Pre-weekend links: Things politicians say

POLITICIANS ON ECONOMICS
Europe must focus on what works
FT– Chris Patten weighs in on the future of knowledge economy, security policy and enlargement in Europe.
Euro exit is ludicrous idea for any country: Hannes Androsch
preview.bloomberg.com– We must be prepared to bite the bullet with regard to pensions and social services, something our governments have shown little appetite for to date, says Austria’s former finance minister.
Vladimir Putin, transaction cost economist
streetwiseprofessor.com– Putin is advocating a system in which the state plays an important role in setting and administering prices, and governing contractual relationships between big firms. Coolidge once said “the business of America is business.”  In this case, the politics of Russia is business.

BUSINESS
Consumer adverts for pharmaceuticals: Impact on prices and sales
Voxeu– As a result of changes in regulation in the late 1990s, spending on direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceutical drugs in the US leapt from $150 million in 1993 to $4.24 billion in 2005.
Digital self-publishing shakes up traditional book industry
WSJ– Much as blogs have bitten into the news business and YouTube has challenged television, digital self-publishing is creating a powerful new niche in books that’s threatening the traditional industry.
How much the average American spends on entertainment
visualeconomics.com– On average, Americans devotes 5.6% of their budgets to entertainment. The biggest chunk? Audio and visual equipment and services.
The counter-revolution of development economics: Hayek vs. Duflo
aidwatchers.com– Experimentation, for Hayek as well as Duflo, is the chief instrument of social change. Making experimentation work for development requires institutional feedback mechanisms which can fit together newly-discovered ways of doing things in mutually reinforcing ways.

FINANCE & ECONOMICS
At the heart of the crash
nybooks.com– The current finance reform legislation before Congress may well turn out to be tame. The provisions passed will probably provide for only a minor breakup of the banks, and doesn’t adequately address the conflicts of interest and market-rigging that have discredited the ratings agencies.
The anglosphere and high-income concentration
worthwhile.typepad.com– Research shows strikingly similar patterns in high-end income concentration in five English-speaking countries. One story that suggests itself immediately is that of the ‘brain drain’.
The future of America’s working class
newgeography.com– The potential yobization of the American working class represents far more than a political issue. It threatens the very essence of what has made the U.S. unique and different from its mother country.
Should we retire later
crookedtimber.org– Leaving the pension age unchanged when life expectancy changes pushes people to work harder since their required savings increase. So, it makes sense for public policy to encourage later retirement, and discourage ultra-long working hours.

THE REST
Explaining fertility trends in Russia
Voxeu– In Russia, more educated women are also more likely to have children.
Dead in the water: A floating cemetery for Hong Kong
fastcompany.com– Instead of tossing ashes into the great blue yonder, burial at sea in Hong Kong means an urn stored on a floating columbarium moored to the main land.
Free heroin gives good results
politiken.dk– Actually maybe not. Providing free heroin to addicts in Denmark means better health and less crime for the addicts, but there’s little chance of any of them getting off of it anytime soon.
Why controlling bosses have unproductive employees
blogs.hbr.org– If your employees consider you a controlling person, even an unconscious thought of you can have a negative effect on their performance. Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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