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Automatically Updated Unemployment Map

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

You may have noticed an Unemployment link now appears in the header.  Give it a click.  I have created a dynamic map of the United States that automatically shows the most recently reported unemployment rate in every state.  States are color coded based on their current value.  The data comes from the Federal Reserve Bank […]

College Pricing

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Ever wondered why college sticker prices are so high?  I have.  Part of the explanation is that universities price discriminate and the most palatable way to do so is to charge a high price and offer discounts based on ability and income.  But how do universities choose the price that they do?  When I was […]

Rewarding Motives or Outcomes

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Apparently, the internet is under consideration for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.  And while it is undoubtedly more deserving than Obama, I don’t have strong feelings on whether it is the best choice.  The internet is under consideration because it has done much to facilitate political activism in authoritarian states. Evgeny Morozov, at the Net […]

Rent vs. Buy

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

I have two friends in the graduate program who were on the market this year and accepted jobs.  Both have been house hunting.  One has already purchased a home.  The other intends to soon.  Home ownership is something I’m looking forward to.  I’d love to have a library, a fireplace, and maybe even a secret […]

Status Credit Cards

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

In high school, credit cards were alluring.  They were a symbol of freedom and adulthood. I couldn’t register a domain name or rent a hotel room without one.  So, I convinced my parents to cosign the papers I needed to get a debit/credit card at my local credit union. The credit part of the card […]


Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I normally don’t write short posts, but this was too funny (and sad) not to mention.  A Chinese court recently upheld an 11-year sentence for a scholar for “inciting to subvert state power.” Here is what he did: At the end of 2008, he co-authored a document calling for stronger civil rights and an end […]

Guard Labor: Why is Inequality Bad?

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Inequality is a hot topic these days. But why is inequality undesirable?  Does it just violate commonly held ideals like fairness and equality. Or, does it do more and actually shrink the economic pie?  Economist Sam Bowles argues the latter. The following article describes Bowles’ beef with inequality. (HT Marginal Revolution). Bowles offers a key […]

Paradox of Choice

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

A friend of mine, an aspiring ecologist with a blog of his own, sent me a link to Barry Schwartz’s 2005 TED talk on the paradox of choice.  Schwartz, a psychologist, has written a book with the same title that I have not read.  The video is entertaining and thought-provoking. Schwartz argues that too much […]

Ethics of the Truth

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

A video circulating around the internet is disturbing.  An aspiring NFL cheerleader had a negative reaction to a season flu shot.  It activated dystonia disorder.  If you haven’t seen the video you should look it up on YouTube. Note: Video previously embedded was removed from YouTube. YouTube comments express skepticism, compassion, but most of all […]

Secret Menus

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

As happy as I am with the buzz generated by my last post, I feel the need to update so new visitors are greeted with something a little more upbeat.  A post about fast food and cable television (the keys to a good life) seemed to fit the bill. Tyler Cowen recently blogged about secret […]

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