Home > Uncategorized > Links. Households edition (and Coppola writes about H-W Sinn… Auch!).

Links. Households edition (and Coppola writes about H-W Sinn… Auch!).

1) Greece. According to my Twitterstream the proposal of The Institutions aims for Grexit. An offer you can refuse. In a country where unemployment increased to about 26% and wages have been cut with 15 to 20% the low VAT rate (food, medicine,…) seems to have to increase from 6,5 to 11%. At the same time, pensions have to be cut. Mind that during the last three years banks received government transfers of about 25 billion – and The Institutions only welcomed this. My advise to Greece: transform the country into a bank (latest: seems that the proposal to decrease especially the purchasing power of the poorest Greeks has been refused). miscellaneous 

2) Economic history. Richard Paping recalibrates the existing estimates of Dutch population growth (which date back to 1965). The main results: lower growth up to 1550, higher growth during the Golden Age (1550-1670) and a more marked stagnation after 1700. Not new but still remarkable: after about 1790 population growth increased to unprecedented levels. In the end, I can only explain this by the around this time rapidly increasing consumption of potatoes. According to Paping: “There has been some discussion on … the origin … of the relatively very high growth from 1800 onwards, whether a fall in mortality or a rise in fertility (partly in relation with falling ages at marriage) …. It seems … likely that all these factors contributed.” This is related to the ‘washing machine’ argument above: home and food technology and culture may have been more important than the industrial revolution (which passed the Netherlands by until at least 1840).

3) Poor Hans-Werner Sinn. Frances Coppola puts her mind to solving the Target2 puzzle and investigates if Sinn was right or wrong about this.

4) An interesting take on the neoclassical assumption that higher wages lead to higher labour supply while lower wages lead to less labour supply. Guess what: they don’t, as people have to pay the bills which do not get lower. Aside from this: the washing machine increasing non-market household labour effectivity might indeed have been more important to increase the supply of female market labour than market wages. Also, historically higher wages led to (first) a diminished supply of female labour (maried women 1880-1950, large differences between countries) and (later) also to less supply of male labour (1919-now). And though I understand the question: “How many men regret, when they die, that they did not spend not enough time with their… boss?” work might, according to this article, contrary to neoclassical dogma, actually have a fun side and a social side and a moral side, too.

  1. June 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    The purpose of work, or a business, should be first to create useful things that other people desire. Then it has to sustain the people and the business doing the work, and finally it has to produce a surplus so that it is resilient and flexible.

    Work should have a social and moral side first and foremost. Creating value should be most important. If pay becomes most important that’s a work-life problem, and if profits become most important it’s no longer really a business.

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