven’t read Rosenfeld, and maybe she’s pretty good, but it’s clear Bell is confused about the very starting point for thinking about the problem.  He talks about “regimes of truth”, which he cribs from Foucault: there is no capital-T truth out there, just different views on it which possess more or less power/authority.  We happen to suffer from elites or at least some portion of them, writes Bell, who have particularly dismal standards regarding what should count as true.  The solution is to replace the bad authorities with good ones, more or less.The error, which ought to be obvious, is that capital-T truth is irrelevant.  It’s the

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