I’m taking a bit of a break from Twitter, which means I don’t have anywhere to share links to interesting things I come across. I thought I’d put a few up here.

  • Saul Eslake has dropped a whole bunch of truth bombs in a personal submission to the Senate inquiry into housing affordability. I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it; and not only in agreement with it, but in deeply moved agreement. He attacks supply-side restrictions on housing construction (planning, NIMBYism, etc.) and misguided demand-side measures (First Home Owners’ Grants, negative gearing, etc.) with equal vigour. 
  • A new study of intergenerational social mobility in the US made quite a splash. The NY Times piece is a good primer. Justin Wolfers managed to pithily summarise the paper’s findings in four tweets.  I found it kind of hilarious that Greg Mankiw excerpted most of the abstract, except the final sentence, which reads: “because inequality has risen, the consequences of the “birth lottery” – the parents to whom a child is born – are larger today than in the past.”
  • There’s an interesting debate going on about the consequences of technological development for the labour market. Tyler Cowen’s book Average is Over and Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s The Second Machine Age have both sparked a lot of discussion. I haven’t read either book yet, but I found Larry Mishel’s review of the latter book quite an interesting counterpoint.
  • Could falling real wages be the cause of the UK’s stagnant productivity? That’s the argument in a new paper that argues “under certain constraints the lump of labour fallacy is no fallacy at all”.