I rarely write on anything else than Tokyo on this blog anymore. But I have previously used this blog to reflect on some more personal financey topics, especially in this fiery treatise arguing against our real estate obsession which got a good deal of clicks.
Other posts in this category included those on impact investing and the state of economics education, among others. Anyway, this just to refresh my mind and gather some courage to stray from the all-too-familiar Tokyo and Yangon posts this blog has seen over the last few years.
FIRE (short for “financial independence, retire early”): First off, I am not among the initiated, and do approach the movement with some skepticism. I hope that such transparency upfront creates some goodwill among the believers. Continue reading
Berlin has been making waves in the global news with a campaign to expropriate a large private owner of apartments. Some uncollected thoughts after the jump. Continue reading
We are obsessed with real estate. Dinner parties in big cities in the West are often dominated by talk of a new house, an old one that was just sold, or another one that somehow, sadly, fell through.
What follows is the first post in a series on manifestations of inequality in postwar Tokyo. In these, I plan to cover living conditions and income inequalities across the different wards, at different points in time. Before going into the data that I collected over the past couple of days (and continue to collect), however, a few general words on inequality in Japan.
Income inequality trends, as per Iyoda Mitsuhiko (1991)
Phew. I have successfully “disengaged” from reading the news and logging on to Facebook for what feels like an eternity. Am I denying reality? No, but I want to turn down the volume for the time being, and news has a way of reaching you despite not checking three times a day. All this leaves more space for books, including Branko Milanovic’s “Global Inequality”.
It does not happen too often that a topic as seemingly arcane as Japanese zoning makes it on one of the biggest economics blogs out there. So I would be amiss in not pointing my readers to the interesting discussions unfolding on Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution.
View from Atago Hills Tower in Tokyo, 2013
There was an interesting article on the FT this weekend about the efforts of my former professor Ha-Joon Chang and others to rewrite economics curricula in higher education.
Tokyo’s urban manufacturing economy is legendary. Today I visited its epicentre in Ota-ku, the capital’s southernmost ward to get a feel for what could be an interesting avenue for my research.
In his last column as the FT’s Asia Editor, David Pilling celebrates the rise of China. The parallels to Japan’s meteoric ascent — until the bursting of the bubble in 1990 — are worth spelling out, for they are often confused and conflated.
I blogged quite regularly about Japan’s economic history when living here in 2012-13. A fellow student of mine stumbled upon one of the posts during his research. As my first paper is soon due (it will look at the “default reconstruction” of Tokyo’s urban industries), I took this as a reminder to also look here for some clues for my current research.
A Hitachi washing machine as exhibited in the Edo Museum (more here)