Readings: Trade, 8s, Kangaroos, Liverpool, and The Simpsons

FINANCE & ECONOMICS

While no-one apparently cares anymore as we lurch toward isolationism and xenophobia, free-er trade remains the free-est of free economic lunches. That's the claim in an important new study with this remarkable central claim: fully liberalizing migration would increase welfare about threefold and would significantly affect the evolution of particular regions of the world.

The study is highly analytical and model-based, so many caveats apply, but it is also thorough and upfront about its limitations. More broadly, the ideas are rich and provocative, like that under trade liberalization and free movement, Venezuela, Brazil, and Mexico would become some of the most productive regions of the world, and sub-Saharan Africa could rise to first world status by 2090. It's a remarkable and unsettling piece of work -- which will almost certainly affect nothing, other than maybe inspire some excellent SciFi stories.


Misc
HEALTHCARE
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

SPORTS & GAMING
  • All five major US sports leagues now have sports gambling sponsors /v @fmtofficesport

MOVING THINGIE OF THE DAY

I'm a sucker for these sorts of long-run races, so seeing the changing ranking of cities by population for the last five hundred years is remarkable. In particular, I was struck by two things: for how long Istanbul was the largest city in the world; and how recent brief New York's ascendancy to top spot was.