Robots May Make Parenting Easier, and Other Links

Are babysitting robots the next big thing? Casey Mulligan: they could induce people to have more children.

An odd relationship has disappeared: recessions no longer reduce mortality.

Economists respond to Krugman: uncertainty matters after all.

Yglesias has a solution for the air travel industry: Let foreign airlines fly domestic routes in the United States.

Sequestration update: Nearly every major agency has found enough waste to reduce furlough days, or eliminate them altogether.

Comments (10)

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  1. William says:

    Open the market! Lower entry barriers! Reap the benefits!

    • Wallace says:

      Entrenched interests are difficult things to overcome.

      “The real issue, of course, is not national security but jobs and salaries. Specifically, more competition would be bad for the established U.S. airlines and their employees. “

    • Noble of Elderslie says:

      The reason is interesting: Recessions still reduce deaths due to heart attacks and traffic accidents. But they increase deaths due to cancer and “accidental poisoning.” The cancer finding, Ruhm writes, likely reflects “the increasing importance of financial resources used to purchase sophisticated (and expensive) treatments that have become available in recent years,” while the accidental poisoning finding “reflects the unintended consequences of illicit or prescribed use of opioids used to treat mental health problems, which become more prevalent during economic downturns.”

  2. Werewolf says:

    ““We’ve also seen that where there is flexibility there is fat. In other words, [agencies’] ability to be flexible demonstrates that there is plenty of waste and fat in the budget that can be cut before cutting vital services or furloughing employees.” ”

    Interesting point, but I think there may still be some unintended consequences.

  3. JD says:

    “Are babysitting robots the next big thing? Casey Mulligan: they could induce people to have more children.”

    I’m sure they can be helpful, but I the bulk of parenting will still fall on the parent.

  4. Lennon says:

    “Many recent studies use our EPU index and other indicators to investigate the effects of policy uncertainty on investment, employment, output, and asset prices. In an analysis of firm-level panel data, my coauthors and I find that increases in policy uncertainty reduce investment and employment, more so at firms with greater exposure to government contract awards. At the macro level, positive shocks to our US EPU index foreshadow declines in US investment, output, and employment.”

    Boom.

  5. Levin says:

    I don’t think that it is as simple as let’s just allow foreign pilots fly U.S. routes, that would mean that air-traffic control may have to have translators, it is unknown whether or not they have the same flight training as american pilots do. This could be a disaster.

  6. Sam says:

    “Are babysitting robots the next big thing? Casey Mulligan: they could induce people to have more children.”

    That’s a big assumption. Let’s assume the technology gets to the point where it makes it absolutely safe to rely on a robot to take care of your children. Even then, it all depends on how society perceives a family nucleus. If a society is advanced to the point where it relies on robots to take care of children, then I’d think that society is a very busy society or values other activities over spending time with children. In that case, I wouldn’t think it would necessarily cause a large increase in the number of children per household.