Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Comparing Cost-Benefit Analysis and Social Welfare Functions

When evaluating whether a policy or medical treatment approved, policymakers often rely on cost-benefit analysis (CBA).  However, how does one measure costs and benefits?  Costs are often measured in monetary terms and benefits are often measured as decreases in mortality or morbidity. One way to ensure to tradeoff cost and benefits is to monetize health […]

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2013 Nobel Prize in Economics: Fama, Hansen and Shiller

Today, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller. Here is a summary of their contribution to the field which earned them the award. Eugene Fama. Beginning in the 1960s, Eugene Fama and several collaborators demonstrated that stock prices are extremely difficult to predict in […]

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Is the Tragedy of the Commons of Myth?

There is a well known problem in economics known as the tragedy of the commons.  This problem occurs when a resource, often land, is shared among many people.  Without individual property rights, individuals have an incentive to over-consume and not maintain the resource.  For instance, Garrett Hardin gave an example of a case where herders, sharing a […]

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Economic Stimulus in the U.S. and China

“There is no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” – President Obama. Although some experts believe that President Obama’s stimulus package (i.e., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) helped stave off a recession, others believe it was mostly wasteful. What many people do not realize is that China too had its own economic stimulus […]

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American Declaration of Independence: Ideology or Economy?

On this President’s Day, let’s revisit America’s founding document: the Declaration of Independence.  The Declaration of Independence includes broad ideological statements such as “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” and claims that the British have violated “certain unalienable rights.” But were the real reasons for the American Revolution […]

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The Economist Gives Thumbs Up to Economics Blogs

Although mainly discussing the quality of economics blogs focused on Macroeconomic issues, the Economist endorsed the blog-o-sphere as a productive forum for intellectual debate.  To give it some historical context: “Previous publishing revolutions, such as the advent of printing, prompted similar concerns about trivialisation and extremism. But whatever you think about the impact of blogging […]

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Nobel Prize in Economics

Two months ago I was standing in Stockholm’s Stadshuset (City Hall).  Soon, Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims will be there as well.  The pair, however, will be accepting the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economics. Although I am not a macroeconomist myself, Marginal Revolution has a good description of the pair. Thomas Sargent. Christopher Sims. My […]

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Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Nuptial Economics

Nearly 23 million Americans watched a British Prince and his fiancee get married last week.  Yet you don’t have to be royalty to enjoy a luxurious wedding. In the U.S., the average wedding costs about $30,000.  Weddings in India are well known for their extravagance. “India’s legendary nuptial shindigs risk emptying not just the country’s […]

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The Purple Health Plan

The Purple Health Plan is supposed to be a “moderate” plan for health reform–purple is after all a mix of red and blue.  The plan is endorsed by five Nobel laureates.  So what is the Purple Health Plan? Key provisions of the plan include the following: All Americans receive a voucher each year to purchase a […]

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Economics Links

These set of links focus less on Healthcare and are instead more for my Economist readers. Kenyes vs. Hayek:  A hip-hop duel The disingenuous spending freeze. Chinese Corruption (e.g., falsifyng $3 billion in earnings) Economics Journals going open-access. John Gruber on the iPad. Will we go the way of Japan?  Becker and Posner ponder.

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