How to Mine Bitcoin Digital Trends

[Diplomacy] The Third Belt and Road Forum: The Caucasus

June 8th, 2021
Beijing, China
The reality is that China does not have the military power that the United States and Russia bring to the world stage, nor do we have decades of Cold War influence that have carved out spheres of influence in the forms of economic unions, alliances, and buffer zones. However, we have the greatest weapons of all on our side: time, and an artificially-devalued currency that allows us to perform what Western economists refer to as "black magic." Our system has confounded the West and its brightest minds for years, and they will continue to scratch their heads as the honorable and powerful People's Republic exercises our soft economic power to carve out our own spheres of influence across the world.
Debt is a loaded gun with a hair trigger, a time bomb with a broken clock. There is a reason moneylenders were so hated all throughout human history -- they held power over their debtors, real power. In a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by the multilateral alliance of NATO and the lone Dragon, we must build a multinational web of our own. We do not have natural allies as do the Americans and Europeans, and many around us do not trust us enough to sign onto a permanent military alliance. However, we can slowly bring the nations of the world to appreciate us through copious investments. And it is through these investments that we will make these countries dependent upon us for growth, so that they may one day repay our kindness with a favor of our own request. The greatest minds of China, including Paramount Leader Xi Jinping, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun, and Silk Road Fund Chairwoman Jin Qi have determined that this is our path forward, and we will follow it to the glorious destiny that awaits us.
The first Belt and Road Forum of 2021 will focus on a valuable reason, one with limitless potential for growth and profit, and an important battleground in the war for global influence: the Caucasus. Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan have been isolated for this round of offers, focusing on infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and more.

Turkey: The Middle Corridor

A nation seeking to increase its own global standing, the Republic of Turkey recently announced the creation of the Middle Corridor Project, an investment program seeking to increase connectivity between Europe and Asia through Anatolia and the Caucasus. Conveniently enough, the People's Republic share the same goal. While Chinese-Turkish relations are not all they once were, it is our opinion that our nations still have much to gain through cooperation in this arena. Therefore, we bring the following offers to the Republic of Turkey:
Working On the Railroad
Following the imminent integration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway with the Edirne-Kars High Speed Railway, the Turkish-Chinese trade network -- with a total volume of over $100 billion -- will become much faster and more efficient. The vast expansion of this capacity for movement of goods will continue to open up trade avenues between Turkey and China, allowing the Turks to benefit from Chinese investment and affordable manufacturing while Chinese companies will gain access to one of the largest and fastest-growing markets and industrial bases in Europe. To further accelerate and improve this process, China is willing to offer a loan of $2 billion dollars at a 2.4% yearly interest rate for the purpose of more quickly integrating the two rail networks with the rest of the trans-Asian railways. As Chinese companies have been proven to construct a mile of high speed rail for the ludicrously low price of $30 million, this offer should invigorate the process and greatly enhance the railway's capabilities should Turkey accept.
The Nuclear Option
A major goal of the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources throughout the 2010s has been the construction of nuclear power plants in order to increase the nation's share of energy from that source. However, a number of projects have only ended in failure, having met various roadblocks from the safety issues that led to the abandonment of the Sinop Power Plant Project and the deterioration of relations with Russia that have halted the progress on the notable Akkuyu Power Plant Project, which was originally scheduled to be built, owned, and operated by Russian parent company Rosatom. The final nuclear plant scheduled in Turkey is the İğneada Power Plant, to be supported by American company Westinghouse Electric.
The People's Republic believes that Turkey would be better off working with the expert Chinese engineers and technicians, rather than the Russians, whose vision of Turkey and willingness to help is clouded by political tension, and the Americans, whose vision of Turkey is little more than a puppet and bulwark against Islamic terrorism in the Middle East. Certainly, Turkey can do better than this. The People's Republic has recognized that Turkey's economy has incredible potential fueled by a hardworking people and a bounty of natural resources. Therefore, we offer the following proposal to the Republic of Turkey:

Georgia: On My Mind

Georgia, despite the relative prosperity in Tbilisi and other major cities, is still very much a developing country. It is heavily reliant on agriculture in many regions, and subsistence farming remains quite common throughout rural parts of the nation. The People's Republic's analysis of the country has determined that in order for it to accelerate its growth and drastically increase its standard of living, it must break the economic stranglehold that is subsistence farming, and Chinese corporations are more than willing to assist in this task. In 2019, Maya Tskitishvili, the Georgian Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development commented that the Belt and Road Initiative would serve an essential function in growing the Georgian economy. As Georgia was one of the first nations to express interest in the initiative back in 2015, we find it fit to repay this faith in kind.
Fixing Farms
As stated, reforming agriculture through the end of subsistence farming is key to unlocking Georgia's industrial and economic potential. To this end, the Beijing Hosen Investment Management Group, along with a number of smaller Chinese agricultural investment firms, are willing to invest a total of $40 million into purchasing farms of 200 acres or less, or farms that have a projected yearly revenue of $50,000 or less, in order to consolidate them into large farms. These farms will employ at least 80% of their workers as Georgian nationals, while Chinese workers may be immigrated into the country to pick up the remaining jobs that will be created -- a notion that Georgia has previously explored with South African, Armenian, and Arabian nationals. Agriculture is generally associated with economies of scale, meaning that larger farms are more productive and more cost-efficient, so neighboring farms that can be combined into singular large enterprises will have a higher priority for purchase and investment. Furthermore, for larger-scale, Georgian-owned agricultural projects, the People's Republic is willing to offer various loans to Georgian companies. A total of $250 million will be made available at a flat yearly interest rate of 3% for the lease of Chinese-manufactured farming equipment from WeiFang Guanghui Agriculture Mechanism, Shandong Yingsheng Machinery Company, and the Qingdao Iaoshan Tractor Factory.
The governments and cooperations of China and Georgia will cooperate to ensure that Georgian farmers who sell their farms will be able to find jobs in the newly-consolidated agricultural conglomerates to ease fears of unemployment. Furthermore, our economists (as well as Georgian economists) estimate that the jobs created by the elimination of subsistence farming will more than compensate for those lost during the transition.
Bit by Boring Bit
Interestingly, a growing career path in the nation of Georgia is full-time Bitcoin mining, as well as other forms of cryptocurrency. It is becoming quite common for young Georgians to take advantage of powerful Soviet-era electricity grids and the abundance of electricity in the region to mine vast quantities of cryptocurrency, making Georgia one of the leading countries in the crypto market. We believe that we can use this to our advantage. Chinese investment banks, notably the Agricultural Bank of China, will purchase a number of cryptomines and put them to work for the People's Republic, subsidizing part of the electricity cost in exchange for a portion of the profits and a foot in the door of the vast Caucasian energy industry, which will be developed more later.

Azerbaijan: The Middle Child

At the Second International Belt and Road Forum in 2019, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev indicated his country's express interest in taking part of the project to expand its infrastructure and trade opportunities. With the increasing importance of the BTK railway, we see it fit to secure our interests in the Azerbaijani economy so that both our countries may profit. We wish to extend an offer of a loan of $8 billion with an interest rate of 3.2% to Azerbaijan to be used in expanding the Baku International Sea Trade Port, which currently handles 15 million tons of cargo, to handle 25 million tons of cargo by 2028. We would also like to explore the possibility of increased Chinese presence in the Caspian through investments in Caspian Sea natural gas, and the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation is willing to invest $2.4 billion for the construction of two natural gas drilling facilities in the Bahar offshore oil and gas field in the southern Caspian. These natural gas facilities will employ at least 80% of its labor force as Azerbaijani workers, and up to 49% of shares in the facilities will be made available for sale to non-Chinese investors. There are an estimated 25×109 m3 of natural gas in the Bahar fields alone, and the fields currently produce around 130 billion m3, making them a valuable resource that should yield consistent production and profit well into the future.

The Fourth Belt and Road Forum

The People's Republic is open for business. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak that scarred many economies around the world, we want our fellow nations to know that China is willing and able to invest in them to ensure a better future for both our peoples. Currently, China is targeting the Middle East for the next round of investments, but the People's Republic promises that any nation which requests loans will be considered.
submitted by also_pike to Geosim [link] [comments]

Disaster averted: How I would go about addressing climate change

There is a lot of despair surrounding climate change lately, because the future we had hoped for did not unfold. The despair is justified to a large degree, as a lot of things have gone terrible wrong. As an example, the Americans have decided to elect a president who doesn't want to commit to reducing carbon emissions and instead wants to subsidize the dying coal industry.
I don't feel like delving too much into the question of what causes this delusional mentality, nor do I feel like addressing the various arguments people have come up with to justify sticking their heads into the sand. Today I'd rather look at some of the things we can still do, to preserve a habitable planet. Even if the catastrophic predictions about positive feedback loops that go around turn out to be correct, it's unjustified to state that all hope is lost. There's a lot that can still be done, that people haven't adequately considered. I hope to cover some of those projects today.

Emergency interventions for threatened ecosystems

You might have seen some of the studies that came out, arguing that limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius would be insufficient to save most of the world's coral reefs. The coral reefs seem to be the most urgently threatened ecosystems out there. However, there are a number of emergency measures we can take, that would help us to buy time to prevent the coral reefs from dying.
As an example, we can emit sulfates into the atmosphere, that block sunlight. It's estimated that one kilogram of well-placed sulfates, can offset the effects of hundreds of thousands of kilogram of carbon dioxide. Studies have been done on this subject, which found that placing sulphates into the atmosphere, would help us to prevent the coral reefs from dying. Other emergence measures for the coral reefs are discussed here.
Important of course to note is that the coral reefs aren't just at risk of extreme temperatures, they're threatened by ocean acification too. However, ocean acidification can also be addressed to some degree as well. Seaweed takes up carbon from the ocean when it grows, thus locally reducing the Ph of the ocean. Studies are being done, that look at protecting coral reefs, by building seaweed farms near the coral reefs. The seaweed farms are found to be able to buy us anywhere between 7 to 21 years.
Of course, it's important to note that we first need to ensure that seaweed cultivation becomes economically viable on such a large scale. A good start would be to start eating seaweed. Globally, seaweed cultivation is the fastest growing crop, growing by an estimated 8% per year. Billions of people worldwide receive too little iodine in their diet, including an estimated 70% of people in the United Kingdom. I personally try to eat a lot of seaweed. If the seaweed industry grows fast enough, costs may eventually drop down enough, to allow us to feed seaweed to our pets and to farm animals, before we will eventually use seaweed as a form of biomass for renewable energy.

The meat industry

The Japanese eat a third of the amount of meat Americans eat, but live four years longer on average, with far less obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. I think humans benefit from some animal products in their diet, but we certainly don't need as much meat in our diet as we eat in the Western world. The ideal scenario would be if we could eliminate the consumption of all domesticated vertebrates. Instead, the main meat we would continue to eat would be from shellfish.
We're approaching the point where we can grow meat in labs, at commercially viable prices. When this happens the amount of land needed to produce meat is reduced by 99%, while greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 78-96%. Globally, the vast majority of the land we use, is used to grow animals who end up as meat on our dinner plate.
It's clear that if lab-grown meat can be deployed on a large enough scale, large-scale reforestation of the planet becomes a viable objective to pursue. Many farms will go bankrupt, while massive migrations from the countryside towards the city will occur, as new jobs will emerge in cities, at the cost of rural lands. Governments can and should encourage this development. An easy way to encourage this development, would be to level the playing field. You don't need to subsidize lab-grown meat, we can easily stand on our own feed. Instead, get rid of your agricultural subsidies for meat production.
I'm all in favor of Britain withdrawing from the EU, because the EU pumps billions of dollars every year into an unsustainable form of agriculture that puts our planet on the path towards global annihilation while filling the pockets of blue-blooded aristocrats who happen to have inherited a lot of land, most of which was simply stolen over successive generations.

Renewable energy

I have long been skeptical, but it's clear to me now that an economy based on renewable energy can function. It might not be easy and it may take some adaptation, but we can sustain civilization without fossil fuels. The big argument generally brought up against renewable energy is that renewable energy is an intermittent form of energy.
However, this doesn't have to be a significant problem, if we consider the simple fact that our civilization can learn to use energy on an intermittent basis. As an example, a house that's well insulated can lose 1 degree Celsius of heat, when it goes four hours without being heated. Thus, if you're dealing with intermittent electricity, excess electricity could quite easily be used to heat the house.
How would you go about using excess electricity to heat your house? I can think of many ways, but here's an example: If your computer is using Boinc, it could quite easily be set up to start grinding once electricity prices are cheap and temperatures in your house are low. Once Gridcoin becomes a success, this will actually earn you money. Similarly, when your refrigerator is closed, like it generally is during the night, it can quite easily go a few hours without cooling. Appliances can quite easily be designed to work with the reality of intermittent electricity.
Of course I'm not suggesting here that we could cope with a world where everything runs on intermittent solar and wind, with zero storage. Fortunately, to some degree we will find ourselves able to store electricity. Electrical cars can be used to donate electricity to the grid, during moments of (looming) shortage. In addition to this, we will always maintain a source of electricity that's not intermittent: Biomass. In the ideal scenario, we will create giant seaweed farms, where seaweed is grown that's then burned in our current coal plants. The carbon that's emitted when the seaweed is burned can then be used for various purposes, rather than being dumped into the atmosphere.
I often see the argument proposed that some solution can't be scaled. There is not enough lithium for electrical cars, there is not enough lead for batteries, there is not enough land for biofuels, there are not enough empty roofs for solar panels, etcetera. What's forgotten in these arguments, is that none of these solutions will have to stand on their own. Climate change is not an easy problem, but it's a problem that's going to be solved by applying many different solutions. Some societies will be successful at this and succeed, others will fail and become failed states. America under Trump is likely to join the latter category.
Another issue that's forgotten, is the fact that we're really spoiled, to a degree that it harms us. What would happen if Americans would suddenly have their electricity supply drop by fifty percent? If they can't learn to use electricity more efficiently, they would have to return to the standard of living they had in the 1960's. Did people die of hunger in the streets back then? As far as I can tell, they played more card and board games and went out more, rather than staring at screens. I think if we lost fifty percent of our electricity supply, we would be miserable for a few months, before we would breathe a sigh of relief and learn to deal with it. To me, the real question is whether we have the willpower to do what needs to be done, not whether it can be done or not.

Carbon sequestration

I've already shown that we can free large amounts of land through lab-grown meat, that can then be used to grow enormous forests that will sequester carbon dioxide. The Amazon rainforest can be restored to its original extent, if we play our cards right.
However, it doesn't stop here. We have alternative methods of carbon sequestration available to us too. If we covered 9% of the world's oceans with seaweed, we could sequester all the carbon dioxide we emit per year today. The reality remains that most of the ocean consists of deserts, where nothing can live because seaweed, corals and shellfish don't have the attachment points to grow and develop a rich ecosystem.
You might have seen some of the nature documentaries, where an old ship is dumped at the right location, to make an artificial coral reef. This can be done in many ways, for many different organisms. Wind farms in the North Sea were discovered a few months ago to serve as perfect places for oysters to attach to. These oysters grow there now and attract other animals, that live off the oysters.
In a similar manner, humans can grow seaweed in places, simply by creating attachment points for these plants. We're used to destroying ecosystems, turning giant forests into deserts as we have done around the world. What we're capable of doing too, is turning oceanic deserts into giant underwater forests. It doesn't require intense effort, we're already doing it by accident, as the wind turbines in the North Sea have demonstrated.
When we grow biomass, we think of it as a carbon-neutral form of energy production. We can easily turn it into a carbon-negative form of energy production however, simply by using the carbon dioxide. There are many different forms of carbon sequestration. The most promising perhaps, is to build with carbon-negative concrete, which is concrete that's built using carbon dioxide.
Concrete production currently causes 5% of all global CO2 emissions. It's thought however, that we can produce concrete that sequesters twice as much carbon as regular concrete emits. We would thus be able to reduce CO2 emisisons by 15%, simply by replacing all of our current concrete with this new carbon-negative concrete.
The curve of technology adaptation is becoming steeper. Whereas it took a century before most people in Western nations had cars, it took ten years before most of us had internet. How fast do you think we can transition to 100% carbon-negative concrete? I think this can be accomplished within a few years, if we're willing to make the transition.
Similarly, in Iceland, power plants are being developed that sequester carbon dioxide while generating energy. Of course the amount sequestered is not enormous yet, the equivalent of 150 Bitcoin transactions, but it's a first step in the right direction.

Cognitive enhancement

I think this solution is important to note, even if it will seem like far-fetched science-fiction to some of you. This is ultimately a solution on which every above solution will come to depend. We're used to problems that have a singular unified solution. Climate change is not such a problem, it requires reconfiguring our entire carbon-based economy. We will find ourselves faced with a situation that may require hundreds of small solutions, rather than one single big solution. This requires intelligent people, who are capable of discovering and implementing such solutions.
What we need right now is a cultural transition, that will lead people to take this problem seriously. When people take the problem seriously, they'll take the solutions seriously and move towards implementing them. One important thing we've noted, is that people's environmental attitude, is strongly linked to their ability to delay gratification. People who are able to delay gratification, desire to take care of the environment they inhabit. Delayed gratification in turn, is a product of intelligence.
When we look at societies where people try to take care of the environment they inhabit, we find that the people there tend to be relatively intelligent. Consider for example, the two nations where the highest percentage of the population considers climate change to be caused by human activity: South Korea and Japan. South Koreans and Japanese people are among the most intelligent people on the planet. Similarly, Chinese people score at the top of the list.
Why do Americans stick their heads into the sand? Why do they vote for leaders who pretend the problem isn't real? Why are you guaranteed to have some American numbnuts show up in the comment section of any article about climate change, insisting that we'll soon have a solar minimum that will somehow end the problem, that the climate has always changed, that volcanoes actually emit more CO2 than humans, that carbon dioxide makes plants grow, that climate change is actually caused by poor Indians and Africans who have too many children rather than by Americans, or that it only seems like the Earth is warming because of measuring stations located near cities?
The answer is, that on average Americans are simply not very intelligent people. Keep in mind, that 41% of Americans genuinely believe that Jesus will return to Earth before the year 2050. Besides lacking intelligence, they lack the ability to think critically. They're good at selectively seeking out information they already want to believe. Like a bunch of parrots in a tree they'll blindly copy whatever they're hearing and amplify each other's stupidity to soothe their nerves. We can discuss all of the various reasons why Americans are not very intelligent and poorly capable of critical thought in a later essay. It's worth noting however, that most Americans suffer from very poor health, which diminishes their innate cognitive potential.
Imagine if the whole world had the level of intelligence of Japanese or South Korean people. People there have birth rates and immigration policies that ensure their population is gradually declining. Japanese people eat a third of the meat American people eat. In addition, Japanese people emit 70% less CO2 in transportation, than Americans.
The reality we're dealing with, is that our problem would be relatively easy to solve, if we lived on a planet with seven billion people with a level of intelligence equivalent to that of East Asians. The global overpopulation crisis we face is almost entirely caused by religious fundamentalism. Religious fundamentalism in turn, is caused by people who lack intelligence. Intelligent people, capable of critical thinking, don't force children to carry out suicide bombings. A society with sufficient intelligent people, is one where dumb people adjust themselves to the culture of intelligent people, whereas in most societies the opposite occurs.
The solution we're looking for, is thus ultimately a form of cognitive enhancement. There are many different ways to go about this. It's possible for people to select the smartest embryo to implant, to ensure children have a genetic potential that far outweighs their parents.
There are however, far simpler probably more cost-effective methods we can already use right now. Millions of people, even in Western nations, suffer from iodine deficiency during pregnancy. This permanently stunts the IQ of their children. Similarly, we can feed people a healthy diet with sufficient Omega 3 fatty acids, encourage breastfeeding and eliminate gestational diabetes, while reducing exposure to fluoride which competitively displaces iodine in the human body.
If these solutions are genuinely pursued, we will raise the average IQ of the world's population, which should be sufficient to create the kind of conditions where people vote for leaders who take climate change seriously and pursue serious effort to preserve a habitable planet. We don't have to be like deer on an island, because we will have the cognitive potential to plan ahead for the crisis that looms ahead of us.
submitted by sourdoughsauerkraut to accountt1234 [link] [comments]

New NBER Papers - 12/19/2016

For access to gated papers, make a request on /Scholar. Most papers can also be found, ungated, on their author's website.
Feel free to discuss any of these papers in the comments section below. Please refrain from reposting any of these papers to this sub.
Learning, Confidence, and Business Cycles Cosmin L. Ilut Hikaru Saijo
We build a tractable heterogeneous-firm business cycle model where firms face Knightian uncertainty about their profitability and learn it through production. The cross-sectional mean of firm-level uncertainty is high in recessions because firms invest and hire less. The higher uncertainty reduces agents' confidence and further discourages economic activity. We characterize this feedback mechanism in linear, workhorse macroeconomic models and find that it endogenously generates empirically desirable cross-equation restrictions such as: amplified and hump-shaped dynamics, co-movement driven by demand shocks and countercyclical correlated wedges in the equilibrium conditions for labor, risk-free and risky assets. In a rich model estimated on US macroeconomic and financial data, the information friction changes inference and significantly reduces the empirical need for standard real and nominal rigidities. Furthermore, endogenous idiosyncratic uncertainty propagates shocks to financial conditions, disciplined by observed spreads, as key drivers of fluctuations, and magnifies the aggregate activity's response to monetary and fiscal policies.
Estimating market power Evidence from the US Brewing Industry Jan De Loecker Paul T. Scott
While inferring markups from demand data is common practice, estimation relies on difficult-to-test assumptions, including a specific model of how firms compete. Alternatively, markups can be inferred from production data, again relying on a set of difficult-to-test assumptions, but a wholly different set, including the assumption that firms minimize costs using a variable input. Relying on data from the US brewing industry, we directly compare markup estimates from the two approaches. After implementing each approach for a broad set of assumptions and specifications, we find that both approaches provide similar and plausible markup estimates in most cases. The results illustrate how using the two strategies together can allow researchers to evaluate structural models and identify problematic assumptions.
Energy Efficiency Standards Are More Regressive Than Energy Taxes: Theory and Evidence Arik Levinson
Economists promote energy taxes as cost-effective. But policymakers raise concerns about their regressivity, or disproportional burden on poorer families, preferring to set energy efficiency standards instead. I first show that in theory, regulations targeting energy efficiency are more regressive than energy taxes, not less. I then provide an example in the context of automotive fuel consumption in the United States: taxing gas would be less regressive than regulating the fuel economy of cars if the two policies are compared on a revenue-equivalent basis.
Agricultural Fires and Infant Health Marcos A. Rangel Tom Vogl
Fire has long served as a tool in agriculture, but this practice's human capital consequences have proved difficult to study. Drawing on data from satellites, air monitors, and vital records, we study how smoke from sugarcane harvest fires affects infant health in the Brazilian state that produces one-fifth of the world's sugarcane. Because fires track economic activity, we exploit wind for identification, finding that late-pregnancy exposure to upwind fires decreases birth weight, gestational length, and in utero survival, but not early neonatal survival. Other fires positively predict health, highlighting the importance of disentangling pollution from economic activities that drive it.
A Behavioral New Keynesian Model Xavier Gabaix
This paper presents a framework for analyzing how bounded rationality affects monetary and fiscal policy. The model is a tractable and parsimonious enrichment of the widely-used New Keynesian model – with one main new parameter, which quantifies how poorly agents understand future policy and its impact. That myopia parameter, in turn, affects the power of monetary and fiscal policy in a microfounded general equilibrium.
How Destructive is Innovation? Daniel Garcia-Macia Chang-Tai Hsieh Peter J. Klenow
Entrants and incumbents can create new products and displace the products of competitors. Incumbents can also improve their existing products. How much of aggregate productivity growth occurs through each of these channels? Using data from the U.S. Longitudinal Business Database on all non-farm private businesses from 1976–1986 and 2003–2013, we arrive at three main conclusions: First, most growth appears to come from incumbents. We infer this from the modest employment share of entering firms (defined as those less than 5 years old). Second, most growth seems to occur through improvements of existing varieties rather than creation of brand new varieties. Third, own-product improvements by incumbents appear to be more important than creative destruction. We infer this because the distribution of job creation and destruction has thinner tails than implied by a model with a dominant role for creative destruction.
Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain Christian Catalini Joshua S. Gans
We rely on economic theory to discuss how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies will influence the rate and direction of innovation. We identify two key costs that are affected by distributed ledger technology: 1) the cost of verification; and 2) the cost of networking. Markets facilitate the voluntary exchange of goods and services between buyers and sellers. For an exchange to be executed, key attributes of a transaction need to be verified by the parties involved at multiple points in time. Blockchain technology, by allowing market participants to perform costless verification, lowers the costs of auditing transaction information, and allows new marketplaces to emerge. Furthermore, when a distributed ledger is combined with a native cryptographic token (as in Bitcoin), marketplaces can be bootstrapped without the need of traditional trusted intermediaries, lowering the cost of networking. This challenges existing revenue models and incumbents's market power, and opens opportunities for novel approaches to regulation, auctions and the provision of public goods, software, identity and reputation systems.
Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance Jing Cai Adam Szeidl
We organized business associations for the owner-managers of randomly selected young Chinese firms to study the effect of business networks on firm performance. We randomized 2,800 firms into small groups whose managers held monthly meetings for one year, and into a “no- meetings” control group. We find that: (1) The meetings increased firm revenue by 8.1 percent, and also significantly increased profit, factors, inputs, the number of partners, borrowing, and a management score; (2) These effects persisted one year after the conclusion of the meetings; and (3) Firms randomized to have better peers exhibited higher growth. We exploit additional interventions to document concrete channels. (4) Managers shared exogenous business-relevant information, particularly when they were not competitors, showing that the meetings facilitated learning from peers. (5) Managers created more business partnerships in the regular than in other one-time meetings, showing that the meetings improved supplier-client matching. (6) Firms whose managers discussed management, partners, or finance improved more in the associated domain, suggesting that the content of conversations shaped the nature of gains.
Targeting Policies: Multiple Testing and Distributional Treatment Effects Steven F. Lehrer R. Vincent Pohl Kyungchul Song
Economic theory often predicts that treatment responses may depend on individuals’ characteristics and location on the outcome distribution. Policymakers need to account for such treatment effect heterogeneity in order to efficiently allocate resources to subgroups that can successfully be targeted by a policy. However, when interpreting treatment effects across subgroups and the outcome distribution, inference has to be adjusted for multiple hypothesis testing to avoid an overestimation of positive treatment effects. We propose six new tests for treatment effect heterogeneity that make corrections for the family-wise error rate and that identify subgroups and ranges of the outcome distribution exhibiting economically and statistically significant treatment effects. We apply these tests to individual responses to welfare reform and show that welfare recipients benefit from the reform in a smaller range of the earnings distribution than previously estimated. Our results shed new light on effectiveness of welfare reform and demonstrate the importance of correcting for multiple testing.
Leveling the Playing Field: How Campaign Advertising Can Help Non-Dominant Parties Horacio A. Larreguy John Marshall James M. Snyder, Jr.
Voters are often uncertain about and biased against non-dominant political parties. By reducing the information gap with dominant parties, political advertising may thus disproportionately benefit non-dominant parties electorally. We test this argument in Mexico, where three main parties dominate many localities. To identify the effects of exposure to partisan advertising, we exploit differences across neighboring precincts in campaign ad distributions arising from cross-state media coverage spillovers induced by a 2007 reform that equalized access to ad slots across all broadcast media. Our results show that ads on AM radio increase the vote shares of the PAN and PRD, but not the previously-hegemonic PRI. Consistent with our model, campaign advertising is most effective in poorly informed and politically uncompetitive electoral precincts, and against locally dominant parties of intermediate strength.
Understanding Inflation in India Laurence Ball Anusha Chari Prachi Mishra
This paper examines the behavior of quarterly inflation in India since 1994, both headline inflation and core inflation as measured by the weighted median of price changes across industries. We explain core inflation with a Phillips curve in which the inflation rate depends on a slow-moving average of past inflation and on the deviation of output from trend. Headline inflation is more volatile than core: it fluctuates due to large changes in the relative prices of certain industries, which are largely but not exclusively industries that produce food and energy. There is some evidence that changes in headline inflation feed into expected inflation and future core inflation. Several aspects of India’s inflation process are similar to inflation in advanced economies in the 1970s and 80s.
Growth Policy, Agglomeration, and (the Lack of) Competition Wyatt J. Brooks Joseph P. Kaboski Yao Amber Li
Industrial clusters are promoted by policy and generally viewed as good for growth and development, but both clusters and policies may also enable non-competitive behavior. This paper studies the presence of non-competitive pricing in geographic industrial clusters. We develop, validate, and apply a novel test for collusive behavior. We derive the test from the solution to a partial cartel of perfectly colluding firms in an industry. Outside of a cartel, a firm's markup depends on its market share, but in the cartel, markups across firms converge and depend instead on the total market share of the cartel. Empirically, we validate the test using plants with common owners, and then test for collusion using data from Chinese manufacturing firms (1999-2009). We find strong evidence for non-competitive pricing within a subset of industrial clusters, and we find the level of non-competitive pricing is about four times higher in Chinese special economic zones than outside those zones.
How Large Are the Gains from Economic Integration? Theory and Evidence from U.S. Agriculture, 1880-1997 Arnaud Costinot Dave Donaldson
In this paper we develop a new approach to measuring the gains from economic integration based on a generalization of the Ricardian model in which heterogeneous factors of production are allocated to multiple sectors in multiple local markets based on comparative advantage. We implement this approach using data on crop markets in approximately 2,600 U.S. counties from 1880 to 1997. Central to our empirical analysis is the use of a novel agronomic data source on predicted output by crop for small spatial units. Crucially, this dataset contains information about the productivity of all units for all crops, not just those that are actually being grown—an essential input for measuring the gains from trade. Using this new approach we find substantial long-run gains from economic integration among US agricultural markets, benefits that are similar in magnitude to those due to productivity improvements over that same period.
Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States Thomas Piketty Emmanuel Saez Gabriel Zucman
This paper combines tax, survey, and national accounts data to estimate the distribution of national income in the United States since 1913. Our distributional national accounts capture 100% of national income, allowing us to compute growth rates for each quantile of the income distribution consistent with macroeconomic growth. We estimate the distribution of both pre-tax and post-tax income, making it possible to provide a comprehensive view of how government redistribution affects inequality. Average pre-tax national income per adult has increased 60% since 1980, but we find that it has stagnated for the bottom 50% of the distribution at about $16,000 a year. The pre-tax income of the middle class—adults between the median and the 90th percentile—has grown 40% since 1980, faster than what tax and survey data suggest, due in particular to the rise of tax-exempt fringe benefits. Income has boomed at the top: in 1980, top 1% adults earned on average 27 times more than bottom 50% adults, while they earn 81 times more today. The upsurge of top incomes was first a labor income phenomenon but has mostly been a capital income phenomenon since 2000. The government has offset only a small fraction of the increase in inequality. The reduction of the gender gap in earnings has mitigated the increase in inequality among adults. The share of women, however, falls steeply as one moves up the labor income distribution, and is only 11% in the top 0.1% today.
Globalization and Wage Inequality Elhanan Helpman
Globalization has been blamed for rising inequality in rich and poor countries. Yet the views of many protagonists in this debate are not based on evidence. To help form an evidence-based opinion, I review in this paper the theoretical and empirical literature on the relationship between globalization and wage inequality. While the initial analysis that started in the early 1990s focused on a particular mechanism that links trade to wages, subsequent studies have considered several other channels, and the quantitative assessment of the size of these influences has been carried out in multiple studies. Building on this research, I conclude that trade played an appreciable role in increasing wage inequality, but that its cumulative effect has been modest, and that globalization does not explain the preponderance of the rise in wage inequality within countries.
Dominant Currency Paradigm Camila Casas Federico J. Díez Gita Gopinath Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas
Most trade is invoiced in very few currencies. Despite this, the Mundell-Fleming benchmark and its variants focus on pricing in the producer's currency or in local currency. We model instead a ‘dominant currency paradigm’ for small open economies characterized by three features: pricing in a dominant currency; pricing complementarities, and imported input use in production. Under this paradigm: (a) terms of trade are stable; (b) dominant currency exchange rate pass-through into export and import prices is high regardless of destination or origin of goods; (c) exchange rate pass-through of non-dominant currencies is small; (d) expenditure switching occurs mostly via imports and export expansions following depreciations are weak. Using merged firm level and customs data from Colombia we document strong support for the dominant currency paradigm and reject the alternatives of producer currency and local currency pricing.
Older Peoples' Willingness to Delay Social Security Claiming Raimond Maurer Olivia S. Mitchell
We have designed and fielded an experimental module in the 2014 HRS which seeks to measure older persons’ willingness to voluntarily defer claiming of Social Security benefits. In addition, we evaluate the stated willingness of older individuals to work longer, depending on the Social Security incentives offered to delay claiming their benefits. Our project extends previous work by analyzing the results from our HRS module and comparing findings from other data sources which included very much smaller samples of older persons. We show that half of the respondents would delay claiming if no work requirement were in place under the status quo, and only slightly fewer, 46%, with a work requirement. We also asked respondents how large a lump sum they would need with or without a work requirement. In the former case, the average amount needed to induce delayed claiming was about $60,400, while when part-time work was required, the average was $66,700. This implies a low utility value of leisure foregone of only $6,300, or under 20% of average household income.
Business Cycles, Investment Shocks, and the "Barro-King" Curse Guido Ascari Louis Phaneuf Eric Sims
Recent empirical evidence identifies investment shocks as key driving forces behind business cycle fluctuations. However, existing New Keynesian models emphasizing these shocks counterfactually imply a negative unconditional correlation between consumption growth and investment growth, a weak positive unconditional correlation between consumption growth and output growth and anomalous profiles of cross-correlations involving consumption growth. These anomalies arise because of a short-run contractionary effect a positive investment shock on consumption. Such counterfactual co-movements are typical of the "Barro-King curse" (Barro and King 1984), wherein models with a real business cycle core must rely on technology shocks to account for the observed co-movement among output, consumption, investment, and hours. We show that two realistic additions to an otherwise standard medium scale New Keynesian model – namely, roundabout production and real per capita output growth stemming from trend growth in neutral and investment-specific technologies – can break the Barro-King curse and provide a more accurate account of unconditional business cycle comovements more generally. These two features substantially magnify the effects of neutral technology and investment shocks on aggregate fluctuations and generate a rise of consumption on impact of a positive investment shock.
Sanitation, Disease Externalities, and Anemia: Evidence From Nepal Diane Coffey Michael Geruso Dean Spears
Anemia impairs physical and cognitive development in children and reduces human capital accumulation. The prior economics literature has focused on the role of inadequate nutrition in causing anemia. This paper is the first to show that sanitation, a public good, significantly contributes to preventing anemia. We identify effects by exploiting rapid and differential improvement in sanitation across regions of Nepal between 2006 and 2011. Within regions over time, cohorts of children exposed to better community sanitation developed higher hemoglobin levels. Our results highlight a previously undocumented externality of open defecation, which is today practiced by over a billion people worldwide.
Asymmetric Effects of Non-Pecuniary Signals on Search and Purchase Behavior for Energy-Efficient Durable Goods J. Scott Holladay Jacob LaRiviere David M. Novgorodsky Michael Price
We report the results of a field experiment where we exogenously vary the use of social comparisons "nudges" and subsidies for participation in an in-home energy audit program, and follow subjects through to the subsequent purchase of durable goods. We therefore can compare the causal effect of financial incentives and nudges along two margins, audits, which we liken to search, and purchase of durables. Using data on nearly 100,000 households, we document an asymmetry; nudges increase audits, but lead to lower rates of purchase. We find no evidence of a differential response for those offered a financial incentive. These differences suggest heterogeneity in the motives of the marginal consumer induced by nudges versus prices.
Improving the Measurement of Earnings Dynamics Moira Daly Dmytro Hryshko Iourii Manovskii
The stochastic process for earnings is the key element of incomplete markets models in modern quantitative macroeconomics. We show that a simple modification of the canonical process used in the literature leads to a dramatic improvement in the measurement of earnings dynamics in administrative and survey data alike. Empirically, earnings at the start or end of earnings spells are lower and more volatile than the observations in the interior of earnings histories, reflecting the effects of working less than the full year as well as deviations of wages due to e.g. tenure effects. Ignoring these properties of earnings, as is standard in the literature, leads to a substantial mismeasurement of the variances of permanent and transitory shocks and induces the large and widely documented divergence in the estimates of these variances based on fitting the earnings moments in levels or growth rates. Accounting for these effects enables more accurate analysis using quantitative models with permanent and transitory earnings risk, and improves empirical estimates of consumption insurance against permanent earnings shocks.
A Tale of Two Tails: Commuting and the Fuel Price Response in Driving Kenneth Gillingham Anders Munk-Nielsen
The consumer price responsiveness of driving demand is central to the welfare consequences of fuel price changes. This study uses rich data covering the entire population of vehicles and consumers in Denmark to find a medium-run price elasticity of driving of -0.30. We uncover an important feature of driving demand: two small groups of much more responsive households that make up the lower and upper tails of the work distance distribution. The first group lives close to work in urban areas. The second group lives outside of major urban areas and has the longest commutes. Access to public transport appears to be the force behind the existence of the tails, enabling the switch away from driving. We find that a fuel price increase of 1 DKK/liter implies an average deadweight loss of 0.66 DKK/liter, but there is considerable heterogeneity and the tails bear a larger share of the loss.
Commitment vs. Flexibility with Costly Verification Marina Halac Pierre Yared
We introduce costly verification into a general delegation framework. A principal faces an agent who is better informed about the efficient action but biased towards higher actions. An audit verifies the agent’s information, but is costly. The principal chooses a permissible action set as a function of the audit decision and result. We show that if the audit cost is small enough, a threshold with an escape clause (TEC) is optimal: the agent can select any action up to a threshold, or request audit and the efficient action if the threshold is sufficiently binding. For higher audit costs, the principal may instead prefer auditing only intermediate actions. However, if the principal cannot commit to inefficient allocations following the audit decision and result, TEC is always optimal. Our results provide a theoretical foundation for the use of TEC in practice, including in capital budgeting in organizations, fiscal policy, and consumption-savings problems.
Recent Flattening in the Higher Education Wage Premium: Polarization, Skill Downgrading, or Both? Robert G. Valletta
Wage gaps between workers with a college or graduate degree and those with only a high school degree rose rapidly in the United States during the 1980s. Since then, the rate of growth in these wage gaps has progressively slowed, and though the gaps remain large, they were essentially unchanged between 2010 and 2015. I assess this flattening over time in higher education wage premiums with reference to two related explanations for changing U.S. employment patterns: (i) a shift away from middle-skilled occupations driven largely by technological change (“polarization”); and (ii) a general weakening in the demand for advanced cognitive skills (“skill downgrading”). Analyses of wage and employment data from the U.S. Current Population Survey suggest that both factors have contributed to the flattening of higher education wage premiums.
Meet the Oligarchs: Business Legitimacy, State Capacity and Taxation Rafael Di Tella Juan Dubra Alejandro Luis Lagomarsino
We analyze the role of people’s beliefs about the rich in the determination of public policy in the context of a randomized online survey experiment. A question we study is the desirability of government-private sector meetings, a variable we argue is connected to State capacity. Survey respondents primed with negative views about business leaders want fewer meetings, as well as higher taxes to the top 1% and more regulation. We also study how these effects change when subjects are (additionally) primed with positive/negative views about government officials. Distrust in the government increases the preferred tax rate on the top 1% only when business legitimacy is low. A model with multiple equilibria helps interpret these findings. In one of the equilibria, meetings are allowed, business legitimacy is high, and people set a low income tax rate for businesspeople. In the other, meetings are forbidden, business legitimacy is low, and people set high taxes to punish the businesspeople for their corrupt behavior.
Projections and Uncertainties About Climate Change in an Era of Minimal Climate Policies William D. Nordhaus
Climate change remains one of the major international environmental challenges facing nations. Yet nations have to date taken minimal policies to slow climate change. Moreover, there has been no major improvement in emissions trends as of the latest data. The current study uses the updated DICE model to present new projections and the impacts of alternative climate policies. It also presents a new set of estimates of the uncertainties about future climate change and compares the results will those of other integrated assessment models. The study confirms past estimates of likely rapid climate change over the next century if there are not major climate-change policies. It suggests that it will be extremely difficult to achieve the 2°C target of international agreements even if ambitious policies are introduced in the near term. The required carbon price needed to achieve current targets has risen over time as policies have been delayed.
submitted by Ponderay to EconPapers [link] [comments]

What Is Bitcoin? Catfish Farming in Concrete Cement Tank in Asia  Million ... Farming Simulator 2015 - Forestry on Bjornholm 015 Construction Simulator 2015 - Episode 12 - Pumping Concrete! Inside a Secret Chinese Bitcoin Mine - YouTube

Bitcoin broke through $11,000 on Friday, reaching its highest price in almost three weeks. The rise comes a day after payments company Square announced it had put 1% of its total assets into the largest cryptocurrency by market cap. The rally to $11,000 marked an upside break from the past two week’s range of about $10,500 and $10,800, a range the cryptocurrency held despite news of the ... Blockchain years are like dog years. 30 months on from when I originally wrote this article, things have changed, and my opinions with them. I’ve just revisited this post and written a version ... Trading Volumes: Bitcoin-Yuan comprises 80% of the global trading volume on Bitcoin exchanges; we covered this recently on Newsbtc. Exchange Fee Rates: Bitcoin exchanges in China, unlike the ones in most other countries, don’t charge a fee for trading. This incentive mechanism has a power of its own – as free is the best business model, and ... If you want to know how to mine Bitcoin, there are two different steps you can take – go through a cloud mining company or buy and use purpose-built hardware. We’ll look at both options, and ... Purchase Bitcoin using a credit card or with your linked bank account via an online exchange. Learn More. Use Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Send real money quickly to anywhere in the world, basically for free. Learn More. Play Games with Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Bitcoin Games is a provably fair gaming site. Learn More. Get the latest Bitcoin Cash News at the Bitcoin Cash Telegram Channel Bitcoin Cash Telegram ...

[index] [36583] [34889] [46886] [17270] [42791] [30736] [24782] [28749] [41409] [27322]

What Is Bitcoin?

Grüßt euch! In Teil 1 der 6teiligen How to build a Mining Rig Serie zeige ich euch, was ihr für Hardware benötigt und welche ich selbst gekauft habe. Alles W... Catfish Farming in Concrete Cement Tank in Asia Million Baby Catfish Eating Fish Feed #Catfish_Farming #Concrete_Cement_Tank #Fish_Tank Catfish Farming : C... "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi Buy stock in The Bitcoin Channel and promote Bitcoins: ... Dave Carlson, and the largest Bitcoin mining farm in America, generating $8 million in new coins per month, plus earning a percentage from transaction, through processing fees. His farm is in the ... Published on Jan 20, 2015. Basically mining off your GPU will get you no where, you have to invest in atleast a few asic miners getting at least 800 g/Hash for it to be somewhat profitable as of ...

#