There is a restaurant called “The Bistro” on UCSD campus. Although I don’t like this restaurant because it’s basically a fusion American Asian place, sometimes I have to eat there when we take seminar speakers for lunch. Once I ordered some fried cod (neither quite fish and chips nor tempura). On the menu it said the dish comes with brown rice, so I asked the server to substitute white rice for brown rice. (Although I don’t have statistics to quote, I would say most Japanese people eat white rice - only those that are health-conscious and opinionated eat brown rice, though obviously the latter is healthier.) When the dish arrived, I was stunned that the rice, though white, was sushi rice (i.e., vinegared rice). I asked the server to bring proper white rice but she didn’t know the difference. Since then, whenever I organize the seminar lunch, I choose a different place.
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3 minute read
These days I mostly play competitive tennis, so my opponents usually have sufficient understandings of the rules and we do not get into disputes. However, debates and disputes sometimes occur in recreational play, which could be annoying. So in a series of posts, let me talk about some rules that could be overlooked by recreational players. The official rules can be found in the “Friend at Court” here.
1 minute read
My paper “Capital and Labor Income Pareto Exponents across Time and Space” got accepted at Review of Income and Wealth. I have long felt that in the discussion of inequality, people often don’t make the distinction between income and wealth. In this paper we (my coauthor Tjeerd de Vries and I) estimate the Pareto exponents for capital and labor income separately for as many countries/years as possible. Using 475 country-year observations, we find that the median capital and labor income Pareto exponents are 1.46 and 3.35 respectively, so capital income (hence wealth) is more unequal than labor income. This conclusion is not surprising at all, but the point of the paper is to provide a systematic analysis, which was lacking in the earlier literature.
less than 1 minute read
My paper “Asymptotic Linearity of Consumption Functions and Computational Efficiency” with Qingyin Ma got accepted at Journal of Mathematical Economics. The main result is that when the marginal utility function is regularly varying (behave like a power function), the consumption function in optimal savings problem becomes asymptotically linear and we characterize the asymptotic slopes. Initially this paper was part of a bigger project with Ma & Toda (2021), but we split the paper in two to keep them focused and at manageable lengths. The JET paper treats only the case with CRRA (constant relative risk aversion) utility but has an economic application. The JME paper assumes regular variation plus some technical condition and discusses computational efficiency.