Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Borg

The Amish population boom. Actually, the analogy isn’t exact, because to my knowledge the Amish don’t actively convert, or if they do, they aren’t that successful.  At least not when compared to the Mormons, who convert and retain in-group homogenization of norms very very well. at least over comparative time. Allotropic religious speciation, anyone?

But really, the success of any major religion dwarfs all of the above.

H/T: Tyler Cowen

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The optimal number of political parties?

Eric Lefevre: The two party system marginalizes the influence of extremist groups.

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On inequity and awareness

From Science:

The findings, Ross says, suggest that low-status gorillas use the game as a sort of ego boost. They can hit a high-status individual without repercussions, she says, and that gives them a feeling of superiority, even if it’s only temporary. And that means that gorillas are aware of inequities in their society, Ross says, marking the first time that such cognition has been observed in gorillas in a nonexperimental setting. The researchers will report their findings online tomorrow in Biology Letters.

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Inside debt what?

Alex Edmans at Wharton was brave enough to publish this:

The vast majority of theoretical research on executive compensation has focused on justifying compensating CEOs with equity-like instruments alone, such as stock and options. This emphasis has been likely been driven by the long-standing belief that, empirically, executives don’t hold debt. However, this belief arose not because CEOs actually don’t hold debt, but because disclosure of debt compensation was extremely limited and so researchers missed this component of compensation. Indeed, recent empirical studies (e.g. Bebchuk and Jackson 2005, Sundaram and Yermack 2007, and Gerakos 2007) found that CEOs do in fact hold substantial amounts of debt in their own firm (known as “inside debt”), in the form of defined benefit pensions and deferred compensation. In some cases, CEOs hold even more debt than equity. While the above papers had to hand-collect data on debt compensation, given limited disclosure, the Security and Exchanges Commission recently mandated disclosure of debt compensation starting from March 2007, which has allowed more systematic studies (e.g. Wei and Yermack 2010)

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What can brown do for you?

Just found Sepia Mutiny, a blog written for the children of Indian immigrants.

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Eternal glory?

If the Netherlands  win the World Cup (currently the odds are at 47%), midfielder Wesley Sneijder will have held the trophy for the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League, and the Italian league Serie A all in the same year.

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Regulatory arbitrage, earmarks edition

Today’s NYT:

Just one day after leaders of the House of Representatives announced a ban on earmarks to profit-making companies, Victoria Kurtz, the vice president for marketing of a small Ohio defense contracting firm, hit on a creative way around it.

To keep the taxpayer money flowing, Ms. Kurtz incorporated what she called the Great Lakes Research Center, a nonprofit organization that just happened to specialize in the same kind of work performed by her own company — and at the same address.

One day!

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Oh, the nuance

Sarah Palin:

“We have a President, perhaps for the very first time since the founding of our republic, who doesn’t appear to believe that America is the greatest earthly force for good the world has ever known. When asked whether he believed in American exceptionalism, President Obama answered, ‘I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.’ Amazing. Amazing. I think this statement speaks volumes about his world view.”

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