Posts by: Randy Ellis

Professor in the Department of Economics, Boston University

iHEA Milan attracts twenty BU current and former students, faculty and visitors

Among the 1400 worldwide attendees, BU was again well represented at the International Health Economics Association biennial meetings in Milan Italy, 2015 with 20 current and former students, faculty and visitors present. Present were: Osea Giuntella, Giulia La Mattina, Francesco Decarolis, Ana Balsa, Daniel Maceira, Julie Shi,  Michal Horny, Randy Ellis, Arturo Schweiger, Wenjia Zhu, […]

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2015 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the students who earned 482 Boston University degrees in Economics at Commencement over the weekend. This year the program contained: 22 Ph.D. recipients 155 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, BA/MA) 305 BA recipients (including BA/MA) This represents a total of 482 degrees! Up from 463 in 2014. These numbers undercount […]

Ellis SAS tips for experienced SAS users

If you are a beginning SAS programmer, then the following may not be particularly helpful, but the books suggested in the middle may be. BU students can obtain a free license for SAS to install on their own computer if it is required for a course or research project. Both will require an email from […]

Ellis SAS tips for New SAS programmers

There is also a posting on Ellis SAS tips for Experienced SAS programmers It focuses on issues when using large datasets.   Randy’s SAS hints for New SAS programmers, updated Feb 21, 2015 ALWAYS begin and intermix your programs with internal documentation. (Note how I combined six forms of emphasis in ALWAYS: color, larger font, […]

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. MBTA late-night service threatened by lack of sponsorship Daily Free Press. by Paige Smith · January 27, 2015 Part time BU employees now eligible for health, dental benefits Daily Free Press. by Rachel Legon […]

Deflategate pressure drop is consistent with a ball air temperature of 72 degrees when tested initially.

Deflategate pressure drop is consistent with a ball air temperature of 72 degrees when tested initially. I revised my original Deflategate posting after learning that it is absolute air pressure not pressure above standard sea level pressure that follows the Ideal Gas Law.  I also allowed for stretching of the leather once the ball becomes […]

#6 Raise the minimum wage for jobs not offering health insurance

Time to change the policy discussion. Congress has been unwilling to raise the minimum wage despite strong public support for doing so. This blog suggests a concrete approach for getting even broader public support and potentially reducing the need for federal taxes. As of January 1, 2015 29 states and DC have minimum wages above […]

Recommended book on US health care system

I highly recommend this book as a useful summary of the US Health Care System. I have made it required reading (as a reference) for my classes at BU. The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System, 2nd Edition Paperback – November 15, 2014 by Elisabeth Askin […]

Useful Data Links to US Government data

Websites for Federal Administrative Data sets: US Administration for International Development: Foreign aid from the U.S: Data and Tools Department of Agriculture: Economic Research Services: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Data System Food and Nutrition Services: Commodity Supplemental Food Program Data Food Safety Inspection Services: Recalls and Quarterly Enforcement Reports Forest Inventory Data National Agricultural Statistics Service: Cropland Data Natural Resource Conservation Service: […]

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 […]