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Archive for the 'Economics – General' Category

Is Economics bogus science?

John Ioannidis has an interesting article in the L.A. Times titled “Economics isn’t a bogus science — we just don’t use it correctly.” Some excerpts are below: Most published studies use limited data. By a conservative estimate, the average study has 18% power to detect a modest association if one exists. Due to this low […]

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Is there peer-reviewer bias against research from low-income countries?

According to a paper from Harris et al. (2017), the country from which a study takes place greatly influences the academic community’s perception of that study.  The authors used a unique study design approach: In our randomized, controlled, and blinded crossover experiment, participants rated the same abstracts on two separate occasions, one month apart, with the […]

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Quotation of the day: Schumpeter on value

Nobody values bread according to the quantity of it which is to be found in his country or in the world, but everybody measures the utility of it according to the amount that he has himself… Schumpeter (1908)

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How to pay for cures

Do you want to cure cancer?   Diabetes?  HIV?  Imagine if there was a single pill for each of these diseases that one could take to cure the diseases.  That would be a clear clinical advance, it would save lives, and also save money form reducing the cost of treating these disease. Can we expect to […]

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When do you value money more: when you’re healthy or sick?

How does your health affect how much you value an extra dollar of income?  You could think that if you are sick, you have a low marginal utility of income perhaps because your illness does not allow you to leave the house or you are focused on the simple things in life.  On the other […]

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Quotation of the Day: Economists are Useless

“So now you know why economists are useless: when they actually do understand something, people don’t want to hear about it” Paul Krugman, on economists’ consensus view of rent control

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Universal Basic Income

Universal basic income is the idea that all individuals in a society should be guaranteed a minimum income.  The logic behind this approach is one of equity.  Many members of society feel that all individuals are entitled to some basic level of financial well-being regardless of their skills, ability or willingness to work. Current government […]

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Can financial incentives increase the effectiveness of weight loss programs?

As an economist, I would say “of course”!  Increasing the price (the reward for weight loss) generally leads to an increase in supply (of efforts to lose weight).  However, there is evidence that in some cases, adding a financial incentive can actually reduce effort.  For instance, Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini (2000) found that adding […]

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Is more income equality a good thing?

This is a normative question.  Some people would prefer a society with more income re-distribution.  More income re-distribution is “fairer” in the sense that fewer people would suffer from a low standard of living.  Most societies (and individual humans) place at least a some value in insuring that the worst off amongst us have some resources at their […]

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Will federal government spending be captured by the elderly?

According to a January 2017 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), spending on entitlement programs for the elderly is the primary factor driving increased budget deficets over the next 10 years.  The CBO states: Outlays rise faster than revenues—by about 5 percent a year, on average—increasing from 20.7 percent of GDP in 2017 to […]

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