Monday, January 30, 2006


Reader SR should be hired by the BBC to vet their stories. Apparently you can watch foreign films in Bangladesh, as he points out in his blog here. I can only imagine that what the BBC calls a strict ban on foreign films is probably more along the lines of a small quota, which is why you can find some Hollywood films playing on the big screen in Bangladesh.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Covering the Labor Market

Brad DeLong is co-teaching a journalism class on reporting on the economy. In this entry he details the coverage labor market data.

Seven background graphs on employment statistics:
Payroll Survey
Employment Growth since 1994

Long-Term Unemployment
Unemployment and Underemployment
The Employment-to-Population Ratio
Thirty Years of the Unemployment Rate
Three Years of the Unemployment Rate
Unemployment:The Importance of Seasonal Adjustment

New claims for unemployment insurance emerge every Thursday...

Monthly Employment Report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics every month, at 8:30 AM on the first Friday: Statement by Commissioner of Labor Statistics Kathy Utgoff. The January 6, 2006 Employment Report itself.

Keywords: Unemployment, ECO120, ECO712

Porn and Unintended Consequences

I think being an Economist helps you better understand the Law of Unintended Consequences. And makes you better at forecasting the consequences. Although even I might not have forecast this from Cafe Hayek:
The government of Bangladesh prohibits any films made outside of Bangladesh from being shown in theaters in that country.

Can you guess the consequences of such protectionism for what's called Dhallywood? According to a report on NPR's program The World, these consequences do not include lots of creative energy springing forth in Bangladesh to produce outstanding films. The consequences instead include bad, formulaic, banal movies, each one very much like the others. The movies are so bad that theater owners have taken to inserting scenes of hardcore pornography into their screenings in order to attract audiences.

(To hear this report, click
here, and then scroll down to -- and then click on -- "Dhallywood movie report.")

Tyler Cowen's
In Praise of Commercial Culture explains why a protected movie industry is doomed to produce films that no one wants to see.

Keywords: Porn, Protectionism, Unintended Consequences, ECO120

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Nude Dancing

Somehow I missed this excellent series of posts on The Vice Squad back in 2004. It included an excellent discussion of Barnes v. Glen Theatre here. It also includes some links to Will Baude and some excellent commentary from Posner. Another voice chimed in on the subject.

Speaking of which I believe I've pulled off a major coup, as I've organized a session that will include Posner. More on that in the next week.

Keywords: Nude Dancing