it's a match!
A pair of American scholars who dedicated their careers to bringing people together were rewarded with a Nobel prize for economics, the Nobel committee said this morning. Alvin Roth, who teaches at Harvard and Stanford, and Lloyd Shapley, a professor emeritus at UCLA, were notified this morning that they had won the prize.
Mr. Roth and Mr. Shapley worked independently on cooperative game theory, tackling such subjects as why a price mechanism that helps match buyers and sellers for scarce resources such as diamonds doesn’t serve areas such as organ transplants, school admissions or dating services. In the 1960s Mr. Shapley, now 89, pioneered a process for creating “stable matches” by creating a speed-dating system in which the two sexes took turns selecting potential partners.
Harper’s basically hasn’t changed since 1984. But next month’s issue of the highbrow magazine will feature a shake up that Harper’s readers may notice. For the first time in the magazine’s 165 years, there will be a business commentary column.
Jeff Madrick, who has written about business and economics for a variety of publications including a five-year stint as a columnist at The New York Times, will debut “The Anti-Economist” column in the October issue of the magazine.
“These days, reporting on and demystifying economic news is one of the most important responsibilities journalists have to their readers,” said Harper’s editor Ellen Rosenbush, in a statement. “Jeff’s sharp eye and informed voice will make his column the perfect companion to Thomas Frank’s Easy Chair at the front of the magazine.”
WE ARE BROKE
President Barack Obama is set to roll out his backing of The Buffett Rule, which will be at the center of his campaign, reports the Financial Times. The Buffett Rule is being pitched as a “simple principle” of American tax codes inspired by Warren Buffet’s now-famous claim that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than himself because of the voodoo implicit in capital gains tax rates and the like that benefit the country’s top earners. It is brilliant, if only for already being one of the most well-branded pieces of politics in the history of legislation. Think about this less as a political play, or a piece of propaganda, and more one of brilliant advertising work.
New York City is one of the world’s gravitational centers for the media and publishing industries; this, of course, results in an inordinate concentration of English majors. News for up-and-coming English majors that already-graduated English majors are likely well-acquainted with: You’re not gonna make any money.
Among the reasons New York has the finest skyline in the world—consider that a statement of fact, not opinion—is not simply the skyscrapers bounding up the island of Manhattan but also their unusual arrangement. Like a great mountain range, the city is arrayed around the twin peaks of Downtown and Midtown.
Perhaps the appeal is Freudian.
It has long been believed that New Yorkers could thank God for their unusual agglomeration of buildings (or, for those on the Upper West Side not believing in His good work, eons of geological development). It turns out that Manhattan has a bedrock unusually suited to the construction of very tall buildings, in many cases just a few meters below the surface. But that solid land drops away in the gooey middle of the island, long limiting the heights of buildings in the city.
Or so the aphocraphists have been passing down for decades, at least since noted geologist Christopher J. Schuberth released his seminal The Geology of New York City and Environs in 1968. Therein, he posited his belief in a correlation between bedrock and big buildings, and like the Empire State Building, it has stood the test of time. But like a bad retaining wall, it all came tumbling down last month.
New hires involving mere mortals handling the nation’s money problems emerged today; the one you didn’t hear of was Kathleen Weiss Hanley, who was named to the deputy post over at the SEC’s moderately shiny RiskFin division. It is both less important and shiny than that other announcement, wherein President Obama named Alan Krueger as his pick to chair the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Who is he, and what will he do?
When Kathleen Parker, foil to Eliot Spitzer on CNN, wrote an op-ed in the Sept. 29 Washington Post about her displeasure with her recent move to New York City–the “rules for potted plants on an apartment terrace”; “a building ban on lighting birthday candles”–Manhattan media meted out a swift punishment.
The Awl encouraged Read More
It was a triple coronation today for the 2010 winners of the Nobel Prize in economics. Everyone, put your hands together for Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides, who won this year’s prize for their work on friction in markets.
Peter Diamond, a friend of 2008 Nobel winner and Read More
Summer is drawing to a close, and with the turning of the seasons comes the end of the Larry Summers era at the White House. Now you can say goodbye to all the hassles and headaches of public service. A straight talker who doesn’t suffer fools lightly, you never were Read More