Katharina Brunner

Bloggin' since 2007

Lesenswertes: Das Internet und die Ökonomie

Lesenswertes der letzten Tage. Mehr lesenswerte Links findest du in der gleichnamigen Kategorie Lesenswertes.

  • Faking Cultural Literacy – – "It’s never been so easy to pretend to know so much without actually knowing anything. We pick topical, relevant bits from Facebook, Twitter or emailed news alerts, and then regurgitate them. Instead of watching “Mad Men” or the Super Bowl or the Oscars or a presidential debate, you can simply scroll through someone else’s live-tweeting of it, or read the recaps the next day. Our cultural canon is becoming determined by whatever gets the most clicks." Und außerdem: Draufklicken und das gif ansehen
  • Von wo das Netz herkommt by Marcus Schwarze – Zu Besuch in San Francisco bei Twitter, Google, Facebook etc. etc.
  • VWL-Studium: Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik fordert neue Lehrpläne an Unis – SPIEGEL ONLINE – SPIEGEL ONLINE: Frau Kaiser, wäre das VWL-Studium so, wie Sie und Ihre Mitstreiter es sich vorstellen: Hätte man die Finanz-, Wirtschafts- und Währungskrisen der vergangenen Jahre verhindern können? ANZEIGE Kaiser: Die Monokultur an den Wirtschaftsfakultäten hat jedenfalls nicht geholfen, eher im Gegenteil. Das VWL-Studium wird dominiert von der neoklassischen Wirtschaftstheorie: effiziente Märkte, quantitative Methoden und der allzeit rational handelnde Homo oeconomicus. Spätestens die Krisen haben diese Modelle jedoch ad absurdum geführt; sie wurden weder rechtzeitig erkannt, noch konnten sie abgemildert oder gar erfolgreich bekämpft werden. Stattdessen haben wir jetzt weltweit multiple Probleme.
  • Universität Manchester : Die Generation Finanzkrise will Alternativen | ZEIT ONLINE – Großes Medienecho zur pluralen Ökonomik. Ein Beispiel dafür.
  • Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium – Ein Text über IT-Sicherheit, der auch Laien wir mir die Problematik deutlich(er) macht: "Software is so bad because it’s so complex, and because it’s trying to talk to other programs on the same computer, or over connections to other computers. Even your computer is kind of more than one computer, boxes within boxes, and each one of those computers is full of little programs trying to coordinate their actions and talk to each other. Computers have gotten incredibly complex, while people have remained the same gray mud with pretensions of Godhood. Your average piece-of-shit Windows desktop is so complex that no one person on Earth really knows what all of it is doing, or how."

“Hardcore Macro Session”: Balancing the Imbalances

Folgender Beitrag entstand während des Global Economic Symposiums, das am 4. und 5. Oktober 2011 in Kiel stattfand. Alle Artikel sind auf zu finden.

The recession after the financial crisis is officially over and the economies are recovering, but there remains the danger of a double-dip recession. In order to build a more sustainable economy in the future, one issue to tackle are global imbalances. In a “hardcore macro session” a panel discussed about “Avoiding Currency Wars and Ensuring Balanced Global Recovery”.

The panel agreed upon the basic problems: Huge imbalances make the world economy even more fragile, excessive reserve accumulation worsens the problem and currency wars are counterproductive. And of course, there has to be a fiscal consolidation of the United States and European countries in the medium and long term. (mehr …)

Ökonomie der Naturkatastrophen

Yasuhide Okuyama arbeitet als Ökonom an der Universität von Kitakyushu und beschäftigt sich dort auch mit der Ökonomie von Katastrophen. Antworten zur Situation in Japan:

You were writing about the economics of natural desasters. What is typical for this?

Natural hazards, earthquake, hurricane, flooding, wild fire, etc., damage the built environment, such as buildings, houses, roads, lifelines, etc., and human lives, leading to economic damages. These are damages on capital (in a broad meaning, these imply assets for economic activities). These economic damages, in turn, lead to economic losses, business interruptions, caused by the inability to produce commodities and services due to economic damages on production facilities or due to reduced availability of intermediate inputs for production. The first case is easier to imagine (damaged facility leads to decline of production level) than the second case (reduced availability of intermediate inputs). As an example, in the 2007 Niigata earthquake, one factory producing automobile engine parts was severely damaged by the earthquake. This caused the one-week stoppage of production lines for all the Japanese automobile companies (TOYOTA, NISSAN, HONDA, MAZDA, etc,.). No factories of these automobile companies were damaged by the earthquake; however, because this particular engine part became not available, they could not assemble automobiles. This implies that they were indirectly affected by the earthquake. We call this indirect effect as higher-order effect. And, economic impact includes both economic losses directly related to physical damages caused by the event AND this higher-order effect.

We estimate economic impact for one year period after the event, because most of economic models we use (input-output model, social accounting matrix, etc.) to estimate economic impact are one year model.

Of course, there should be the long-term (longer than 10 years, for example) economic impact of natural disasters, and it has been studied to some extent, but most of research on economic impact of disasters are short-term impact for a few years.

You did research on the Kobe earthquake. How did things go on after this in the region and whle Japan in terms of economics. Do you think there is a similar situation in Tohoku region?

Kobe earthquake occurred in a very populated and dense urban area, causing significant structural damages on buildings, houses, roads, highways, railways, etc. On the other hand, based on the current information available, this 2011 Tohoku earthquake damaged mostly on many small cities on the pacific coast. There might have been sever structural damages on buildings, houses, and roads, but we might not be able to find these due to the tsunami after the earthquake, which washed away many of those cities. Also, since the Tohoku region is relatively rural area, and those coastal cities rely mostly on fisheries and agriculture (meaning their income level is relatively lower than in Kobe), their residential area were filled densely with old wooden houses, which have no way to resist against the large tsunami like this time. According to the scattered reports, some of cities appear completely destroyed (washed away by tsunami). It will be very difficult to rebuild such cities from scratch, since their economic base (agriculture, fisheries, and related food industries) requires at least few years to be restored and the community may not have sufficient financial resources to survive during that period. The Kobe’s damages and the number of casualties may be larger than in this 2011 Tohoku earthquake, but they had some industries left in tact and remaining population was much larger than in this case. So, the situation for economic recovery and reconstruction strategies for this time shall be much different from the Kobe’s case, and I guess it would be much tougher for the Tohoku region than for Kobe.

It is said that Japan was relativly well prepared for an earthquake. Do you think the loss reduction strategies worked?

A good question. The Japanese mitigation strategies focus mainly on stronger structure (resisting against ground shakes of earthquake for protecting people inside) and early warning and evacuation policy. We need more time to evaluate these with more detailed damage information. Based on the current available information, tsunami seems to have brought much severer damages than the shakes of the earthquake. If this is the case, the early warning and evacuation policy was tested in a very hard way. Whether or not it worked, we need more time to evaluate it.

Zum Weiterlesen:

Economics of Natural Disasters: A Critical Review – A Research Paper of Yasuhide Okuyama

Defying Gravity

In late 2008 the US credit market froze. How affected the „gravity problem“ the working of the economy and markets in the US during the financial crisis? What prevented market equlibrium from being realized?

What gravity is for scientists, equilibrium is for economists: a central and undeniable force. But what happens if this force doesn’t exist? The physicist Dr. Verlinde questions existence of gravity in science. Regarding economy the question about gravity is in the end a question about an existing market-equilibrium in the economy, the point where supply equals demand in a competitive market. In reality this point cannot be reached easily, due to the fact that the models are made under many assumptions and simplify reality. A lack of economic “gravity” means therefore uncertainties, market failures like asymmetric information and moral hazard or failed assumptions in economic models that keep supply from equaling demand.

The financial crisis and the Great Recession showed that economic theories might not entirely be true: Explanation why nearly nobody — neither economists nor regulators or investors — saw the risks in the always rising housing prices and the always getting more complicated financial instruments will keep economists and students occupied for the following years and decades. How could the crisis occur? Were there hints of a lack of gravity? In the following I want to show what influenced the markets during the financial crisis — uncertainties, market failures and failed assumptions — to loose its “gravity” during the four phases of the crisis: The bubble, the collapse, the recession and the recovery.

(mehr …)