Posts by: Randy Ellis

Professor in the Department of Economics, Boston University

Randy’s favorite articles on COVID-19

July 20. 2020 Important update on superspreading events. This article from the Washington Post provides a useful update about how superspreading events account for the vast majority of infection and are driving the pandemic. 3-5 minute read. Washington Post Ariana Eunjung Cha July 18, 2020 at 1:58 p.m. EDT ‘Superspreading’ events, triggered by people who […]

Boston Bird Bingo

I took time to make the following game board because I greatly love bird-watching and also love games. I invite you to view it. School teachers or parents might enjoy it as well. Boston Bird Bingo I admit that our bird-watching is much better through having a bird-feeder in the back yard, which accounts for […]

Winter reading 2020

I started listening to Audiobooks while commuting, which lets me get in at least 45 minutes of audio listening a day during my round trip commute, which is wonderful. My most recent favorites are Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know. Malcolm Gladwell. 2019. Just as I have loved […]

NY Times column: Men Call Their Own Research ‘Excellent’

This NY Times column 12/18/2019 summarizes a British Medical Journal article about bias in medical abstracts, but the same could be done for economics journals, I am sure. Worth the five minutes to read. Bottom line: Women should brag more, and editors and reviewers should get men to tone it down. Men Call Their Own […]

Guidance for a Constructive Culture of Exchange, plus two addenda

This blog contains the excellent advice of Nancy Rose to MIT faculty and students, along with my own two addenda on Etiquette and Advice to Presenters. Here is a pdf version if you wish to print and post or forward it. Subject:           Some guidance for our upcoming seminars Date:   Tue, 22 Jan 2019 […]

Recognizing Mentoring

A colleague W. David Bradford wrote the following article about me for the “Great Mentors” series they are running in the ASHEcon Newsletter, which is published by the American Society of Health Economists. Flattering, and very satisfying. Perhaps it will inspire more people to become great mentors. Great Mentors: Randy Ellis The full newsletter is […]

Time to try something really different

Although I subscribe to and watch essentially every posting in The Incidental Economist, this one on value-based payment for Medicare is worth reposting and viewing. It is only 4:48  long. Video: The Many Attempts to Improve the Value of Medicare Upshot article by BU colleague Austin Frakt last month in the New York Times contains […]

Congratulations on BU’s 66 presentations/coauthorships/chairs/discussants at 2020 ASSA in San Diego

Dear colleagues, students, alumni, and friends. The preliminary program is out for the Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) meeting to be held in San Diego California this January 3-6, 2020, commonly known as the AEA meetings (American Economics Association). As I have done each recent year, I tabulated all of the current BU faculty, graduate […]

End of summer reading list

Happy end of summer! Even though the summer is winding down, it is not too late to sneak in a book or two or even keep reading them in coming weeks! Below are a few of the ones I have most enjoyed reading this summer. I recommend them all to you. I have been relatively […]

Interesting article and book

I just saw the abstract below to a review article by someone I know and regard highly (Rachel Kranton) in the March 2019 Journal of Economic Literature. I took a look at the full article(14 pages) and then bought the book on line. Then I finished reading the article (15 minutes with pondering). The Moral […]

Congratulations on BU’s 87 presentations/coauthorships/chairs/discussants at 2019 ASSA meetings

As I have done in previous years, I tabulated the names I could find from BU faculty, students, and alumni on the preliminary ASSA (Allied Social Science Associations) program for the Atlanta AEA (American Economics Association) meetings, the largest annual US gathering of economists. BU set a new record for its presence at the 2019 […]

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2018 Economics graduates!

I have been on sabbatical, and hence am late to do this calculation and blog. Alas my sabbatical has come to an end. Please celebrate the BU students who earned 590 degrees in Economics at Commencement this May! This year the program honors: 18 Ph.D. recipients 231 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, […]

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 […]