Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The blogosphere was loaded with good material today. I apologize if I miss any hat-tips.

Study concludes gas price regulation has increased retail margins on gasoline. Atlantic Canada specific. The conclusion is drawn by comparing sample average before and after regulation, unfortunately they do not even run the simple margin = constant + regulation_dummy regression. Test statistics are probably not computable from autocorrelation, but the result is probably still right; they quote other literature. The other thing I would be concerned about is that transport costs have probably risen over time, in accordance with the price of gas, and that is not controlled for, and since the reported margin is the NYC spot price versus St. John's retail, that would make a difference. Study here. It remains depressing how you can run a think tank publishing studies I wouldn't have been able to get away with in second-year econ courses.

Ridiculously sized numbers about the US deficit.

Data point on how much extra the Buy American provision can cost.

Nobody knows how many people work at the USDA, from the A Stitch in Haste, who also has a good post on bank lending.

A big debate on CEO wages at the Globe. Two hundred comments and change and I've yet to see anyone make the distinction that the wage more closely approximates the marginal, rather than the average, product of labour. I've recently wondered if the number of decisions made per day is a good measure of the marginal product.

At some point, I need to swear off reading the comments on the Globe and cbc.ca. It's not that I get angry; it's more of a sad frustration, coupled with the disbelief that the electorate really believes the ideas that show up there.

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