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Posts Tagged ‘Economics’

Online Porn and Cyber Crime

Gilbert Wondracek, who (with coauthors) has investigated the economics of online porn, talks about his research in a podcast for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

If Economists Ran the Schools

A charter school organization in Arizona offers a glimpse at what the educational system would look like if economists were in charge.

Hayek Propped Up by Government Intervention

Sunday’s New York Times reported on attempts by the Texas Board of Education to rewrite the high school curriculum in accordance with its conservative values. So I find the raw ideological force exerted by these “educators” to be both striking and dispiriting.

A Third-Grade Economics Quiz

We have blogged a few times about financial and economic illiteracy in the U.S., particularly among young people.
So it’s nice to see a counterexample.
A blog reader named Christopher Galen has sent us his daughter Grace’s third-grade economics quiz. Yes, that’s right: a third-grade economics quiz. She goes to a public school in Fairfax County, Virginia.

What Are Economists Talking About?

O.K., this is a pretty crude analysis. But still, this year’s conference suggests to me that the economics profession is healing itself.

What This Year's Nobel Prize in Economics Says About the Nobel Prize in Economics

The reaction of the economics community to Elinor Ostrom’s prize will likely be quite different. The reason? If you had done a poll of academic economists yesterday and asked who Elinor Ostrom was, or what she worked on, I doubt that more than one in five economists could have given you an answer. I personally would have failed the test. I had to look her up on Wikipedia, and even after reading the entry, I have no recollection of ever seeing or hearing her name mentioned by an economist.

A Regression Mystery, Solved

All the economists who read this blog will no doubt be familiar with the popular instrumental variables (IV) regression technique, which is used to estimate the coefficient of endogenous variables. But who established the technique as a solution to the identification problem?

Things That Don't Make Sense

In a follow-up to its earlier article about things that science can’t explain, New Scientist lists 13 More Things That Don’t Make Sense. We wonder: if you were writing a similar list for the field of economics, what would you include?

The Economics of Doing What You Love

Marketplace, the economics program on National Public Radio, is running a fun series this week — asking economists to reflect on how thinking like an economist can shape your personal decisions. While the pieces are pretty light, it’s also a neat opportunity to teach some simple economics. Yesterday, it was my turn, and so I focused my economic lens on my marathon training. And thinking like an economist means thinking in terms of opportunity cost.

India's Empties

We posted earlier about how a blogger named Dave Prager tried to figure out why the buses in Delhi kill so many people. Now he’s back to explain how Delhi’s upscale alcohol ads create demand for his empty liquor bottles, and give his maid a nice side income.

Apparently I've Ruined Economics (Again)

A few years back, the New Republic accused me of ruining economics.
Now The Economist magazine, in a much more subtle way, makes the same implication. Here’s the second sentence of an article entitled “What Went Wrong With Economics”:

The Economics of an Ugly Boyfriend

Naked self-promotion: the third edition of my book, Economics Is Everywhere (Worth Publishers), has just appeared. It contains little articles like those I have included on this blog (and, no doubt, some of the posts from this blog will be included in the fourth edition). I love many of the stories, but my all-time favorite from among the 700 that have been in the book’s various editions combines several basic economic ideas:

Samuelson Sounds Off

Conor Clarke interviews Paul Samuelson, a recipient of both the John Bates Clark medal and a Nobel prize. Samuelson, age 94, discusses the history of Keynesian economics, his relationships with Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, and Larry Summers, as well as the current stimulus debate. Part two of the interview appears here. [%comments]

The Cleaners

Vanity Fair and Bloomberg hosted an economic panel last week featuring Meredith Whitney, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Olivier Sarkozy, Austan Goolsbee, and Jack Welch. The heavyweight panelists debated unions, the Obama administration’s stimulus package, health care, and the banking system.

A Neverending Economics Lecture

A site called Work and Wealth for All offers free access to an extensive library of podcasts on economics, Social Security, and public policy, delivered by some of the best-known economists on the planet. The site also features commentary and analysis from a number of economically inclined outlets like The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. All in all, a good place to bone up on actual economics (as opposed to, i.e., a site like ours).

Steinbeck on the Crisis

I was reading John Steinbeck‘s Cannery Row last night, and I was really struck by how the following passage speaks to the forces behind our current economic predicament: “It has always seemed strange to me,” said Doc. “The things we admire in men — kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding, and feeling — are the concomitants of failure in our . . .

The Office-onomics?

The following is a guest post by Linda Jines — yarn merchant, book titler, and sister of Steve Levitt. Enjoy. The Office-onomics? A Guest Post By Linda Jines The most recent episode of NBC’s hit comedy The Office offered viewers something extra along with its usual half hour of wry observations about life in Dilbertian corporate America. The episode, entitled . . .

The "Bottom Billion" Economist Answers Your Questions

Paul Collier Last week, we solicited your questions for award-winning Oxford University economist Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion and the just-published Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places. In his answers below, Collier talks about why the impact of colonialism on Africa is exaggerated, how African countries are “too big to be nations, yet too small to . . .


Tom Hundley had a long piece in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday describing the influence of the University of Chicago on Barack Obama. The most interesting part comes near the end, where law professors Cass Sunstein and Richard Epstein spar over whether Obama really believes in free markets. Sunstein says, “As Nixon went to China, Obama will go to deregulation.” . . .