Re: Economics and E.T.s

2003-08-22 Thread Wei Dai
On Mon, Aug 18, 2003 at 05:28:34PM -0400, Bryan Caplan wrote: One idea he did not explore: Maybe there is no inter-stellar travel because the benefits almost never exceed the costs. It takes years to get anywhere, and at best you find some unused natural resources. If Julian Simon's

reproductive subsidies

2003-08-22 Thread Wei Dai
James Surowiecki has an article in the New Yorker (available at http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/?030818ta_talk_surowiecki) arguing in favor of child tax credits, on the grounds that raising children produces positive externalities. My question is, has anyone done a study that quantifies how

Re: Economics and E.T.s

2003-08-22 Thread Wei Dai
On Fri, Aug 22, 2003 at 10:50:35AM -0700, Fred Foldvary wrote: However, the earth is not a closed system, as we continually get energy from the sun, so even if we use up some resources, solar radiation will supply energy, and technologicalp progress will make ever more efficient use of it.

why aren't we smarter?

2003-11-25 Thread Wei Dai
Given that there is significant existing variation in human intelligence, it's curious that we are not all much smarter than we actually are. Besides the well-known costs of higher intelligence (e.g., more energy use, bigger heads causing more difficult births), it seems that being smart can be a

Re: why aren't we smarter?

2003-11-26 Thread Wei Dai
On Wed, Nov 26, 2003 at 04:47:17PM -0500, Robin Hanson wrote: There certainly do seem to be some situations in which it can pay not be seen as too clever by half. But of course there are many other situations in which being clever pays well. So unless the first set of situations are more

comic strip

2003-12-01 Thread Wei Dai
Here's a funny comic strip about using game theory for dating: http://www.otherpeoplesstories.com/061.html You might also want to check out the blog it was based on: http://www.livejournal.com/users/shiga/

Re: why aren't we smarter?

2003-12-01 Thread Wei Dai
On Sun, Nov 30, 2003 at 11:18:21AM -0500, Robin Hanson wrote: That and the difficulty of creating intelligence. It can't be the latter, because the intelligence that already exist was not selected for. Consider again the fact that Jews have an average IQ that is about one standard deviation

Re: new paper

2004-03-24 Thread Wei Dai
On Thu, Mar 11, 2004 at 01:44:42PM -0500, Bryan Caplan wrote: My new paper on the economics of mental illness, entitled The Economics of Szasz can now be downloaded from my webpage at: http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/szaszjhe.doc The paper makes the point that what psychology

Re: insanity vs. irrationality

2004-03-25 Thread Wei Dai
On Wed, Mar 24, 2004 at 10:54:25AM -0500, Stephen Miller wrote: I'm confused. How does one decide whether the younger version's preferences are more right than the elder's? When considering whether or not to return stolen goods to its original owner, how does one decide whether the original

lotteries and elections

2004-08-31 Thread Wei Dai
Does anyone know if there is a correlation between a person's willingness to buy lottery tickets, and his willingness to vote in large elections (where the chances of any vote being pivotal is tiny)? A simple explanation for both of these phenomena, where people choose to do things with

Re: lotteries and elections

2004-09-01 Thread Wei Dai
On Tue, Aug 31, 2004 at 08:25:16PM -0500, Jeffrey Rous wrote: When people ask me why I vote, my standard answer is because I can. Voting simply reminds me that we have something special going here in the free world. I do a decent job of learning about the candidates and issues not because I

Re: lotteries and elections

2004-09-01 Thread Wei Dai
On Tue, Aug 31, 2004 at 07:50:08PM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: I've been discussing with my undergradute students the rationality of voting. What about the possibility that many people do not deal well with with small probabilities, and mistakenly think that their votes matter? Why have

Re: lotteries and elections

2004-09-03 Thread Wei Dai
In other words, what you're suggesting is that for some, lotteries and voting are like candy, pornography, birth control, or narcotics, i.e., a legitimate way (in some cultures) for a person to deliberately subvert his own genetic programming and obtain pleasure that he doesn't deserve. Ok, I can

Re: another use for idea futures

2004-10-19 Thread Wei Dai
On Tue, Oct 19, 2004 at 11:32:16AM -0700, Peter C. McCluskey wrote: I think it's harder than this to adequately model p(x), because it acts differently in close races because the incentive for the losing side to cheat is highest when it's most likely to change the result. Yes, to be more

Re: another use for idea futures (fwd)

2004-10-20 Thread Wei Dai
On Wed, Oct 20, 2004 at 02:13:23AM -0400, Robert A. Book wrote: I think what you want is the Banzhaf Power Index, developed by Banzhaf (surprise!) in the 1960s. I forwarded your post to a friend of mine who's done some work on this, and discovered he's giving a talk on this very topic on

1% per day return

2004-11-09 Thread Wei Dai
According to page 18 of http://www.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/pdfiles/cfovhds/divid.pdf, for tax reasons, the average price drop of a stock on the ex-dividend day is only 90% of the dividend. Microsoft has declared a $3 per share special dividend, with the ex-dividend day being November 15, 2004

Re: Regulating Positional Goods

2004-11-28 Thread Wei Dai
On Sun, Nov 21, 2004 at 07:27:32AM -0500, Robin Hanson wrote: I was at a workshop this weekend where we discussed the possibility of regulating human genetic enhancements, and it was suggested that positional goods were a valid reason for regulation. It might make sense, for example, to tax

Re: Regulating Positional Goods

2004-12-09 Thread Wei Dai
I thought of one more positional-goods related policy: limiting the number of hours in a work week. In other words, forced spending on leisure, which as this survey indicates is non-positional: Do You Enjoy Having More Than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods