A Slippery (North?) Slope

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:50am
In the past, I’ve often harangued my environmental economics students with the question of why, if we are running out of natural resources, the futures markets don’t project substantial increases in oil prices.  After all, a constrained supply should lead to higher prices on the one hand, and the industrialization of China, India, and other … Continue reading A Slippery (North?) Slope

Is American Economic Growth in a Gordonian Knot?

Sat, 01/30/2016 - 11:50am
One of the reasons, I suppose, that there has never been a more interesting time to be an economist is that we can all see remarkable technological advances unfolding in front of us, but no one quite agrees what to make of them.  A few years ago, Tyler Cowen published a little e-book, The Great Stagnation, … Continue reading Is American Economic Growth in a Gordonian Knot?

“There has never been a more interesting time to be an economist, I think”

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 1:31pm
Quora is a website dedicated to “sharing and growing the world’s knowledge.”  Ask a question, and the good folks at Quora will find someone with first-hand knowledge to answer it. Today’s contribution to sharing and growing is “Why do technology companies hire economists?” My response, of course, is Who wouldn’t want to hire an economist?. … Continue reading “There has never been a more interesting time to be an economist, I think”

The Continuing Debate on Immigration & Wages

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 10:30pm
I was surprised and pleased at the level of interest and quality of discussion surrounding U.S. immigration policy in my public economics course last term. I was reminded of this when I saw one of the most prominent scholars in this area, George Borjas, has revived his LaborEcon blog. Borjas is noted for, among other … Continue reading The Continuing Debate on Immigration & Wages

Turn and face the strange

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 10:53pm
Are economists ideological zealots who come up with models and quantitative devices to corroborate their preconceived notions?  That may be the case for some, but Adam Ozimek at Moody’s Analytics catalogs a number of cases where prominent economists have changed their opinions based on empirical work in the field. Narayana Kocherlakota spent three years at … Continue reading Turn and face the strange

I’m Sinking in the Quicksand of my Thoughts

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 1:18pm
The winter 2016 issue of Resources Magazine is out, featuring some germane pieces for my courses on the “real” costs and benefits of federal regulations, and the Impacts of Biofuel Mandates on Food Prices and the Emissions. The first piece is an interview with Richard Morgenstern on his news study where he retrospectively evaluates the costs and … Continue reading I’m Sinking in the Quicksand of my Thoughts

Economics is What Economists Do

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 11:55am
The post title is, of course, from the late, great Jacob Viner, who tells us that it isn’t totally easy to characterize exactly what it is that we economists do.  The alive, possibly great Daniel Hamermesh from the University of Texas has been making some headway on cataloging exactly what that is.  And, increasingly, it appears … Continue reading Economics is What Economists Do

We did a Similar Post Last Year

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 11:48am
The 2015 edition of the eponymous Which Famous Economist are you Similar to? interactive tool is now available, and once again — though once again I probably shouldn’t be telling you this — yours truly has been paired with Daren Acemolgu.  (Acemoglu, as you possibly know, is the MIT superstar economist who is the subject of the Daren … Continue reading We did a Similar Post Last Year

Ta-Nehisi Coates Convocation Thursday

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:28am
We are fortunate to have on campus one of America’s rising public intellectuals, Ta-Nehisi Coates, to deliver the Convocation on Thursday.  His talk is “Race in America: A Deeper Black,” starts at 11:10 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Mr. Coates is a recipient of one of this year’s Macarthur “Genius” Awards,  and his recent book, Between … Continue reading Ta-Nehisi Coates Convocation Thursday

Innovation in Everything

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 6:46pm
What distinguishes the ‘scientific’ economist from all the other people who think, talk, and write about economic topics is a command of techniques that we class under three heads: history, statistics, and ‘theory.’ The three together make up what we call Economic Analysis. That’s Joseph Schumpeter in Chapter 2 of his famous History of Economic Analysis. … Continue reading Innovation in Everything

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube LarryU