Garrett M. Petersen

Replicating Anomalies in Financial Markets with Hou, Xue, and Zhang

In this episode, I have three guests on the show with me: Kewei Hou of Ohio State University, Chen Xue of the University of Cincinnati, and Lu Zhang of Ohio State University.

Kewei, Chen, and Lu have coauthored a paper titled “Replicating Anomalies,” a large-scale replication study that re-tests hundreds of so-called “anomalies” in financial markets. An anomaly is a predictable pattern in stock returns, or stated differently, it is a deviation from the efficient markets hypothesis. Continue reading Replicating Anomalies in Financial Markets with Hou, Xue, and Zhang

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Synthetic Control and the Impact of Hugo Chavez with Kevin B. Grier

My guest on this episode is Kevin B. Grier of the University of Oklahoma.

Our topic for today is a paper Kevin wrote on the economic consequences of Hugo Chavez along with coauthor Norman Maynard.

I had Francisco Toro on the show last year to discuss Venezuela’s economic history, so you can listen to that episode if you want a refresher on Chavez. For this episode, our main topic is the empirical method Kevin used to quantify Chavez’ effect on Venezuela: synthetic control. Continue reading Synthetic Control and the Impact of Hugo Chavez with Kevin B. Grier

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State Capacity and the Rise of the Modern Nation State with Mark Koyama

My guest for this episode is Mark Koyama of George Mason University. Our topic is a recent paper titled, “States and Economic Growth: Capacity and Constraints,” which Mark coauthored with Noel Johnson.


As stated in the paper, “state capacity describes the ability of a state to collect taxes, enforce law and order, and provide public goods.” That said, state capacity does not mean big government. A state may have the power to impose rules across its territory, but it doesn’t have to use that power in a tyrannical way. Another way of saying that is to say that having a high state capacity is compatible with Adam Smith’s desire for “peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.” Continue reading State Capacity and the Rise of the Modern Nation State with Mark Koyama

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Money, Trade, and Economic Growth in the Early Modern Period with Nuno Palma

My guest for this episode is Nuno Palma, he is an assistant professor of economics, econometrics, and finance at the University of Groningen.

Our discussion begins with the monetary history of England. Nuno has authored a study that reconstructs England’s money supply from 1270 to 1870. We discuss his methods and findings. We also discuss the influx of precious metals into European markets after the discovery of the New World. Continue reading Money, Trade, and Economic Growth in the Early Modern Period with Nuno Palma

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The Economic History of War and Conflict with Jari Eloranta

My guest for this episode is Jari Eloranta, he is a professor of comparative economic and business history at Appalachian State University. Jari’s work focuses on the economic history of national defense. In this far-reaching conversation, we go all the way back to pre-modern societies’ methods of financing their militaries, then trace the transitions up through the early modern period and into the 20th century. We discuss the way war has shaped modern states and institutions.

Books mentioned:

The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It, by David A. Bell.

The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History, by Tonio Andrade.


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Rentberry, Digital Markets, and Affordable Housing with Alex Lubinsky

My guest today is Alex Lubinsky, co-founder of the Silicon Valley startup Rentberry.

Rentberry is a platform that lets landlords post units for rent so that tenants can bid on them. Once a landlord posts a vacancy, different potential tenants can make offers and the landlord can select which one to rent to.

Importantly, the landlord doesn’t have to select the highest bidder. Potential tenants on Rentberry put in their personal characteristics up on the site, so landlords can select for the type of tenants they want. Maybe they’re willing to accept a lower rent from a quiet single woman than a family of five with four dogs and six cats.

There has been some controversy about the site, stemming from the fact that it leads tenants to bid against one another, potentially pushing up prices. One tenant advocate said, “I think it’s incredibly arrogant and incredibly concerning in light of the fact that we have the highest number of homeless families since the Great Depression. For them to do something to increase the rents seems really callous.” Vanity Fair said Rentberry would turn rental markets into a Hunger Games-like death match. Continue reading Rentberry, Digital Markets, and Affordable Housing with Alex Lubinsky

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50th Episode Special with Garrett Petersen and Ash Navabi

Hello and welcome to the fiftieth episode special of Economics Detective Radio! Today we have Ash Navabi back on the program, but we’re flipping the script: Ash will be interviewing me about the show and about all the things I’ve learned while making it.

In this episode, I alienate the political right by discussing the importance of labour mobility and the desirability of open borders. I also alienate the political left by expressing a lukewarm position on climate change. I also discuss my own research plans relating to law and economics.

Finally, we discuss literature! Really, if you like Economics Detective Radio you have to hear this episode.


 
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Anthropometric History, Quebec, and the Antebellum Height Puzzle with Vincent Geloso

Returning to the podcast is Vincent Geloso of Texas Tech University.

Our topic for this episode is anthropometric history, the study of history by means of measuring humans. Doing serious historical research into the distant past is difficult work, because the further you look back in time, the less information you can access. For the 20th century we have wonderful thing like chain-weighted real GDP. Going back further, we have some statistics, lots of surviving physical evidence, and loads of documents and writings. Going further than that, we’re left with the odd scrap of thrice-copied surviving manuscripts and second-hand accounts from people who lived centuries after the events they describe. And going even further than that, we have just bones and dilapidated temples with the occasional inscription. Continue reading Anthropometric History, Quebec, and the Antebellum Height Puzzle with Vincent Geloso

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Doughnut Economics, Inequality, and the Future of Economic Growth with Kate Raworth

Today’s guest is Kate Raworth, she is a senior visiting research associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and the author of Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist.

In this interesting and wide-ranging discussion, we discuss Kate’s critiques of the standard models taught to economics undergraduates, as well as her views on development, economic growth, inequality, and the environment. You might think our viewpoints would be very different on these topics, but we find a surprising amount of common ground.

During our discussion of inequality and the patterns noticed in the 1950s by Simon Kuznets, I bring up Geloso and Magness’ work on inequality in the early 20th century. You can hear my conversation with Vincent Geloso about that research here, as well as his comments on it here.


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Turkey’s Coup D’état and Geospatial Data Analysis with Akin Unver

Today’s guest is Akin Unver of Kadir Has University. He uses geospatial data to study political events such as the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016.

The coup was an attempt by certain rogue elements of the Turkish armed forces to oust President Erdogan. However, unlike past coups in 1960, 1971, 1980, and 1997, the Turkish people documented and coordinated their opposition to it on social media in real time, leaving a rich record of events as they unfolded.

Akin’s research, which was featured in an extensive and detailed article for Foreign Affairs, shows how, when, and where the opposition to the coup occurred. He shows, for instance, the importance of mosque networks in coordinating resistance. And while the media put a lot of importance on Erdogan’s personal appeals through FaceTime and Twitter in galvanizing support, the data show that resistance started organically almost as soon as the coup began, hours before Erdogan appeared on television to rally support.

The discussion delves deep into specific details of the coup and the resistance, while also touching on other areas of Akin’s research. Towards the end, we discuss the technical side of working with geospatial data.


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