Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pereira, Nadalin, Monasterio & Albuquerque "Urban Centrality: a simple index"

Pereira, R. H. M., Nadalin, V., Monasterio, L. and Albuquerque, P. H. M. (2012), Urban Centrality: A Simple Index. Geographical Analysis. doi: 10.1111/gean.12002
 This study introduces a new measure of urban centrality. The proposed urban centrality index (UCI) constitutes an extension to the spatial separation index. Urban structure should be more accurately analyzed when considering a centrality scale (varying from extreme monocentricity to extreme polycentricity) than when considering a binary variable (monocentric or polycentric). The proposed index controls for differences in size and shape of the geographic areas for which data are available, and can be calculated using different variables such as employment and population densities, or trip generation rates. The properties of the index are illustrated with simulated artificial data sets and are compared with other similar measures proposed in the existing literature. The index is then applied to the urban structure of four metropolitan areas: Pittsburgh and Los Angeles in the United States; São Paulo, Brazil; and Paris, France. The index is compared with other traditional spatial agglomeration measures, such as global and local Moran's I, and density gradient estimations.

Niemeyer & Kraftwerk

... for some strange reason they go well together.

Brasilia in the 1960s.
A great slide show of Niemeyer and his works.
(FYI , I do enjoy living in Brasília. Check my guide. ) 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blogs about the Brazilian economy

The "engrish" version of my blog in Portuguese has been pretty slow. I do apologize to my 3,474,685 English speaking readers for keeping you waiting for new posts. Meanwhile, I would like to share a couple of excellent blogs written by Brazilians:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A course on regional policy evaluation

I am teaching a course at UCB on the use of microeconometric tools (RCT, IV, Dif-in-Difs, PSM...) on regional policy evaluation. The textbooks are Introduction to Econometrics (Stock & Watson) and "Mostly Harmless Econometrics" (Angrist & Pischke).
This is the reading list:
ANGRIST, J.; PISCHKE, J. S. The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics. Journal of Economic Perspectives, v. 24, n. 2, p. 3–30, 2010.
BURSZTYN, L.; COFFMAN, L. C. The Schooling Decision: Family Preferences, Intergenerational Conflict, and Moral Hazard in the Brazilian Favelas. Journal of Political Economy, v. 120, n. 3, p. 359 - 397, 2012. (Não é regional, mas é muito bom mesmo e eu precisava de um texto de randomized control trial).

BUSILLO, F.; MUCCIGROSSO, T.; PELLEGRINI, G.; TAROLA, O.; TERRIBILE, F. Measuring the effects of European regional policy on economic growth: a regression discontinuity approach. . [S.l.]: Working Paper. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 16 ago. 2012. , 2010.

CHAGAS, A. L. S.; TONETO, R.; AZZONI, C. R. A Spatial Propensity Score Matching Evaluation of the Social Impacts of Sugarcane Growing on Municipalities in Brazil. International Regional Science Review, v. 35, n. 1, p. 48–69, 2012

CRISCUOLO, C.; MARTIN, R.; OVERMAN, H.; REENEN, J. VAN. The causal effects of an industrial policy. . [S.l.]: National Bureau of Economic Research. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 21 ago. 2012. , 2012.

FALCK, O.; FRITSCH, M.; HEBLICH, S. Bohemians, human capital, and regional economic growth. [S.l.]: CESifo, Center for Economic Studies; Ifo Institute for economic research, 2009.

FALCK, O.; HEBLICH, S.; KIPAR, S. Local industrial policies difference-in-differences evidence from a cluster-oriented policy. 36th annual conference of EARIE (European association for research in industrial economics) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in September. Anais... [S.l: s.n.]. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 16 ago. 2012. , 2009.

NUNN, N. The Long-Term Effects of Africa’s Slave Trades. Quarterly Journal of Economics, v. 123, n. 1, p. 139–176, 2008.

RESENDE, G. M. Measuring Micro- and Macro-Impacts of Regional Development Policies: The Case of the Northeast Regional Fund (FNE) Industrial Loans in Brazil, 2000–2006. Regional Studies, n. Forthcoming, p. 1-19, 2012.

BTW,  Inforegio, an European Union website, has a very good introduction on counterfactual evaluation of regional policies

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stuart Mill's on Liberty in one work of artI

I spot this at the University of Brasília (Nov, 2011) and took a picture. The work is not signed:
It says: take good care of your "red dot"

The author expands his point (no pun intended) in another work nearby:
It says "Everyone is born with one *beep*. Take good care of yours. I take care of mine." .

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baining, the dullest culture on earth

The Baining—one of the indigenous cultural groups of Papua New Guinea—have the reputation, at least among some researchers, of being the dullest culture on earth. Early in his career, in the 1920s, the famous British anthropologist Gregory Bateson spent 14 months among them, until he finally left in frustration. He called them “unstudiable,” because of their reluctance to say anything interesting about their lives and their failure to exhibit much activity beyond the mundane routines of daily work, and he later wrote that they lived “a drab and colorless existence.” Forty years later, Jeremy Pool, a graduate student in anthropology, spent more than a year living among them in the attempt to develop a doctoral dissertation. He too found almost nothing interesting to say about the Baining, and the experience caused him to leave anthropology and go into computer science.
HT Pedro Souza! (Truth to be told, later on anthropologist have realized that they are not really that dull).

Salaries of Brazilian civil servants on-line

A new Transparency Bill has put personal monthly salaries of all Executive civil servants available on-line. It is also possible to download a huge csv file. Judiciary and Legislative have not yet released info on their civil servants.
Check Blog do Girino (in Portuguese) for a exploratory analysis of the data.

I am alive!

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. I am back and I will do my best to keep a regular flow of posts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I am not optimistic about the Brazilian economy in the long term #1

Here in Madrid people ask me frequently about my personal views on the future of Brazil. I do not have anything particularly interesting or insightful to say, but I share the concerns of many fellow economists that there are major problems ahead:
  • The huge demographic bonus is going to end soon: here and here;
  • The pension system is insane: here (pdf) and here (pdf in Portuguese) and there are no signs of major changes.
(to be continued...)

They say "social responsibility", I say price discrimination

Angélica Grill, a all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet (rodízio) in São Paulo, offers a 50% discount for people that went through bariatric surgery.  In Portuguese: In English (Google Translation of the page).
(HT, Prosa Econômica)