I am adding a new element to this blog starting in 2014. On a monthly basis I will be posting a short list of “Links I Like”. These are external links to articles, websites, or anything else that I come across that I deem worth sharing. (I concede this is what Twitter is designed for, but—sadly—we have not yet reached the day when every sensible person I know utilizes a Twitter account.)
1. Former Calvin College professor of mine Steve McMullan, and Daniel Molling, a former Calvin College classmate and current research associate at the Kansas City Federal Reserve have co-authored a paper that was recently awarded Warren Samuels Prize at the 2014 ASSA meetings in Philadelphia. They present a new way to evaluate environmental impacts by expanding standard anthropocentric property law to included insights from environmental ethicists. Needless to say, this paper is both important and fascinating. Well-done fellas!
2. Malcolm Gladwell, a writer I (almost always) enjoy recently was featured in RELEVANT Magazine. In the article, “How I Rediscovered Faith” Gladwell tells personal stories about faith and also tells tales from his new book “David and Goliath”, which reexamines the reality of power and vulnerability.
3. It is 2014. Microcredit and microenterprise has been a “thing” for over twenty years now. In that time, we have learned a lot (I mean, A LOT) about the miracle (or reality) of microlending. For example: why doesn’t microcredit work as well as it we think it should? Microcredit Under the Microscope by Abhijit Banergee (of Poor Economics fame) reviews all the pertinent literature about microcredit to date.
4. The Economist recently published a short and balanced but (and this is important) smart perspective on US marijuana policy. Setting the specifics aside, the larger lesson here is to quit all the political wig-nut craziness and start thinking intelligently about how to vote for United States public policy.
5. Understanding how humans actually make decisions is becoming one of the most beneficial academic advancements of our time. Insights from 100 years of psychology have begun to change the way economists and policy makers make predictions and give advice. This essay on the behavioral insights on serving the poor by behavioral scientists Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan, and Eldar Shafir is a great introduction to how the field can be applied.