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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

We analyze the long-term workforce composition when the quality of mentoring available to majority and minority juniors depends on their representation in the workforce. A workforce with at least 50 percent majority workers invariably converges to one where the majority is overrepresented relative to the population. To maximize welfare, persistent interventions, such as group-specific fellowships, are often needed, and the optimal workforce may include minority workers of lower innate talent than the marginal majority worker. We discuss the role of mentorship determinants, talent dispersion, the scope of short-term interventions, various policy instruments and contrast our results to the classic fairness narrative.

Frontiers of Psychology (Cognition)

Exploratory ventures outside the established disciplinary boundaries can yield added insights and explanatory power. Imposing cognitive limitations on human logical reasoning ability (bounded rationality) is a well-known case in point. Extending cognition to parts of body outside the brain, and to environment outside the body is another. In contrast, the present article takes a constructive approach, also in an exploratory spirit. For the sake of exposition, we consider three tiered realms of scientific inquiry: physical or inanimate, biological or animate, and socio-psychological or sentient. In this three-tier framework, we explore the extent of gains in modeling human action within the confines of physical principles such as optimization. In this exercise, concepts of complexity and emergence account for the absence of analytically derivable mapping from micro or finer grain phenomena to macro or coarser grain phenomena. A general notion of embodiment captures the inclusion of a more expansive range of explanatory factors in modeling and understanding a given phenomenon. Emergence and embodiment play complementary roles in exploration of human behavior.

Business Economics

This note argues that the Fed does not have much effect on inflation expectations and that its effect on aggregate demand, and thus on inflation, is modest. Econometric results suggest that a short term interest rate increase of 1.0 percentage point results in a decrease in inflation of 0.43 percentage points after five quarters. The unemployment rate is 0.17 percentage points higher. Therefore, lowering inflation by 2 percentage points, if this is needed, requires about a 4 to 5 percentage point increase in the interest rate, with the full effect taking about five quarters.