Making web pages is so simple I thought I would add a list of my favorite books, articles, hotels, or whatever. I encourage others to suggest their own favorites by making comments.
Favorite Nonfiction – Current list (most recent at top)
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business. Charles Duhigg. Feb 28, 2012. We tend to think that many of our decisions are controlled by our analytical minds and made rationally, but this book shows how many decisions we make every day – driving a car, brushing our teeth, snacking, smoking, pleasantries – are controlled by even more basic mental processes that are much harder to change. He considers habits of individuals, firms, and societies.
The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty. Dan Ariely. 2013. This is an eye-opening overview of a large series of laboratory experiments that show that it is not the case that 90% people are honest with only a few dishonest people, but rather almost everyone will cheat a little bit when given an opportunity. The economist’s “rational crime” theory – that people trade off the gains of dishonesty against the probability and cost of getting caught – does an extremely poor job capturing factors that motivate cheating and dishonesty. A better framework is that almost everyone cheats and is dishonest, but it is only a matter of degree, and depends on the social setting.
The Devil’s Poison: How Fluoride is Killing You. D2008
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. July 2, 2013. This book, with selective, but useful cites, argues that rather than intelligence and great test scores, success in life
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 (Author), Nathan Moore (Author) Paper: $15.99 Electronic: $8.99 Concise summary of the ridiculous US health care system, particularly strong on insurance and payment systems. Excellent supplement to a text book that covers health economics models and concepts, describing US institutions.
A Guide for the Young Economist. William Thomson 2011 (Second Edition) Excellent overview of ideas for starting or improving your career as an economist, covering writing, advising, presenting, refereeing and more. “This Guide should be read by every young economist under the age of 90.” (As Daniel Hammermesh wrote on the back cover).
Risk Adjustment for Measuring Health Care Outcomes (Fourth Edition), Lisa I Iezzoni (2013) Excellent overview of risk adjustment, case mix adjustment, datasets, propensity scoring, clinical, social and statistical issues is a must read for anyone doing empirical risk adjustment work.
Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World, Michael Lewis. 2011. W. W. Norton & Company. Describes the colossal errors in judgment that resulted in Iceland, Greece, Ireland and others to crash in 2008, with discussion of Germany and the US. Not as good as the same author’s The Big Short, but useful.
Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform Paul Starr. 2011. (Yale University Press, October 3, 2011). Excellent, detailed overview of why it took so long to pass health care reform in the US, and the problems and strengths with the current reform.
Thinking, Fast and Slow. Danial Kahneman, 2011 – Remarkable insights into how people actually make choices
Health Care Reform. Jon Gruber. 2011 – Short, accesssible, important overview of why mandates, ban on exclusions, and subsidies are all key. Comic book format!
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein. 2008. - Behavioral economics insights, with some proposals for reform.
Survival of the Sickest. Sharon Moalem, 2007 – Why genetic selection can often cause “genetic defects”
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Dan Ariely. 2010 – Wonderful insights into how choices are made.
When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order. Martin Jacques. 2009 – Excellent overview of how world trade and production have changed.
Mountains Beyond Mountains. Tracy Kidder. 2003 – Inspiring story of how Harvard MD Paul Farmer changed health care in Haiti and the world.
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. 1992. John Gray. Great insights into how men and women stereotypically (not always) view the world.
The Case Against Fluoride. Paul Connett, James Beck, and H.S. Micklem. 2010 – A current hobby.
Kantaravic, Jasmin and Kralj Boris, (2012) Link between Pay for Performance Incentives and Physician Payment Mechanisms: Evidence from the Diabetes Management Incentive in Ontario. Health Economics. Excellent methodologically rigorous paper showing that pay for performance can significantly affect outcomes, and that a mixed system can work.
Moseley et al,. 2002. A Controlled Trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. New England Journal of Medicine - Arthroscopies for Osteoarthritis of the Knee cost $3 billion per year in the US ($10 per American!), but don’t work, and controlled trials of surgery ARE feasible.
Ruhm, Chris. 2005. Healthy Living in Hard Times, Journal of Health Economics - Recessions result in fewer deaths and better health, reminding us that medical care is secondary to lifestyle.
Bleakley, Hoyt. 2007 Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South, Quarterly Journal of Economics, This paper in graphs. Shows the value of wearing shoes.
Ellis RP and McGuire TG. 1986. “Provider Behavior under Prospective Payment: Cost Sharing and Supply.” Journal of Health Economics.
Ash, Arlene S., Ellis, Randall P. “Risk-adjusted Payment and Performance Assessment for Primary Care.” Medical Care 50(8) August 2012.
Amalfi Hotel, Chicago. 20 West Kinzie St. Free internet, abundant free continental buffet, free happy hour with hors d’oeurves, cheap (AEA discounted) price. Great boutique hotel. Not a chain. On-line rate (winter discount on 1/12/2012) from $122. www.amalfihotelchicago.com
Bertram Inn, Boston. 20 minute walk (1.1 miles) to BU, 3 minutes walk to Green subway line. Luxurious Inn/Bed and breakfast, fireplaces, quilts, home-style bedrooms. (I have never stayed there, but hear good reviews.) Ask for the BU discount (significant) when reserving and checking in. (On line winter rate on 1/12/2012 of $119, a steal for Boston) http://www.bertraminn.com/
Hotel Edelweis Rigi, Mt Rigi, Switzerland, at 1500 meters, Situated on on a ridge with fantastic views of Lake Lucerne (Luzern) and the surrounding alps. Only a two minute walk from the Mount Rigi Cog railway station. Wonderful food, views from balconied rooms and excellent hiking trails including a cliff walk trail that is one of the most special in the world. http://www.edelweiss-rigi.ch/
I welcome more suggestions for any of the above categories.