Category: Uncategorized

BUHealth humor: final entries in the masked dog photo caption contest

Final entries in the masked dog photo caption contest “Waiting for the dog vaccine rollout.” “Wearing a mask is so easy even my dog can do it!” “Sadie says: Even I wear a mask when not eating!” “I hate it when I can’t lick and my hair gets all frizzy!” “How do you like my […]

BUHealth: Being less racist makes some of us less comfortable

The New York Times had a very interesting article on March 5 which documented differences in rates of vaccination by race across the 50 US states. Whereas some states (Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin and Connecticut (?!?) have vaccination rates for blacks that are less than half of the state average, in Massachusetts the rate for blacks […]

BUHealth: I am vaccinated!

A wise friend who read my previous BUHealth post comparing different vaccines warned me that it could be interpreted as saying “Wait to get a vaccine until you get the one you like the most.” I do not recommend that. I care too much about my friends. Instead, you should get a vaccine the first […]

BUHealth: latest research in JAMA on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness

One JAMA Network article this week and an accompanying editorial about COVID-19 are the first I have seen to carefully present the research about recent SARS-CoV-2 strains/variants, different types of vaccines, effects of one versus two doses, advice for people who were previously infected by SARS-CoV-2, what we know so far about their effectiveness against […]

Yes, even rich white people in the US get bad health care

Despite the abundant evidence2 showing that health care outcomes in the US are much worse than in every other OECD country, I still hear arguments that this is because uninsured, Medicaid, minorities, or low-income people in the US bring down our health outcomes. This myth is repeated3–5, and believed by a majority of Americans. 6 […]

A Momentous Day for Democracy!

Today is a momentous day for the US and for democracy, so I thought I would comment on it. I did not expect to be so happy today. The Associated Press has not yet called the second of the two Georgia senate elections but I trust the NY Times report (see article below) that Georgia […]

BU interviews, blogs, and news releases.

This blog documents various public interviews and news reports and is mostly a place to keep track of them for my BU Annual Report Conversations with Economists.  Zoom discussion by Randall P Ellis and Laurence Kotlikoff on  COVID-19 and the US economy with follow up questions from attendees. Passcode: $iH^XM50   October 27, 2020 (time 1:29:12) […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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, […]

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, […]

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 […]

Performance Timer is excellent App

I was at a conference last week and learned about a terrific timer for my iPhone called Performance Timer. It counts down your specified time, and then changes from green to red as you go over. What makes it superior to the default iPhone timer is its large font, there is no alarm when time […]

Let the Children and Grandchildren Pay (More)

This blog revisits a posting from four years ago, in a series on Time to Change the Tax Discussion. Whenever Congress (federal or state) proposes legislation that cuts taxes or increases net spending so that our national debt will increase, they should have to end every statement about why they favor their proposal with … […]

$147 Billion: The Economic Cost of Trump Racism

Bottom line: Trump’s racism predicted to cost US households $147 billion in extra payments to the rest of the world. Like many people, I am appalled by president Trump’s recent executive order banning refugees – and even US legal immigrants  – from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country. In the process, Trump has […]

BU Grads Ranked among the World’s Most Employable

One more ranking in which BU rates very highly in the world. BU Grads Ranked among the World’s Most Employable 11th worldwide, 7th in the nation in international survey The employability of BU graduates was recently ranked 11th in the world and 7th in the nation in a report published in Times Higher Education. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]