January 14th, 2008

in the dark of subconsciousness

The things economists learned in the last 12 months

... China is much further from world economic leadership than we may have thought. Furthermore, poverty in China remains severe; the data revisions imply that China has 300 million workers — about the size of the entire United States population — earning less than a dollar a day. Given these weaknesses in the Chinese economy, the yuan may not be so undervalued after all.

There has been plenty of talk about “predatory lending,” but “predatory borrowing” may have been the bigger problem. As much as 70 percent of recent early payment defaults had fraudulent misrepresentations on their original loan applications...

Many of the frauds were simple rather than ingenious. In some cases, borrowers who were asked to state their incomes just lied, sometimes reporting five times actual income; other borrowers falsified income documents by using computers.

In other words, many of the people now losing their homes committed fraud....

But in 2007 the outcome became clear: people tend to buy their favorite song from an album, online, rather than buy the whole album.

When it comes to piracy, illegal file-sharing on computer networks is not the main problem; instead, computer users, especially teenagers, burn CDs for one another. The music companies don’t have a good business model for making money from this.

Music company profits may not recover until other hardware manufacturers compete more successfully with Apple, which is selling songs very cheaply, knowing that the music will fuel demand for iPods.

When retired people move to a warmer state, their life expectancy rises dramatically. In fact, 8 to 15 percent of the increase in American life expectancy over the last 30 years comes from people moving to warmer climates...

Many major debates of economics remain unsettled. We’re still not sure what is driving the increase in income inequality. It is common to cite globalization and the ability to sell to the entire world, but the surge in top incomes does not seem to be coming in the most globalized sectors.

from Tyler Cowen in nytimes

via Tyler Cowen's blog

Почему фрилянсером в Германии быть выгодно

Как правило новый сотрудник в немецком предприятии увеличивает стоимость на одну штатную единицу, а производительность труда на единичную производительность труда, делённую на количество работников на предприятии.

Это, в частности, объясняет, почему врачу интересно нанимать на работу уборщиц, медсестёр и, в крайнем случае, практикантов, но не выгодно нанимать квалифицированных врачей.

Переход в ИТ от фрилянсера к GmbH стоит немалых денег. Переход от инидивидуала к группе - дикой потери производительности.