Friday, August 20, 2010

KFV reunion concert!

I've just attended the anniversary celebration of The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade by Fujita, Krugman and Venables. The room was packed and professor Thisse was the chair of the session. It was the Regional Science equivalent of The Beatles reunion to celebrate "Revolver". "How did you write the book?", "Did the book made you rich? ", "What have you been doing?", "What's next?"...
They told interesting stories but there was no major revelation. It was just great to see the highest agglomeration ever of NEG founding fathers on just one stage!

PS. Weirdest thing about Sweden: there is Vitamin C at the hotel breakfast. Maybe scurvy is endemic here...

"Education Performance: Was It All Determined 100 Years Ago? Evidence From São Paulo, Brazil"

de Carvalho Filho, Irineu and Colistete, Renato P. (2010): Education Performance: Was It All Determined 100 Years Ago? Evidence From São Paulo, Brazil. Unpublished.

"This paper deals with institutional persistence in long-term economic development. We investigate the historical record of education in one of the fastest growing and most unequal societies in the twentieth century – the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Based on historical data from an agricultural census and education statistics, we assess the role played by factors such as land concentration, immigration and type of economic activity in determining supply and demand of education during the early twentieth century, and to what degree these factors help explain current educational performance and income levels. We find a positive and enduring effect of the presence of foreign-born immigrants on the supply of public instruction, as well as a negative effect of land concentration. Immigrant farm-laborers established their own community schools, and pressured for public funding for those schools or for public schools. The effects of early adoption of public instruction can be detected more than one hundred years later in the form of better test scores and higher income per capita. These results are suggestive of an additional mechanism generating inequality across regions: the places that received immigration from countries with an established public education system benefited from an earlier adoption of the revolutionary idea of public education."

Thursday, August 19, 2010


- Economy of cities;
- Temin and Eichengreen on the current crisis;
- Ray Bradbury tribute (NSFW- via BoingBoing).

IpeaGeo - Spatial Econometrics Software

IpeaGeo is the new spatial econometrics software developed by the IPEA team. It is free (as in free beer), user friendly and it does spatial GMM, spatial clusters and much more. Strongly recommended. Unfortunately it is only available in Portuguese.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ERSA 2010

I am on my way to the 50th ERSA meeting ERSA in Sweden. The keynote speakers are amazing: Saxenian, Strange, Krugman, Fujita, Thisse, Venables e McCann.
I am going present my paper "Regional Inequality Frontier: Brazil (1872-2000)" and I hope to keep on posting here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No more free parking

Tyler Cowen nails it. As a resident in Brasília, I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another good reason for using R

Penn World Tables are available as an R package. Further news on R and econometrics are available here.

"Don’t ask a Brazilian personal questions"

"Steer clear especially of such issues as age, salary, or marriage to someone from Brazil, Argentina’s fierce rival."
I do agree that age and salary are taboo issues. But, as far as I know, we have no problem with questions on marriage.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nash equilibrium by himself

My former student Otário Damé sent this gem. According to him, his EPGE - FGV colleague, Pedro Olea, asked Nash to write the definition of the concept last week in São Paulo.