Nomads in India, redistribution and Nash equilibria

This month's NGM has a nice article on nomadic groups in India. The basic story is that there are castes of nomads (an estimated 80M people total) that have traditional nomadic lifestyles and they are apparently "trapped" since they seem unwilling to settle, the gov't has difficulty providing them with services unless the settle, and settled populations are unwilling to let them settle. There are the usual undertones of discrimination and bureaucracy, but otherwise this seems like an unfortunate example of a classical Nash problem interfering with progressive redistribution.

I'm not entirely convinced by the gov'ts argument that they must settle in order for them to receive political rights or some forms of gov't benefits, such as basic healthcare, but I've also never tried administering an Indian municipality.


Climate change and extremes

A lot of folks ask me what's going to happen with tropical cyclones or heat waves, etc with climate change. If you're not someone with any atmospheric science background, but want a single, easy few-page article to read, I'd recommend this one.

One of my advisors, Adam Sobel, gave me a copy of "Climate change, picturing the science", a coffee table book on climate change that he wrote a chapter for. His chapter on what we expect for extremes is very nice. Its honest about what we know or don't, and why, but it doesn't expect you to have thought much about the subject before. You can read it on google books here.