Spending on bling: What explains the demand for status goods?

July 22nd, 2017 (No Comments)

When people spend money, their particular decisions are often influenced by the wish to signal wealth and attain interpersonal status. This insight is not completely new – even Adam Smith, in the Wealth of Nations, gripes that his contemporaries spend an excessive amount of on “status goods” that are not a necessity of life, and that they most likely can’t afford.

Social signaling motives within consumption seem to be present in many different economic settings, and may in fact be therefore widespread that they can be linked to bigger economic phenomena, such as inequality plus persistent poverty. Studies using home surveys show, for example , that the bad around the world spend a strikingly big share of their income on visible expenditures, which may have negative effects for asset accumulation, household indebtedness, and investments in education. Exactly the same pattern has been shown to hold for ethnic minorities in the Unites States – so much so, that a recent study argues that differences in conspicuous consumption may account for as much as one third of the wealth gap between Whites and African Americans

Authorities Accountability (政府问责)

July 12th, 2017 (No Comments)

May meets Xi Jinping as China suggests “shelving” Hong Kong row
The Guardian, July 8, 2017

Chinese graft-buster “front runner” to head insurance plan watchdog
South China Morning Post, July 10, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Government Liability

Power prices fell 6 percent in June — Pink Sheet

July 8th, 2017 (No Comments)

Power commodity prices declined 6 % in June, led by a 7. 5 percent plunge in oil, the World Bank’s Pink Sheet said.

Agriculture costs dropped nearly 2 percent, with most groups easing, including food and beverages (down 1 percent each) plus raw materials (off 3. 5 percent). Fertilizer prices gained 2 percent.

Alloys and mineral prices slid 1 percent, led by an 8 % tumble in iron ore costs. Precious metals prices increased 1 percent.

The Red Sheet is a monthly report that will monitors commodity price movements.

Graph 1: Most commodity price indexes declined in June

Nominal cost indexes, percent changes, June more than May

 Most commodity price indexes declined in June

Source: Globe Bank

Human being development accounting

June 24th, 2017 (No Comments)

The rate of change in human development outcomes differs considerably across countries over long periods of time, as reflected in the two histograms below (Figure 1). For 79 countries in the period 1980-2014, the percentage decline in child fatality was 3. 39% on average, having a standard deviation of 1. 36%, a smallest rate of 0. 89% (Central African Republic) and a greatest rate of 8. 07% (Maldives). The average percentage increase in school enrollment was 3. 35%, with a regular deviation 3. 54%, a minimum of 0. 37% (Georgia) and a maximum of 19. 68% (Maldives). Similar patterns associated with cross-country variation are found when using alternate proxies for health and education outcomes.

Rising debt and deficits in Growing Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs) in 5 charts

June 11th, 2017 (No Comments)
Debt and budget deficits have risen among rising market and developing economies since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, rendering these economies more vulnerable to a sharp rise in credit costs. Government debt has climbed to 47 percent of GDP in 2016 from 35 % of GDP in 2007 among emerging market and developing economies, while fiscal deficits have increased to about 5 percent of GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT from roughly 1 percent of GDP over the same period.

Comments (评论)

June 11th, 2017 (No Comments)

【六四28年】冷漠切割才是變相維穩 (28th Anniversary of June Fourth: Simply by indifferently cutting ties with 06 4, a disguised form of balance maintenance is achieved)
Mingpao, June 9, 2017

观察:郭文贵爆料能否撼动“习王体制”(Observation: Could Guo Wengui’s exposures shake “Xi-Wang structure”? )
British Broadcasting Corporation, June 8, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017


Ought to a country limit unskilled immigrant workers to safeguard national productivity development?

May 28th, 2017 (No Comments)

There are about 245 mil migrants worldwide – around 3% of the world population. Roughly one-fifth are tertiary educated. Middle-income countries have a smaller proportion of migrants than high-income countries (about 1% versus 12%). But for a number of middle-income countries with more immigrants than other people, there is uneasiness about relying on not skilled foreigners as they strive to leap from low-wage labor and imitation in order to high-skilled labor and innovation. You can find palpable concerns in Malaysia, for instance , with some 2 . 1 million registered immigrants – about 7% from the population – and likely over 1 million undocumented immigrants. Elements reached a crescendo early last year when all new hiring of unskilled foreign workers was suspended because the Malaysian government re-evaluated the management and need for foreign workers. The particular freeze was subsequently lifted intended for select sectors amid complaints associated with labor shortages.

Charting a new path to income convergence

May 14th, 2017 (No Comments)

Developing countries made considerable gains during the 2000s, resulting in a large reduction in extreme poverty and a significant expansion of the middle class. More recently that progress has slowed—and the prognosis is for a lot of same, given an environment of poor global trade, a lack of jobs coupled with skills mismatches, greater income inequality, unprecedented population aging in more potent countries, and youth bulges within the poorer ones. As a result, developing nations are unlikely to close the development gap anytime soon.

Nationwide Security & Counterterrorism (国家安全和反恐)

May 10th, 2017 (No Comments)

Xinjiang woman detained for sharing praise for Allah on social media—reports
Hong Kong Free Press, May ten, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nationwide Security & Counterterrorism

Energy, metals commodity prices seen strengthening

April 30th, 2017 (No Comments)

Prices for most industrial commodities, notably energy and alloys, are projected to rise in 2017 while agricultural prices are expected to remain stable, the World Bank says in its April 2017 Commodity Markets View.

Closely watched commodity future trading prices are forecast to rise to an average of $55 per barrel or clip (bbl) over 2017 from $43/bbl in 2016, climbing to $60/bbl next year. The forecast is unrevised since October and reflects the particular balancing effects of production cuts agreed by the Organization of Petroleum Transferring Countries (OPEC) and other producers on a single side and a faster-than-expected rebound in the U. S. shale oil industry on the other. World oil need is growing strongly, although at a slower pace than the 2015 spike triggered by lower oil prices.

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