Thursday, October 21, 2010

Papers To Read

I seem to be very slow to either read these or write up a detailed explanation:
  • Francis M. Bator (1958) "The Anatomy of Market Failure", Quarterly Journal of Economics, V. 72, N. 3 (Aug): 351-379. John Cassidy takes this paper as the authoritative definition in his book How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities.
  • Arindrajit Dube, T. William Lester, and Michael Reich (2008) "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties", forthcoming in the Review of Economics and Statistics. Generalizes the natural experiment approach of Card and Krueger to look at all cross-state local differences in minimum wages in the United States between 1990 and 2006. They find no adverse employment effects from higher minimum wages in the ranges examined. You can watch a video interview with Dube here. (The Wikipedia page on minimum wages also lists meta-analyses, by Stanley and by Doucouliagos & Stanley, more recent than Card and Krueger's meta-analysis.)
  • Constantinos Daskalakis, Paul W. Goldberg, and Christos H. Papadimitriou (2009) "The Complexity of Computing a Nash Equilibrium", Communications of the ACM, V. 52, No. 2: pp. 89-97. Defines a complexity class between P and NP and proves that computing a Nash equilibrium is in that class. Thus, if PNP, Nash equilibria cannot be computed in polynomial time for arbitrary games. In other words, computing a Nash equilibrium in general is infeasible in practice. (Tim Roughgarden's "Algorithmic Game Theory" (Communications of the ACM, V. 53, No. 7 (Jul. 2010)) and Yoav Shoham's "Computer Science and Game Theory" (Communications of the ACM, V. 51, No. 5 (Aug. 2008)) are survey articles.)
  • Colin F. Camerer (2006) "Wanting, Liking, and Learning: Neuroscience and Paternalism", University of Chicago Law Review, V. 73 (Winter). Argues that three neural subsystems in our brains process "wanting", "liking", and "learning" separately. I don't think this is quite what Ian Steedman and Ulrich Krause mean by a Faustian agent, but it seems to be related.

P.S. Commentator Emil Bakhum lists some objections to Sraffa's analysis from Alfred Muller. I do not agree that these objections correctly characterize Sraffa's analysis, a point to which I may return. I think I would like a more complete reference, although I might not be able to read it if it is in german.

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