Reuters poll of economists tips Spain for World Cup win

This article made my day. I am also picking Spain to win the world cup, but I am heavily biased since my mother is Spanish. It is good to know that my profression has my back on this one though:)

So if the economists are right on this one we should expect to see Torres pulling this pose a few times on his way to winning the Golden Boot:)

Binge Drinking and Risky Sex among College Students

Hot off the press from NBER, I was particularily interested in one of the main conclusions from the abstract:

Results from a rudimentary instrumental variables strategy and accounting for whether sex is immediately preceded by alcohol use suggest that binge drinking directly leads to risky sex. Some binge drinking-induced promiscuity seems to occur among students, especially males, involved in long-term relationships

I could have told you that without doing any econometrics!

Note: I have read nothing but the abstract so can’t comment on the actual econometrics carried out!

3D = Anti piracy?

As recently reported, Avatar now holds the title of highest grossing film of all time.

Furthermore, the film has grossed over $800 million more than Hollywood’s previous blockbuster, 2008’s The Dark Knight.

Given that the themes and story quality of both films was equally awful, the only explanation (in my opinion at least) is that the piracy level of Avatar must be significantly lower than that of The Dark Night. The explanation for this I believe lies in that fact that one film was presented in 3D, while the other was not.

Thus, as the lay pirater is without 3D technology, has Hollywood inadvertently found a (short-term) solution to it’s declining revenue problem: making films in 3D?

Quote of the day: On green shoots

From mouse on the rates blog comes this awesome quote:

It looks like Infometrics have been Smoking some “Green Shoots”.

Given I work at Infometrics, this quote is going to make its way onto my wall.  Bloody brilliant 🙂

Cartoon: Night classes

An excellent cartoon from Mike Moreu:

The main thing for me is the question of “what is the social benefit”.  In part education increases the human capital of the individual, which is something that the individual should pay for, in another part education can be consumption (which the individual should pay for) and in a final part some types of education also benefit other people – which is where government subsidies come in.

I think there are many night courses we can identify as not having this social benefit – and so the government shouldn’t pay for them.  I don’t know if this is the test the government is applying, but it is the one they should be applying.

Hence, I think Mike’s comic here is spot on – when a course only has private consumption and investment value it should be the individuals choice to do it and responsibility to pay for it.

Cartoon: Retirement planning

Given concerns about future retirement funding, I thought that this cartoon from the excellent Basic Instructions site hit on some important issues: