links for 2008-10-08

  • Back in June 2008 I wrote a piece for VOXEU predicting a mild recession in 2009. Over the last few weeks the situation has become far worse, and I believe even these pessimistic predictions were too optimistic. I now believe Europe and the US will sink into a severe recession next year, with GDP contracting by 3% in 2009 and unemployment rising by about 3 million in both Europe and the US. This would be the worst recession since 1974/75. In fact the current situations has so many parallels with the Great Depression of 1929-1932, when GDP fell by about 50% in the US and by about 25% in Europe, that even my updated predictions could again be over optimistic.
  • The point is as follows: what Matt (and others) are suggesting is that there is an important cohort effect – because young people are in a cohort that is disproportionately attracted to Obama, they are likely to start to identify as Democrats, and perhaps to continue to do so over their lifetimes, to the continued disadvantage of the Republican party. This is a plausible argument, and one that is quite compatible with Bayesian models of party ID formation, which seem to me at least to be intuitively attractive. But it isn’t one that we know to be correct and there is no very good way to disentangle these various effects from each other.
  • Det er imidlertid klart, at den model, som man nu foreslår gennemført i to tempi, vil fjerne tilskyndelsen til, at universiteterne laver forskningsbaserede uddannelser. I stedet vil man gøre det fordelagtigt at indføre uddannelsesfabrikker, der masseproducerer bachelorer og kandidater på store hold og ved hjælp af lærere uden forskningsforpligtelse. Dette skyldes, at man stort set kapper forbindelsen mellem uddannelsessiden og forskningssiden, således at man i realiteten nedsætter den effektive STÅ-takst (dvs. den betaling universiteterne får for at undervise en student i et år) betragteligt.