Archive for April 2007


April 29, 2007

I am extremely shy. Shy enough so that I am often mistaken for being arrogant (even though I am not). Surprisingly, a large part of my job is to perform in front of large groups of people—I am good at that part of the job.

But being shy means that I am awkward around people. I rarely approach anyone new. And when someone approaches me, I tense up, involuntarily. Today we went to a kid’s party, where I watched L. interact with other kids. She is shy, but unlike me, she is good at interacting. It was neat for me to watch. She found a group to play with by simply asking kids to play with her. When she could not join one group, she calmly looked for another. Much less awkward than me.

I could never do that.

I wonder how I can help her with social skills. I don’t know what to do myself, so how can I tell her what to do?


We went to a wedding reception

April 27, 2007

and now L. wants a disco ball for her room. Not gonna happen.

She really wants to be a flower girl. Either my wife and I remarry each other, or we need to make some younger and single friends.

And another wedding to attend tomorrow night.

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A working paper with discouraging results

April 26, 2007

Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation

Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation
David Card, Alexandre Mas, Jesse Rothstein
NBER Working Paper No. 13052
Issued in April 2007

—- Abstract —–

In a classic paper, Schelling (1971) showed that extreme segregation can arise from social interactions in white preferences: once the minority share in a neighborhood exceeds a critical “tipping point,” all the whites leave. We use regression discontinuity methods and Census tract data from 1970 through 2000 to test for discontinuities in the dynamics of neighborhood racial composition. White population flows exhibit tipping-like behavior in most cities, with a distribution of tipping points ranging from 5% to 20% minority share. The estimated discontinuities are robust to controls for a wide variety of neighborhood characteristics, and are as strong in the suburbs as in tracts close to high-minority neighborhoods, ruling out the main alternative explanations for apparent tipping behavior. In contrast to white population flows, there is no systematic evidence that rents or housing prices exhibit non-linearities around the tipping point. Finally, we relate the location of the estimated tipping points in different cities to measures of the racial attitudes of whites, and find that cities with more tolerant whites have higher tipping points.

Although there a small glimmer of good news—preferences for discrimination don’t have to be fixed. House prices don’t drop discontinuously at the ‘tipping’ which I think means that tipping in not completely $ based, although I don’t know how to interpret that evidence yet.

I have always liked Los Lobos

April 25, 2007

There’s a lot of thing to think about after reading the interview…

Reason Magazine – How the Wolves Survive

Life is busy, or I would try for writing something more ambitious

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Worth watching

April 18, 2007

I am going to watch as yet another tragedy is exploited by people with preconceived ideas. The pro-gunners. The anti-gunners. The anti-immigrant types. (aside: I wonder if being in the US for 15 years is not enough for you to stop being an immigrant.) And so on.

But I can watch this video again to give me hope.

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Bayeux Tapestry

April 10, 2007

I am waiting for the movie version of the Norman Conquest.



I took the photo outside my office yesterday

April 8, 2007


Nothing much insightful to add except how happy seeing the bird made me feel.