Posts by: Randy Ellis

Professor in the Department of Economics, Boston University

Wondering about 2.5%

I can’t help wondering how the election outcome would have been different if the headline that was prominently featured in the news for the last month had been the one we just received in the email message from the Boston University Human Resources Department that said: Contribution rates for 2017 – we are pleased to […]

Did BU economics students vote in the 2016 general election?

In order to better understand what happened in last week’s US election, and perhaps also to encourage more students to both register and vote in the NEXT election, I created a very simple one-question survey using SurveyMonkey and arranged for it to be sent to all Economics students at Boston University. I first polled graduate […]

I am sorry

Dear BUHealth friends, alumni, students and colleagues. Like most of the people I know, I am immensely saddened by the results of the US presidential elections, which have elected Donald Trump as president and elected republicans to run both houses of congress. My view is that hate and party loyalty won out in the end […]

Recent Marketplace Premium Increases are No Big Deal

By Randall P. Ellis, Boston University, Department of Economics October 28, 2016 A great deal has been made recently about the large increases in certain Health Insurance Marketplace premiums  announced for 2017. I present here five arguments for why these increases are no big deal, and are not the right thing to focus on when […]

Why Trump is going to win the US presidency

Everyone can see that Trump is surging in the polls, but few understand why. Like most professionals, I am appalled at this possibility. Why do I now think it is almost inevitable that Trump wins? Democrats have not figured out how to affect how Trump appeals to his supporters. As I blogged on June 3, […]

The US Should Ban or Heavily Tax Weapons Designed for Mass Shootings

Boston University Working Paper Randall P. Ellis Boston University, Department of Economics August 22, 2016 Abstract This paper presents four arguments for why the US should ban or at least heavily tax the sale or transfer to civilians of weapons designed for mass shootings (WDMS), which would include most semi-automatic guns and weapons with large […]

Obama’s JAMA article is a must read for all professionals

There is a very important  article in this week’s JAMA – Internal Medicine, written by Barach Obama. It highlights the effects of the ACA/Obamacare.  It is free on-line. United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2533698 If you are short on time, then the following link to just the figures provides […]

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.   Effects of Brexit on the world economy and Iran. Tasnim News Agency Interview, Iran (translated into Persian), June 28, 2016. Farm Animal Ballot Initiative. posted on Youtube. By  Brittany Comak, BU School of […]

Insurers are doing well under ObamaCare

Much was made recently about how UnitedHealth decided to drop out of the ACA Federal Exchange in several states. It is important to realize that far from being a failure to large insurers (UnitedHealth is the largest insurer in the US), health insurance remains extremely profitably under ObamaCare. Below is a bar chart of the […]

Hillary Clinton’s Memorial Day speech 2016 will be a classic.

My previous post was discouraging in that it was all about the techniques Donald Trump is using to build support. This one is much more upbeat. I had heard about but not actually watched or listened to Hillary Clinton’s Memorial day speech, which has been getting a lot of favorable reviews. I just finished listening […]

Sobering Scott Adams interview about Trump on Real Time

This email will interest people who are closely following the US presidential election. I invite you to watch the following four minute video on Trump and Hillary when you have time. It changed my thinking. On the Friday June 2  Real Time with Bill Mayer, Scott Adams (who is the genius creator of the Dilbert […]

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2016 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the students who earned 498 Boston University degrees in Economics at Commencement this May. This year the program mentions: 22 Ph.D. recipients 203 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, BA/MA) 273 BA recipients (including BA/MA) This total of 498 degrees is up from 482  in 2015. These numbers undercount the total […]

Top 100 Economics Blogs of 2016

I just got an email from Prateek Agarwal <prateek@intelligenteconomist.com> He has compiled a list of the Top 100 Economics Blogs of 2016. I am of course not on it since I blog infrequently and do not archive (and make public) on my web site all of my blogs, but I thought I would share the […]

24 BU economics Ph.D.s accept jobs in academic, government and private sectors

Congratulations to the 24 current or recent Ph.D. students from BU Economics who have accepted jobs for this September. Recent placements from the department are linked here, as well as pasted below. http://www.bu.edu/econ/phd/outcomes/placements/ This year candidates selected 14 academic jobs, five government or central bank jobs, and five private sector jobs for their initial placement. […]

Obamacare reality: It is working

At a time in the US when all of the Republicans presidential candidates are declaring Obamacare a failure which needs to be undone, it is worth noting the REALITY that it is succeeding in its primary purpose of covering more American with health insurance. It does not mandate insurance coverage, but the subsidies and tax […]

What do BU undergraduates do when they graduate?

I am often asked by undergrads and MA students what BU students do when they graduate. For the first time that I know of, BU has published a relatively complete description and list of the places where they get jobs, or go to graduate school or  volunteer.  It is discussed in the new CAS Dean […]

You should get a large SSD hard drive

This email will interest anyone who is processing very large data files, such as 5 GB or more. Or, if you are frustrated with how long your Window’s updates and other IO intensive tasks take. (Most Apple users are probably already using SSD drives.) In October the hard drive on my Windows Desktop failed (not […]

Denmark’s Social Capitalism and Switzerland’s Federal Democracy

With Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both mentioning Democratic Socialism in Denmark, it is interesting to read about what it actually is. Here is one link with one persons discussion. Living with Denmark’s democratic socialism Denmark sounds pretty wonderful to me Switzerland I just returned from Switzerland which is not democratic socialism, […]

Tax to rise on the uninsured next year.

This is why enrollment in health insurance will continue to rise in the US from the ACA. For 2016: Max of  $695 or 2.5 percent of taxable income if uninsured. http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/10/19/health-law-fine-uninsured-will-more-than-double/76FbuARARxAmaT9H4nN66K/story.html Full text is below. Health law fine for uninsured to rise Boston Globe Associated Press  October 19, 2015 WASHINGTON — The federal penalty for […]

BU ranked 41 overall, 24th in Economics, by US News and World Report

Since I have blogged about rankings in the past – here and here, I thought I would blog about BU’s latest rankings by US News and World Report and elsewhere. BU was ranked 41, up one position in the 2015 as top US Colleges and Universities. This ranking is across all fields, and is based […]