Posts by: Randy Ellis

Professor in the Department of Economics, Boston University

Am I finally Famous? Interview in La VANGUARDIA March 10 2018

I was interviewed and photographed for Barcelona’s major newspaper, LA VANGUARDIA, and the results appeared on Saturday, March 10 on the La Contra page, which is the most widely read part of that paper since it is on the last page and tries to be controversial. Because it is published in Catalan (a language spoken […]

Medicaid recipients are already working, fraud in SNAP is 1%, and Medicare would be cut

It is nice while on sabbatical to avoid the fray of politics, but our president’s recent attack on Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps) and Medicare makes me want to share the following three sets of links. The bottom line of the Medicaid video (4:52) summary of two studies is that “able bodied” eligibles represent only about […]

Impact of the GOP tax reform on tax-favored donations

This extended blog will mostly be of interest to Americans thinking about end of year tax strategies. It extends a discussion among some Yale colleagues about the current tax bill as well as some calculations based on web sources. This blog focuses on the new high standard deduction and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) provisions, […]

Three great books to read

While on sabbatical this year, I have been enjoying some extra reading. I have just added two new books and one old one to my favorites list on my web site. I recommend them all highly to you. The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds Michael Lewis Dec 6, 2016 This remarkable and […]

Holiday cheers, congrats to BU, and a psychedelic BU alumni site from 1970-1997!

Today, the first day of Hanukah and two weeks before Christmas and Kwanza, I am writing to wish my colleagues and my BUHealth blog readers a peaceful and happy holiday, whatever your faith background. I am loving my sabbatical at Boston College this fall and looking forward to our stay in Barcelona starting in mid-January. […]

US health spending and global burden of disease

I want to thank Veronica Vargas for sending me the following link from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) , which features innovative ways of displaying different cuts of US and international data from a massive data files. Viewing this site will perhaps take you fifteen minutes or more to get a feel. […]

The quintessential challenge of our time

“…the quintessential challenge of our time: the ascendance of belief over fact, outrage over thoughtful debate, and the accessibility of an endless supply of “information” that confirms our preexisting beliefs, whatever they may be. In a sociopolitical climate in which disgust often substitutes for disagreement, many people recognize the futility of using evidence to establish […]

BU to be well represented at the ASSA 2018 annual meetings

Dear BU colleagues, students, alumni, and friends, Even though I am just beginning my sabbatical, I thought I would do this tabulation from the preliminary program of the ASSA (Allied Social Science Association) annual meetings which will be in Philadelphia January 5-7, which is linked here.  . I apologize for any names that I have […]

ACA premiums are reasonable, grew modestly in 2016, and risk scores are stable.

Here are the results from CMS reports from June 30, 2017 and 2016: 2016 National average premium in the ACA Marketplace: $414.54 (CMS, 2017, page 9.) This is less than the (employee plus employer) premiums offered where I work. This number includes the cost of the subsidies that are not paid by the enrollee. 2015 […]

ACA versus GOP plans side-by-side

This article from the LA Times by columnist Noam Levey links an update on earlier postings online that does a side-by-side comparison of ACA versus the GOP’s replacement AHCA plan. That posting provides the best concise overview I have seen of the latest GOP AHCA proposal. It will take 10 minutes to review/read. Randy Here […]

Performance Timer is excellent App

I was at a conference last week and learned about a terrific timer for my iPhone called Performance Timer. It counts down your specified time, and then changes from green to red as you go over. What makes it superior to the default iPhone timer is its large font, there is no alarm when time […]

Excellent articles about machine learning and replication

There is a wonderful article about Machine learning in the spring 2017 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and there is also a series of four fine articles in the AER May 2017. I decided to share as a BUHealth blog to all. Whether you are curious, newly interested or an expert working in […]

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2017 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the students who earned 556 degrees in Economics at Commencement this May! This year the program honors: 14 Ph.D. recipients 215 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, BA/MA) 327 BA recipients (including BA/MA) This total of 556 degrees is up from 498  (12%) since 2016. These numbers may undercount the total […]

Let the Children and Grandchildren Pay (More)

This blog revisits a posting from four years ago, in a series on Time to Change the Tax Discussion. Whenever Congress (federal or state) proposes legislation that cuts taxes or increases net spending so that our national debt will increase, they should have to end every statement about why they favor their proposal with … […]

Economist article about end of life planning

One of my students today just sent me this link to an article in this week’s Economist about end-of-life planning. How to have a better death http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21721371-death-inevitable-bad-death-not-how-have-better-death It led me to also view its link about conversations about serious illness by one of my favorite authors. “Serious Illness Conversation Guide” drawn up by Atul Gawande […]

#stupideconomics and Healthcare Triage on the AHCA

Two interesting links related to the recent Republican health care proposal called the AHCA. The first is a serious but also humorous Forbes article by my BU colleague Larry Kotlikoff in his series about Stupid Economics, this one targeting Tom Price and the AHCA bill. (A 3-minute read.) Tom Price’s Liver And ‘The Coverage They […]

$147 Billion: The Economic Cost of Trump Racism

Bottom line: Trump’s racism predicted to cost US households $147 billion in extra payments to the rest of the world. Like many people, I am appalled by president Trump’s recent executive order banning refugees – and even US legal immigrants  – from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country. In the process, Trump has […]

Read this posting on Stupid Economics

I invite you to read this Forbes posting on Stupid Economics by Laurence Kotlikoff.   I don’t always agree with my dear colleague, Larry Kotlikoff, but this posting at Forbes is one that I can really get behind. Our president needs to start listening to serious economists instead of acting solo as an autocrat.   […]

The Ellis-Huber Christmas Poem 2016

The Raven                      The Ellis-Huber Christmas Poem 2016 Once upon a year so dreary, politics so wild and weary, Arguments so quaint and curious, unfamiliar use of lore— While I nodded, sometimes napping, suddenly there came a yapping, As of candidates gently snapping, snapping as if t’were a war. “’Tis only a primary,” I muttered, […]

Facts about Tom Price, HHS nominee

Health economists and every concerned citizen should disseminate the facts in this NEJM article about Donald Trump’s nominee of Tom Price to be the next secretary of HHS. Coauthor Richard Frank is also a BU Ph.D. alum! Randy Ellis   Care for the Vulnerable vs. Cash for the Powerful — Trump’s Pick for HHS Sherry […]