Friday, October 28, 2016

Efeitos da representação dos trabalhadores na gestão

Does good corporate governance include employee representation? Evidence from German corporate boards[pdf], por Larry Fauvera e Michael E. Fuerst:

Within the German corporate governance system, employee representation on the supervisory board is typically legally mandated. We propose that such representation of labor on corporate boards confers valuable first-hand operational knowledge to corporate board decision-making. Indeed, we find that labor representation provides a powerful means of monitoring and reduces agency costs within the firm. Moreover, we show that the greater the need for coordination within the firm, the greater the potential improvement there is in governance effectiveness through the judicious use of labor representation. These benefits do not appear to hold for union representatives.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cidades ilegais

Illegal Cities, por Robert Nelson (Reason):

Since 1950 the population of the world has increased from 2.5 billion to 6.1 billion. Many of these newcomers earn less than $1 a day--far below the U.S. poverty standard--and live in sprawling megacities such as Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in India, and Nairobi in Kenya. They are frequently beset by bad governments and corrupt officials. How do they survive?

Investigative reporter Robert Neuwirth gives the answer in his fascinating book Shadow Cities. About a fifth of Rio de Janeiro's residents, half of Mumbai's, and two-thirds of Nairobi's live as urban squatters, a category that includes an estimated 1 billion people around the world. They don't hold title to the land on which they live; they are loosely if at all regulated; they do not pay taxes; they seldom receive postal delivery, water, sewers, roads, or other public services; and, in general, they live with a minimal legal order.

Anarchist political theorists have long dreamed of such a society; some of their ideas are today being put to the test. As Neuwirth reports, squatter anarchy can work surprisingly well. In the favela squatter settlements of Rio, law and order is privately maintained by local drug lords, and there is hardly any crime, comparing favorably in this regard with most Rio neighborhoods served by the city police. The housing is built one small step at a time. Although the exterior appearance is typically ramshackle at first, the interiors are surprisingly neat and comfortable, and after a few decades the outsides are often attractive as well. (...)

Neuwirth studied life in squatter settlements by living in four of them for a few months each. The physical conditions of life were most difficult in the Kibera settlement of 500,000 in Nairobi. Nevertheless, a strong sense of neighborhood community was present. Neuwirth reports that "many women...developed communal self-help networks" and "churches are a growth industry"; it sometimes seemed that "everyone in Kibera belongs to one church or another." Business dealings based "on trust" worked almost as reliably as those based on legal contracts. One Kibera resident who became a multimillionaire businessman chose to remain there because he liked the friendly and unpretentious people so much.(...)
[Via Jesse WalkerWhen the Olympics Crush a Community - In defense of the favelas]


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Inteligência e doença bipolar

Childhood IQ and risk of bipolar disorder inadulthood: prospective birth cohort study[pdf], por Daniel J. Smith, Jana Anderson, Stanley Zammit, Thomas D. Meyer, Jill P. Pell e Daniel Mackay:

A higher childhood IQ score, and high VIQ in particular, may represent a marker of risk for the later development of bipolar disorder. This finding has implications for understanding of how liability to bipolar disorder may have been selected through generations. It will also inform future genetic studies at the interface of intelligence, creativity and bipolar disorder and is relevant to the developmental trajectory of bipolar disorder. It may also improve approaches to earlier detection and treatment of bipolar disorder in adolescents and young adults.
[Via Tyler Cowen]

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A opressão no local de trabalho

Let It Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace, por Chris Bertram, Corey Robin and Alex Gourevitch (Crooked Timber):

Libertarianism is a philosophy of individual freedom. Or so its adherents claim. But with their single-minded defense of the rights of property and contract, libertarians cannot come to grips with the systemic denial of freedom in private regimes of power, particularly the workplace. (...)

That is what we are about to argue, but it is based on months of discussion with the Bleeding Hearts. The conversation was kicked off by the critique one of us—Corey Robin—offered of libertarian Julian Sanchez’s presignation letter to Cato, in which Sanchez inadvertently revealed the reality of workplace coercion. Jessica Flanigan, a Bleeding Heart, respondedtwice to Robin. Then one of us—Chris Bertram—responded to Flanigan. Since then, theBleeding Hearts have offered a series of responses to Chris and Corey.

Life at Work
To understand the limitations of these Bleeding Hearts, we have to understand how little freedom workers enjoy at work. Unfreedom in the workplace can be broken down into three categories.
1. Abridgments of freedom inside the workplace
On pain of being fired, workers in most parts of the United States can be commanded to peeor forbidden to pee. They can be watched on camera by their boss while they pee. They can be forbidden to wear what they want, say what they want (and at what decibel), and associate with whom they want. (...)
2. Abridgements of freedom outside the workplace
In addition to abridging freedoms on the job, employers abridge their employees’ freedoms off the job. Employers invade employees’ privacy, demanding that they hand over passwords to their Facebook accounts, and fire them for resisting such invasions. Employers secretly film their employees at home. Workers are fired for supporting the wrong political candidates (“work for John Kerry or work for me”), failing to donate to employer-approved candidates, (...)
3. Use of sanctions inside the workplace as a supplement to—or substitute for—political repression by the state
While employers often abridge workers’ liberty off the job, at certain moments, those abridgments assume a larger function for the state. Particularly in a liberal state constrained by constitutional protections such as the First Amendment, the instruments of coercion can be outsourced to—or shared with—the private sector. During the McCarthy period, for example, fewer than 200 men and women went to jail for their political beliefs, but as many as 40% of American workers—in both the public and private sectors—were investigated (and a smaller percentage punished) for their beliefs. (...)
Libertarians at Work
Despite this systemic abridgment and denial of freedom in the workplace, libertarians have a difficult time coming to terms with it. Which is ironic given that Robert Nozick cited the following example in his classic article “Coercion”—on page 2 no less—as so obvious an instance of coercion as to scarcely require explanation or elaboration: “You threaten to get me fired from my job if I do A, and I refrain from doing A because of this threat….I was coerced into not doing A.” (...)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Simplismos da economia?

On the Principles of Economic Principles, por Don Bodreaux (via Bryan Caplan):

The typical politician does not oppose free trade because he took an advanced econ course and learned there that, under just the right combination of real-world circumstances, an optimally imposed tariff can be justified on economic grounds. No. The typical politician opposes free trade because he doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. (...)

The typical politician doesn’t support minimum-wage legislation because she has concluded, after careful study, that employers of low-skilled workers have sufficient amounts of monopsony power in the labor market (as well as monopoly power in their output markets) to nullify the prediction of basic supply-and-demand analysis and, instead, to create real-world conditions that enable a scientifically set minimum wage actually to improve the welfare of most low-skilled workers without reducing the employment prospects of any of them. No. She supports minimum-wage legislation because she believes that raising the minimum wage will result simply in all low-skilled workers getting the stipulated pay raise without any negative consequences befalling these workers.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Davos versus Bilderberg

Comentário que alguém (mais exatamente, Steve Sailer, um dos principais ideólogos da extrema-direita blogsoférica nos EUA) deixou neste post do Marginal Revolution sobre as reuniões de Davos:

The Bilderbergers are an invitation-only group of rich and powerful people who have been getting together secretly in expensive hotels since 1954 to discuss how to make the world a better place for rich and powerful people. Not surprisingly, the Bilderbergers are the subject of much conspiracy theorizing.

In recent years, they’ve been overshadowed by the Davos confab, which cleverly took the opposite tack: maximize publicity. Sure, it’s fun to secretly hang out with your fellow Bilderbergers, but it can be more fun to boast about your invitation to Davos. The Davos strategy is to invite journalists to lecture rich and powerful guys. The rich and powerful guys treat the journalists like peers with fascinating insights, then the journalists go home and write articles about how today’s crop of rich and powerful guys are so much more wonderful than you might think.

There is less conspiracy theorizing about Davos than Bilderberg because Davos hires platoons of PR flacks to tell everybody that, yes, the people who get invited to Davos do Run the World. So that takes all the fun out of it for the conspiracy theorists.