Economics of Moneyball, Falling youth population means fewer teachers, safety can be dangerous, Responses to lower gas prices, and Chinese economic growth and the service sector


“Overall, the falling youth population will affect the economy in many ways. The decline of local government employment may have been the first effect, and weaker demand for college may be next.”

Economics of Moneyball: “So even as payroll grows in importance, baseball magic can still come from both Lady Luck and clever entrepreneurs. It’s just hard to say sometimes which is which.”


Why safety can be dangerous. “It is human nature. When we feel safer, we take more risks. This applies if you are wearing a football helmet and deciding whether to run headfirst into your opponent, or a banker who thinks there is little downside to your next big loan.”

The behavioral economics effect of lower gas prices. “A new report by the JPMorgan Chase Institute, looking at the impact of lower gas prices on consumer spending, finds the same pattern as earlier studies. The average American would have saved about $41 a month last winter by buying the same gallons and grades. Instead, Americans took home roughly $22 a month. People, in other words, used almost half of the windfall to buy more and fancier gas.”


An interesting discussion on Chinese economic growth and what is included in the services sector: “The first mistake people in discussing the “service” sector is not realizing that real estate is included in the so called service sector.  In must be emphasized that this is standard the world over and not in any way unique to China but many people do not realize that when they talk about the growth in the “service sector” they are including very hard production and the upstream industries in this classification.The second mistake is in how we understand an industry that while recognized and appropriately classified as a service industry has a very large caveat due to “Chinese characteristics”.  Financial services are widely recognized as a service but there are two important factors which imply we should at least recognize the unique nature of arguing for a healthy economy due to service sector expansion.  First, financial services still derive the vast majority of employment, assets, and revenue from the major SOE commercial banks.  Second, these banks give out the large majority of their loans, by some measures almost 90%, to old industry firms that are facing large declines in revenue.  In other words, the financial services industry growth has come from the credit boom of traditional banks channeling money to old industry firms.”


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