Archive for November, 2010

Thing to find out

November 21, 2010

Is Checkable Deposits from the flow of funds accounts the same as Demand Deposits in the money supply statistics?  If not, then what is the reconciliation of the two?  In other words, how does one derive the money supply from the flow of funds statistics?

Structural ambiguity

November 21, 2010

Flying planes can be dangerous.

An observation

November 21, 2010

People seen for the first time in dreams.

The surveillance occupations

November 7, 2010

In my first year at NYU, in the conference room where we used to have our classes, on the wall there was a big painting by Prof.  Baumol, I think it was.  Anyway, it depicted (not very nicely, but crudely) (but adequately enough) a camera perched on top of a building.  Think it was some kind of message?  Now, after all these years, I tend to think it was-a warning-you are being watched (!).

Then in my second year, I was seconded to be Prof. Flinn’s GA.  Now Prof. Flinn was a labour economist, and he soon had me working on job monitoring models.  It never struck me then, to ask him what he indicated by monitoring.  Anyway, he had me work night after night on some crappy National Longitudinal Survey of Youth dataset (NLSY).  Presumably I was to work on this shit for my dissertation.  They practically thrust it down my throat.

Glad I came back to Bombay and worked for my thesis under Prof. Pethe and Prof. Rao, on some sensible macroeconomics based on the flow of funds.

But I digress.  To get back to the blue painting of surveillance in the conference room, and juxtapose the job monitoring models, what do we get but a picture of the surveillance occupations.  Apparently companies routinely employ people to read intra company emails of employees.  Can’t be much fun, but a job is job, or is it?

I thought even then-how do they know?  I still think that-how did they know, but now I have more than an inkling.  I was hoping all their watching of me would have taught them something worthwhile.  Ironic, isn’t it, going there to get educated, ended up teaching them a thing or two.

The ratchet effect is important

November 7, 2010

I think NYU economics department was trying to teach me (a liberal interpretation here) about the ratchet effect in consumption when they lowered my fellowship amount from $12,000 a year in my first year to $7,500 for a graduate assistantship.  I didn’t have to work in my first year, but had to work in my second year.  Sure enough, I got into debt with NYU housing, because I couldn’t pay the rent on my reduced income in my second year.

I could have moved to cheaper digs but these were not available in Manhattan.  I would have had to share.  Sharing means finding people who are willing to share with you.  What a bloody pain!  I mean, getting approval from complete strangers!  What a bloody pain, even if I repeat myself.

“Look out kid, they keep it all hid”.

Which makes me think of the ratchet effect at higher levels.  If a CXO wants to maintain his lifestyle after retirement, he better have huge savings to earn income on.  What does a CXO do, who loses his job?

A limerick

November 6, 2010

A memorable rhyme whose author I know not of:

They say that I was in my youth

Uncouth and ungainly forsooth

To which I reply

tis a lie, tis a lie

I was couth, I was perfectly couth.

Standard Occupational Classification

November 5, 2010

Get the Standard Occupational Classification in the US, and in India (I don’t think India even has one.)

List the occupations and their remunerations.  Also list employment (numbers) and unemployment in that grade.

I’m off to try!

Map the SOC to 1. menial labour  2.manual labour 3. People management (supervisory).  4. skilled labour 

Got to think of more categories.

Things to find out

November 3, 2010

Find out which were the occupations that lost the most jobs in the recent recession.  Rank from highest to lowest.  Teachers don’t lose their jobs in a recession.  Education is funny that way.  It’s a pure cash business.  Do for other recessions.  See if there has been a change over time.  Elucidate the distinction between productive and unproductive labour.

Which occupational sectors are recession proof?

Engel’s laws

November 2, 2010

Dr. Engel himself examined the expenditures of thousands of Prussian families and formulated the following four propositions:  “First, That the greater the income, the smaller the relative percentage of outlay for subsistence.  Second.  That the percentage of outlay for clothing is approximately the same, whatever the income.  Third.  That the percentage of outlay for  lodging, or rent, and for fuel and light, is invariably the same, whatever the income.  Fourth.  That as the income increases in amount, the percentage of outlay for sundries becomes greater.”

Few subjects of economic research appear to offer greater rewards to the student than does this one

Economic Crises by Edward D. Jones Ph.D ,Macmillan, London 1900