What does it take to become Danish?

If you want to become a danish citizen, you’ll have to know the answer to at least 28 out of 40 questions about Denmark. Read an article about it here (in danish).

Presumably, you won’t be kicked out if you are already a danish citizen and fail the test. I managed to get 38 correct out of 40 – so I hope I can stay.

DR has a test-version of the test on their website, but you can also read more about the ‘ingenious’ new construction here.

On Prostitutes & Architects

Levitt & Dubner (authors of “Freakonomics,” the best-selling micro-economic-explanation-to-everything book; see link on my blog-roll) wonders why drug-dealers so often live at home with their mothers. With an extraordinary dataset that a co-author and fellow researcher of Levitt has obtained on the accounts of a Chicago gang they are able to (roughly) estimate that a gangster at the bottom of the organisation makes $3.30 an hour. So drug dealers really don’t make that much money and that’s probably why they are living with their mothers. (We don’t actually know if they live with their mothers – Levitt & Dubner just states that.)

So why does anyone want to be a drug dealer if they only make $3.30 an hour? Levitt & Dubner writes: “These budding drug lords bumped up against an immutable law of labor: when there are lot of people willing and able to do a job, that job generally doesn’t pay well. This is one of four meaningful factors that determine a wage. The others are the specialzed skills a job require, the unpleasantness of a job, and the demand for services that the job fulfills.”

They continue with an example: “The delicate balance between these factors helps explain why, for instance, the typical prostitute earns more than the typical architect. It may not seem as though she should. The architect would appear to be more skilled (as the word is usually defined) and better educated (again, as usually defined). But little girls don’t grow up dreaming of becoming prostitutes, so the supply of potential prostitutes is relatively small. Their skills, while not necessarily “specialized,” are practiced in a very specialized context. The job is unpleasant and forbidding in at least two significant ways: the likelihood of violence and the lost opportunity of having a stable family life. As for demand? Let’s just say that an architect is more likely to hire a prostitute than vice versa.”

Some have one and some don’t…

The figure shows the number of employed and unemployed until 2006:Q3. The trend is looking right and the rate of unemployment hit 4.0 percent in December last year. I wonder when we’ll hit the “natural” rate of unemployment. More on this after February 8, when I’m going to hear Mr. Phelps talk here in Copenhagen.

In the meantime you can read more on Wikipedia about Full employment.


(Un)Employed

If you recognise the style of the figure, you’ll know which weekly magazine I read.