Jul 29, 2011

Mobile Phones

In the USA, Android is the 1st OS, but Apple is the largest single seller (nielsenwire).
We have Apple with a share of 28%, followed by HTC and Blackberry both at 20%. So these 3 companies alone account for about 70% of the market (postpaid mobile subscribers).
I find this quite oligopolistic and I wonder if this depends on the monopoly power provided by excessive intellectual property...
Anyway the iphone for sure is a good product, it's cool, is well designed, the software is smooth and it just works (provided you use it exactly the way Apple wants you to use it - to make some criticism - which also tends to imply paying Apple to monopolize your technological life and lock you in...).
Yet I find this amazing considering the price of their products and Apple's policy of total closeness.
Is mobile phones dominated by the most expensive and supposedly one of the highest quality variety?
How do other verieties compare in terms of quality or perceived quality? Are people aware of companies policies in terms of openness and does that affects their choice and their perception of product quality?
I would be courious to have data on that and about marketing costs, R&D, patents and their costs also in terms of legal actions...
But let me forget about economics and take this news as an excuse to make some thoughts about how smartphones affect people's life, at least in my experience. Or more precisely how people tend to misuse their smartphones, which when properly used, are great tools.

Jul 24, 2011

I wanna be an Italian Parlamentarian

Parlamentarians income and GDP per capita. Guess where is Italy...
 (from lavoce.info)

Jul 23, 2011

Pessimismo e Fastidio

Riflessioni libere pessimistiche casuali, con particolare riferimento al mercato del lavoro, sul paese che amo e nel quale vorrei vivere se mi verrà consentito.

Ho trovato una lista interessante di cose che impediscono una vita dignitosa in Italia, cose che si dovrebbero imitare al più presto da altri paesi (la lista si riferisce all'Inghilterra), cose facili, a volte banali, ma che nel complesso hanno spinto e spingono molti italiani a lasciare la propria terra con l'amaro in bocca. Perché alla fine il tempo che abbiamo è limitato e non tutti sono disposti a fare i martiri. Qualcuno ci è costretto dagli eventi della vita, ma alcuni riescono cercarsi una vita migliore.

Jul 22, 2011

Evenett on Protectionism

Simon J Evenett on protectionism from voxeu.org. Here some thoughts on post crisis trade collapse.


Jul 16, 2011

Water: Meanwhile in the rest of the world...

Should water supply be national or private?
We Italians had a referendum abouth water. It became a hot topic, since it was sold as a matter of deciding whether water is a public good or not, and many people voted with this idea in mind. But actually that was not the matter at all. The question was quite more technical, but I am not going to talk about that here. You can find information elsewhere.
I did not have the possibility to vote and sincerily I do not really know what I would have voted.
Anyway, the debate in Italy was quite on the ethical side, contrasting freedom and efficiency of private markets on the one hand and the evils of private profits taking control over a public good and a human right on the other. Few serious analysis came into the public debate, maybe because they were too technical and not suited for the public, or maybe because only few people bothered looking at them.
I do not want to say that one should not vote on the ground of sentiments, ideals, rights, social and ethical beliefs. That's one of the highest moment in a democracy, a fundamental one, when the matter requires this kind of judgment. But this was not the case of our last referendum, at least not only.

Here an interesting article from Borraz-GonzalesPampillon-Olarreaga on water nationalization vs privatization. The case study is South America, Uruguay in particular.

Our results suggest that the nationalisation of water services had a positive and statistically significant impact on access to the sanitation network, in particular among the poorest households. [...]
Nationalisation seemed to have led to higher quality of water as well. Indeed, the impact of nationalisation on the detection of abnormal levels in microbiological and inorganic water tests is always negative and has a relatively large coefficient, suggesting that nationalisation led to an improvement in water quality. [...]
To summarise, it seems that in Uruguay the public operator provided a service of equal, if not better, quality than the one previously provided by private firms.

Jul 14, 2011

Ancora sulle ragioni dell'attacco e il resto


Nell'ultimo post mi chiedevo se "l'attacco" all'Italia fosse giustificabile o meno in base ai fondamentali economici. Non sono in grado di darmi una risposta. Da un lato la situazione Italiana economicamente e politicamente è disastrosa, dall'altro ci sono notevoli differenze con altri paesi che hanno avuto problemi.
Sono anni che leggo articoli che si aspettano un imminente crollo del paese o roba simile, e ho letto numerosi articoli che fanno notare alcuni punti di minor debolezza dell'Italia rispetto alla Grecia.
In altre parole, come spesso accade, molti dei commentatori cercano di razionalizzare e prevedere quello che potrebbe succedere, ognuno con i suoi ragionamenti più o meno sensati.

Jul 12, 2011

Italy, with or without reasons?

It looks like Italian markets are under attack.
There may be good reasons for that, like general structural weakness. But Italy is not Greece and there are also good reasons why many people would not expect an Italian default.

Of course, whether markets will continue to provide Italy with sufficient financing depends not only on macroeconomic and fiscal fundamentals, but also on factors that are outside of Italy’s control (such as investors’ appetite for European debt).
Edward Hugh

So, much of Italy’s interest burden is paid to Italians, and some of it is paid back to the government as taxes. As a result, Italy’s public debt dynamics are better than those of the PIGS.
The PIGS' external debt problem (May 8, 2010)

L’Italia ha un alto debito pubblico (come i greci) ma un deficit pubblico che è diventato relativamente basso rispetto alla media euro. Ha un’ottima capacità di penetrare nei mercati esteri, con l’export di prodotti della meccanica, del tessile, abbigliamento, cuoio e calzature (erano in tutto 140 miliardi di euro nel 2008).
[...] Con questi fondamentali, se gli speculatori vorranno attaccare Italia, Spagna e Irlanda si bruceranno le dita.
Perché i PIGS no esistono (May 4, 2010)


Jul 5, 2011

Diretta "La Notte della Rete"

 
UPDATE: ecco la registrazione dell'evento

Sotto l'email inviata dai promotori dell'iniziativa.

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