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An Economic Map of the Globe March 30, 2006

Posted by procopius in Climate Change, Economics.
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The economist William Nordhaus is always interesting. I'm of the opinion that more economists should get into global warming, so it's always good to read up on somebody who's been in the field for a long time.

From his website I've found this cool economic globe. Basically, it's a rotating globe with where the amount of economic activity is represented by height and colour. Check out Japan.
Some minor gripes: It's North hemisphere focused and lots of the world shows no economic activity (perhaps it could be fine-tuned to show differences between areas with low economic activity).

Free Trade March 2, 2006

Posted by procopius in Economics.
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Kash from Angry Bear has a informative post on the relationship between free trade and growth. If your like me and interested in economics, but know next to nothing about it, stuff like this rocks.

Some quotes:

In the past few years several different papers, using different methodologies, have concluded much the same thing: more exposure to international trade may cause faster economic growth and development, but does not always and necessarily do so, and the determinants of whether trade is good or bad for growth are institutions and other economic policies.

Put simply, this means that if a country is getting other sorts of economic policies basically right, and has a reasonably well-functioning government, then trade can enhance growth and development, and will raise the quality of life for many more people than it harms. But if a country only liberalizes trade without getting the rest of its house in order, more exposure to international trade by itself could make many more people worse off than it makes better off. (Important reminder: international trade, as with most economic transactions, generates some winners and some losers; what we’re interested in is which group is bigger, and how strongly affected they are.)


while there’s only a gradually emerging agreement that trade can be good for growth under the right circumstances, there’s near unanimous agreement that protectionism (or the lack of trade) never helps growth.

My Name Is… March 1, 2006

Posted by procopius in Admin.

Since I’ve now got my first comment, I suppose that I should introduce myself. My sockpuppet name is Ken Miles, but because I wasn’t paying attention when I set up this blog I’ve ending up with the name Procopius (an ancient historian). I’ve decided to keep it (at least on this blog – KM will still be running around the internet getting into fights).

In the real world, I’ve got myself a PhD in chemistry and a nice job. I’ve decided to use a sock puppet just because I like my privacy.

How To Blog Better… Or At Least Not Burnout… March 1, 2006

Posted by procopius in Uncategorized.

Now that I don’t care about maintaining a regular supply to posts to this blog, it’s a lot more fun than my previous effort. Yay.

Bad luck to the three people who read this though…