Business & Economics

David Zilberman On life economics and the environment in China

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of participating in the second Chinese Environmental Economics workshop in Shanghai. Professor Jinhua Zhao of Michigan State and Shanghai University, one of the best PhD students I have ever advised, organized the workshop in Shanghai.

The conference facilities were modern and impressive and most … More >

Robert Reich Fear is why workers in red states vote against their economic self-interest

Last week’s massive spill of the toxic chemical MCHM into West Virginia’s Elk River illustrates another benefit to the business class of high unemployment, economic insecurity, and a safety-net shot through with holes. Not only are employees eager to accept whatever job they can get. They are also also unwilling … More >

Harley Shaiken Battle in Seattle: Boeing’s demands bad for U.S. economy

At the heart of the recent hard-ball negotiations between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) is a troubling paradox:  A company scores record profits and demands tough concessions from its workers.

Something is clearly wrong with this picture.  While earning more and paying less may fatten the bottom line … More >

Carola Binder The economic exhortation of Pope Francis

I’m glad to see Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Guardium featured so prominently in the media.

With a 224-page document and a 2000 year Church history, however, media coverage is bound to include some oversimplifications. One is the title of Emma Green’s piece in the Atlantic, “The Vatican’s Journey From Anti-Communism to Anti-Capitalism.” While … More >

Carola Binder Financial networks and contagion

Financial Networks and Contagion,” a recent paper by Matthew Elliott, Benjamin Golub, and Matthew Jackson, uses network theory to study how financial interdependencies among governments, central banks, investment banks, and other institutions can lead to cascading defaults and failures.

Source (PDF)

While the model is quite technical, the main theoretical findings are … More >

Ikhlaq Sidhu Avoiding the traps of big data

By now it’s well known that Target Corporation (Target) “knew a teen girl was pregnant before her father did.” Not only was the story told many times over in the New York Times, but it also became one of the lead examples illustrating the intrinsic value of “big data.” A … More >

Robert Reich The GOP’s war isn’t over. It’s only a ceasefire

The war isn’t over. It’s only a cease-fire.

Republicans have agreed to fund the federal government through January 15 and extend the government’s ability to borrow (raise the debt ceiling) through Feb. 7. The two sides have committed themselves to negotiate a long-term budget plan by mid-December.

Regardless of what happens in … More >

Philip Stark Do student evaluations measure teaching effectiveness?

Since 1975, course evaluations at Berkeley have included the following question: Considering both the limitations and possibilities of the subject matter and course, how would you rate the overall teaching effectiveness of this instructor?

1 (not at all effective), 2, 3, 4 (moderately effective), 5, 6, 7 (extremely effective)

Among faculty, student … More >

Brad DeLong The Yellen nomination: Robin Harding of the FT collects some quotes…

Robin Harding: Warm welcome to Yellen nomination:

“Janet Yellen is a terrific choice to lead the Federal Reserve. I have admired and learnt from her ever since she taught my first macroeconomics graduate class in 1976” — Larry Summers
“Janet is smart, collegial, and experienced. She is the perfect person to lead … More >

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