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Archive for February, 2008

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Firefighting and Immigration?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

I’ve been reading up on the economics of fighting wildfires in the West. As an undergraduate, I had a few friends who fought wildfires during the summer. Most of them worked for the U.S. Forest Service, but one was employed by a private company which received government contracts. The use of private contractors has become […]

My Arms Hurt

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

The other day I lifted weights for the first time in months. There are some tangible benefits to larger muscles. I would enjoy being able to dunk a basketball with authority. And, stronger arms would have been useful when I removed my refrigerator yesterday. However, if we are honest, looking good drives most people’s desires […]

College Hoops and the Endowment Effect

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

My university has a good basketball team that has been consistently ranked this season. A few weeks ago we played our arch-rival at home. Student tickets were only available in season packages at the beginning of the fall semester. If you didn’t have season tickets and wanted to go to the big game, you had […]

Are Payday Loans Repugnant?

Monday, February 18th, 2008

I didn’t get my first credit card until I was 22 years old. Up until that point, I had no need for one. I had adequate savings and paid for most of my expenses with scholarship money and part-time jobs. However, when my savings dwindled I wanted some credit in case of emergency. It was […]

Happy Valentine’s Day

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

I’m not really qualified to be giving Valentine’s Day advice.  But, you should check out self-described aspiring economist Glen Weyl’s Valentine’s Day guide to going to the movies. Valentine’s Day reminds me of how important signaling is in our relationships with one another.  We put such an emphasis on picking the right gift or finding […]

Two Books Worth Reading

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

The Logic of Life, Tim Harford: Harford uses rationality to explain everything from the Cold War to increased divorce rates. If you read many economics blogs, you will undoubtedly be familiar with some of the academic work he references. Nevertheless, what the book lacks in novelty is more than compensated by Harford’s articulate writing. And, […]

On Marriage and Scarcity

Monday, February 11th, 2008

I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot lately. Maybe, it’s because my brother is in a serious relationship where marriage is a very real possibility (my mom is sure pushing for it). Maybe, I’m kind of a sap and think about my future plans more than most guys. I’m sure part of it involves seeing […]

Do Airlines Care too Much About Safety?

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Recently, my Uncle and his family flew to Idaho to visit for for the weekend. They switched planes in Salt Lake City and were half-way to Idaho Falls before their plane was turned around at about 9:00 p.m. Rain was freezing on the runway in Idaho Falls and it was deemed too dangerous for the […]

Links: Immigration, Taxes, and Coffee

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Gary Becker proposes that immigrants should be allowed to buy their amnesty. Mike Moffatt on why the poor pay the highest marginal tax rates. The American reports on the rise of Starbucks and it’s impact on American culture.

The Insufficiency of Efficiency

Friday, February 8th, 2008

I recently came across the book No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart, by Tom Slee. I didn’t purchase it, but read the first chapter which is available for free at Slee’s website. Slee’s title is a bit misleading. He argues that while no one makes you shop at Wal-Mart, it is very possible that […]

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