Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Highly linkable

One of the greatest economists ever, Ronald Coase, passed last week. He was 102 years old. He was still an active, working economist. His two great contributions, The Nature of the Firm and The Theory of Social Costs, fundamentally changed the field. In these he established the importance of transactions costs within firms and how that leads firms to be authoritarian and how assignment of property rights matters in a world of social costs when transaction costs are not zero. These are likely the first and second most cited papers in the history of economics. Here is a good summary of Coase's work and here is an appreciation written upon his passing. Both are well worth reading.

Malcolm Gladwell does an expertly crafted job in this The New Yorker piece pointing out the tension between the general social distaste for athletic differences equalized by certain means (chemical and biological therapies) and the general acceptance of athletic differences generated by natural or surgical means. The contradictions defy good reasoning.

At Advanced NFL Stats John Morgan shows how to lie with statistics. Just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it.