Wednesday, 30 September 2015


George Borjas has a new paper on the Mariel boatlift (an exogenous shock that allowed many Cubans to migrate to Miami). This looks at a famous paper by David Card, and reverses its conclusions. But note, it also admits that the econometrics are tricky:
The analysis also documents the sensitivity of the estimated wage impact to the choice of a placebo. The measured impact is much smaller when the placebo consists of cities where pre-Mariel employment growth was weak relative to Miami.

A novelist's take on the demand for bad social science.

Kenan Malik on multiculturalism - very thoughtprovoking and particularly interesting is the idea that class in the 19th century was in some way close to race today. (Remember George Orwell:

Here you come to the real secret of class distinctions in the West — the real reason why a European of bourgeois upbringing, even when he calls himself a Communist, cannot without a hard effort think of a working man as his equal. It is summed up in four frightful words which people nowadays are chary of uttering, but which were bandied about quite freely in my childhood. The words were: The lower classes smell.
That was what we were taught — the lower classes smell. And here, obviously, you are at an impassable barrier.