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From The Conversation Not too long ago, robots were giant, caged things, mainly found in automotive manufacturing lines. Social robotics was a new field of research pursued by the best and brightest in university research labs. In the past few years, however, it seems that social robots have finally come of age. All of a sudden, the market is teeming with products. Some are distinctly humanoid. The rise of social robots Softbank Robotics’ Nao, Pepper and Romeo all have a head and two arms. With their stylised designs, they deftly avoid the “uncanny valley” of human-machine interfaces (realistic enough to look human, but non-human enough to look spooky). Others are more subdued in their anthropomorphism. Blue Frog Robotics’ Buddy sports an animated face on a screen, and scoots around on wheels. Jibo is yet more subtle in its ability to evoke humanity, with its stationary base and a head that … Read More » The post Robots are moving in to our homes, but there’s no killer app – Elaine Chen appeared first on MIT Sloan Experts. Read the full post >
International trade and household debt: How import competition from China helped fuel the credit bubble of the 2000s – Jean-Noël Barrot, Erik Loualiche, Matthew Plosser, Julien Sauvagnat
From Vox In the years preceding the Great Recession, there was a dramatic rise in household debt (e.g. Mian and Sufi 2009) and an unprecedented increase in import competition. This competition was triggered by the expansion of China and other low-wage countries in global markets, and had substantial labour market consequences (Autor et al. 2013, Autor et al. 2014, Pierce and Schott, 2016). There is a striking break and a dramatic acceleration of both trends at the turn of the century. We hypothesise that these two phenomena were intimately linked, and that the impact of import competition on labour markets affected household debt expansion from 2000 to 2007. More precisely, we argue that the displacement of domestic production by imports fuelled demand for credit in impacted areas. We examine this hypothesis using a large, nationally representative panel dataset of anonymous consumer credit records, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s … Read More » The post International trade and household debt: How import competition from China helped fuel the credit bubble of the 2000s – Jean-Noël Barrot, Erik Loualiche, Matthew Plosser, Julien Sauvagnat appeared first on MIT Sloan Experts. Read the full post >