Saturday, November 12, 2016

Weekend reading links

1. From among the reams of coverage on Donald Trump's victory, this WSJ video story draws attention to the breakup of the two largest categories of the electorate.
And among each of these categories, those without college degrees, regular church goers, living in small towns and rural areas etc, may have swung the vote for Trump. It is unsurprising that these voters are among the worst affected by the consequences of the elite hegemony

2. Bibek Debroy has a very good article on the problems faced by the Indian judiciary. He zeroes in on the massive 33 million (March 2016) case backlog as the central challenge. Of the three dimensions of challenges - supply-side (more courts/judges); productivity (better procedures, work norms, shift systems); and demand-side (alternative dispute resolution, curb on government litigation) - he advocates focussing on the last. He digs up some very interesting statistics about the Indian Supreme Court's demand management, 
On appeals, the US Supreme Court receives 7,000 to 8,000 petitions a year and hears (for oral evidence) 80. This is around one per cent. There are serious data issues. However, a comprehensive paper by Nick Robinson found the Indian Supreme Court accepts between 15 per cent and 26 per cent of petitions(the exact figure depends on the year, let’s say an average of 20 per cent). This is too high and represents a hollowing out of the lower judiciary.
Well said!

3. The just concluded Single's Day sales in China, considered to the largest online shopping day in the world, has amassed $18 bn in sales for Alibaba, 32% higher than last year's $14.3 bn. As a perspective, the last year's sale itself was more than double the combined sales clocked in the US during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. 

Supporting these sales is the logistics management of delivering those orders, which numbered a staggering 540 million over the 24 hours last year. Accordingly, the country's express delivery, or courier, services market has been booming. Here too, like with everything else China, the numbers are staggering,
The average freight rate for two-day ground delivery between distant cities in America is roughly $15 per kg, whereas in China it is a measly 60 cents, according to research by Peter Fuhrman of China First Capital, an advisory firm.
4. How much impact will the demonetisation have on the fight against black money and corruption? Not much if this graphic is correct - cash is the least preferred source of storing unaccounted for money. 

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