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Friday, 20 September 2013

WEEKEND READING: 21-22 SEPTEMBER


  1. Venizelos to Asmussen: Let's reorganise the figures. Not as embarrassing as Neo-Nazis in Parliament, but still very embarrassing. Predictably, Benito denies everything, convincing no one.
  2. A fascinating meta-analysis suggests that Greece may be one of relatively few countries where punishment fails to encourage contributions to public goods. The researchers find that punishment generally doesn't work as well without trust - because trust helps frame how enforcement is perceived.
  3. ELSTAT publishes a new edition of Living Conditions in Greece. Key figure, as I'd suspected, is that civil ceremonies have overtaken marriages in church for the first time in the history of modern Greece. Note also, on p. 116, the increasing use of incarceration by the Greek legal system.
  4. Speaking of ELSTAT, have a look at the report of its Good Practice Advisory Committee on ELSTAT's work so far. Check p. 31 for a list of Committee members.
  5. new batch of UN global population projections were released earlier this summer and somehow I missed them. An interesting finding - under all but the most optimistic scenarios, the Greek population will peak in 2015, never (well, never before 2100) to rise again. 
  6. The IMF reviews the relationship between income inequality and fiscal consolidation. Someone needs to tell them that using large datasets that end in 2009 is deeply unhelpful - and even makes them look dishonest.
  7. The IMF has also released a policy paper on the realities of fiscal adjustment in advanced economies and what lessons need to be learned - some of it is too dated for my taste but it's a very ambitious document.
  8. In other news, EU member states have dealt with the overlap between development and climate change funding by simply double counting it to help meet their commitments. 
  9. Researchers find that voters are much less attached to parties than we think; and being told they are on the 'left' or 'right' of the spectrum makes people reassess their allegiances.
  10. Political patronage in state-owned enterprises seems inescapable - even the Austrians are doing it.
  11. Another massive dataset: wealth to income ratios in developed countries from the industrial revolution onwards.

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