Category: General Economics

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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  

Joe Stiglitz Essay on Martin Luther King and inequality

My colleague Michael Manove forwarded this article which is worth reading and pondering. It is available directly at the New York Times at the link below. Two pages. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/how-dr-king-shaped-my-work-in-economics/?_r=0 The Great Divide August 27, 2013, 8:58 pm 167 Comments How Dr. King Shaped My Work in Economics By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ “I had the good […]

Our Daily US Gun Killings

This repost is from the Daily Kos. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/01/1198534/-Another-day-in-the-Gun-Crazy-U-S-A While Sandy Hook murders and the Marathon Bombing get a lot national attention, it is the daily tragedy of gun shootings and killings that should be of greatest concern. The Daily Kos simply compiled lists of all of the daily reports of murders for a week ending […]

Useful reference for serious SAS programmers

I often do bootstrap and simulations in my research, and for some background research, I found the following excellent short article on how to use SAS to do efficient replications/bootstrapping/jackknifing. Paper 183-2007 Don’t Be Loopy: Re-Sampling and Simulation the SAS® Way David L. Cassell, Design Pathways, Corvallis, OR http://www2.sas.com/proceedings/forum2007/183-2007.pdf Here is an elegant example that […]

31 charts to destroy your faith in humanity

This humorous web site from the Washington Post’s WonkBlog is worth a look. It will only take a couple of minutes. 31 charts that are informative but illustrates how one can put a negative spin on anything. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/24/these-31-charts-will-destroy-your-faith-in-humanity/ Here is the original post that it is spoofing. http://www.businessinsider.com/charts-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity-2013-5