Posts by: Randy Ellis

Professor in the Department of Economics, Boston University

Re-envisioning Ebola, including updated story about Nigeria from Kas Nwuke

Arlene Ash, Professor and Division Chief, Biostatistics and Health Services Research, at UMass Medical School, has compiled a useful series of original thoughts, emails, and links about Ebola which I am broadcasting and reposting on my blog site here. This posting repeats some of the information already posted in my earlier blog: Ebola is being […]

Ebola is being contained in Nigeria

Amid so much negative and scary news about Ebola, this research paper on the experience of Nigeria where it has not spread widely after arriving by airplane gives great hope. I recommend it if you have time (It is 6 pages – updated to include references.). Containing Ebola: A success story from an “unexpected” place? […]

Important Reposting on Placebo surgery from TIE

I am forwarding this excellent TIE post since every health researcher and indeed every consumer should realize how serious the lack of evidence is on many common surgical procedures. Here are some quotes organized in a succinct way. “2002… arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee … Those who had the actual procedures did no […]

BU well represented at ASSA meetings in 2015

As would be expected since the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) meetings are in Boston this January, BU is well represented on the ASSA program. After searching and scanning through the program for current and former students and current faculty, I identified 81 BU affiliate names on the program, whether as authors, discussants or presiding. […]

A model for US: $1 coins and no pennies

I just returned from a vacation in Ecuador (which is spectacular) but wanted to post about a wonderful feature of their monetary system. Ecuador does not have its own currency but instead uses the US dollar as their only currency. US dollar bills and coins are used everywhere, which is very convenient for visitors. But […]

NEJM: Sham Controls in Medical Device Trials

Rita F. Redberg, M.D. N Engl J Med 2014; 371:892-893September 4, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1406388 (Bold emphasis added by RPE) The problem: “Only 1% of all medical devices reach the market through the premarket-approval route — the only pathway that requires the submission of clinical data. Research has shown that premarket approvals are often based on data […]

Read Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

I just finished reading the book Flash Boys by Michael Lewis (author of Moneyball and the Big Short). I highly recommend it to economists as a quick read (270 pages) in accessible prose. Or anyone. http://www.amazon.com/Flash-Boys-Wall-Street-Revolt/dp/0393244660/ Every economist should be aware of the grossly unfair trading practices that the SEC and NASDAQ have allowed to […]

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2014 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the 463 Boston University students who earned degrees in Economics at Commencement over the weekend. This year the program contained: 17 Ph.D. recipients 207 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, BA/MA) 256 BA recipients (including BA/MA) This represents a total of 463 degrees! These numbers undercount the total for the year […]

Employer Sponsored Insurance Also Surged in MA in 2007.

There has been a great deal of surprise expressed in the media over the RAND’s latest report suggesting that more people have become insured through employer sponsored insurance (ESI) than through either Medicaid or the Exchanges under the ACA. One example is Adrianna McIntyre on The Incidental Economist who posted on Wednesday: “I can’t overstate […]

Explaining these two graphs should merit a Nobel prize

Reposting from The Incidental Economist Blog What happened to US life expectancy? Posted: 07 Jan 2014 03:00 AM PST Here’s another chart from the JAMA study “The Anatomy of Health Care in the United States”: Why did the US fall behind the OECD median in the mid-1980s for men and the early 1990s for women? Note, […]

Latest REPEC rating has BU economics at #10!

I know rankings of departments are always imprecise, but I think  BU Economics should be proud that REPEC, (REsearch Papers in EConomics), which measures research output on 31 dimensions and takes an average, currently puts us at #10 in the US, just behind Yale, and ahead of Penn, Brown, Michigan and Northwestern. Keep up the […]

Grade inflation article – BU looks tough

A few quotes from a story in today’s Boston Globe. “Harvard, other schools still fighting grade inflation” The Boston Globe By Marcella Bombardieri. December 05, 2013 “At Yale College, where 62 percent of grades are in the A range, proposals to curb grade inflation are in doubt following student protests and faculty concern.” “After a […]

Personal experience with the new Federal Exchange web site

Randall P. Ellis, Professor, Boston University Department of Economics and past president of the American Society of Health Economists. Today, Tuesday Dec 3, I went on line to check out the new HealthCare.gov web site for selecting individual health insurance. I checked out options for enrolling in the Oxford County Maine. The web page now […]

Playing video games does not predict voilent behavoir in children

(Reposted from The Incidental Economist) This November 2013 UK study confirms what other studies have shown, which is that playing video games does not predict psychosocial adjustment problems in young children. Even watching 3 hours of TV per day in the UK has no meaningful association. I also reposted my favorite graph about videos and […]

Two great reposts from TIE/JAMA

This repost from The Incidental Economist (TIE) is one of the best summaries of US Health Care I have seen. I also appended the Uwe posting at the bottom. (The JAMA Authors are Hamilton Moses III, MD; David H. M. Matheson, MBA, JD; E. Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA; Benjamin P. George, MPH; David Sadoff, BA; Satoshi Yoshimura, PhD The JAMA Article, which has an abundance of tables, references […]

AHRF/ARF 2012-13 data is available free

AHRF=Area Health Resource File (Formerly ARF) 2012-2013 ARHF can now be downloaded at no cost. The 2012-2013 ARF data files and documentation can now be downloaded. Click the link below to learn how to download ARF documentation and data. http://arf.hrsa.gov/ “The Area Health Resources Files (AHRF)—a family of health data resource products—draw from an extensive […]

A Monkey’s Fight for Equal Pay

This 2:44 extract from a TED talk by Frans de Waal, a professor of primate behavior at Emory University shows beyond a doubt the role that fairness plays in our  society. It is both hilarious and incredibly insightful. http://www.upworthy.com/2-monkeys-were-paid-unequally-see-what-happens-next?g=5%3C  

Press Interviews and Quotes

Partly just to keep track of them for my BU annual report, This post links to my press interviews and quotes. “STUDY: Grad student loan debt on the rise” The Daily Free Press. Boston University March 26, 2014. “South Shore Hospital, Partners HealthCare defend merger plan” The Patriot Ledger. by Christian Schiavone.  1/17/2014 “The Healing Begins […]

Health Exchange Rating Areas with More Insurers Offering Plans Have Lower Premiums

  For some reason I have been unable to embed these two figures, but these links should work. minimum_premiums_chart_2014   FL_minimum_premiums_chart_20140930

BU to be Well Represented at ASSA 2014

Congratulations! Boston University is again well represented at the ASSA (AEA) meetings to be held in Philadelphia, January 3-5 2014. Counting coauthors, people presiding and discussants equally, current BU affiliates are on the program 46 times (31 distinct names). In addition, recent BU Economics alumni are also on the program at least 24 times, bringing […]