Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Next Up: The Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum

Though kidneys, vice, and Law and Economics are not exactly behind me, the next public commitment is to produce a paper on the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum. I aim to have the final draft done by September 15, 2015. The topic received some attention in my Law and Economics book, and I want to expand upon it. So, the first draft I am scheduling for July 15, 2015, and the second draft for August 31, 2015. That's all, two drafts and a "final" version. I am becoming more economical with drafts, and might even move to an all-volunteer system eventually -- I hear that such systems are more efficient than relying upon a draft.

That Third Vice Paper

Perhaps my draft schedule ended up not being a precise reflection of reality, but the third vice paper was completed and presented. The title is "Robust Alcohol Policy in Russia: Some Aspirational Measures;" rush to download it at ssrn.com by clicking here.

Here's the abstract:

Alcohol consumption is associated with severe externalities as well as negative effects suffered by drinkers themselves. The usual economics prescription for promoting social well-being in the face of externalities is to apply regulations, including taxes, to force decision makers to confront the full social costs of their choices. Self-harms suffered by rational and informed adult alcohol drinkers, alternatively, offer little rationale (by the lights of traditional economics) for coercive policies aimed at stemming alcohol consumption.

The inherent unknowability of the extent of rationality in drinking decisions suggests that the “first best” policy of leaving rational drinking unfettered, while attempting to adjust potentially irrational choices, is not available in practice. The contention of this paper is that a second-best approach should be robust, in the sense that the policy regime will work fairly well when drinkers are fully rational, and also will do a creditable job of serving social well-being when alcohol-related choices are marked by substantial rationality shortfalls. In the case of the Russian Federation, some policies that mark rather severe departures from the current alcohol system, but are consistent with robustness, include: voluntary self-exclusion from either alcohol purchases or consumption; mandatory exclusion for those who produce external alcohol-related harms; and, a buyer licensing scheme that relies on a “double default” system to reduce both alcohol prevalence and the harms that stem from the drinking that does take place. This paper explicates these “aspirational” alcohol control policies.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Third Vice Paper!

OK, if  things go according to plan, I will be presenting a vice policy paper in May, 2015, so I have to start writing one. Here are my first two self-imposed deadlines:

(1) Short Description of Paper: Wednesday, January 14, 2015
(2) Draft One: Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

Off we go.....

Kidney Update

The (second) kidney paper was written and presented, has been revised, and needs to be revised some more. My goal is to finish the revisions by the end of January and to post the resulting paper on SSRN. Then we will think about potential publishing outlets. Incidentally, the first kidney paper is now published. So, that is the kidney plan for the nonce: revised version, not too embarrassing, due on January 31.

I should report that I have yet to tackle the book I mentioned in the previous post, Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm, by Rene Almeling. I don't think that I will be able to get to it in the next few months, alas.