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Random Observations for Students of Economics
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14 августа, 15:06

Macro Musings

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You can hear me interviewed by David Beckworth here.

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28 июля, 21:56

Why Health Policy is Hard

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Click here to read my column in Sunday's NY Times.

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28 июля, 18:31

Does this make my Hamilton tickets a deductible business expense?

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Economic Lessons from the Musical Hamilton, by Matthew C. Rousu and Courtney A. Conrad, discusses how the great musical can be used to teach economic principles in the classroom.

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12 июля, 15:57

CEA Chairs on Steel Tariffs

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Here is the letter and here is a story about it.

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22 июня, 05:30

Report from the NFF

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It is now that time of year when I am enjoying the Nantucket Film Festival. My wife and I today saw The Big Sick. Despite the not very enticing title, we loved it. The film is based on the real-life romance of the two screen writers, emphasizing the difficulty of bridging cross-cultural expectations. It is more heartfelt than a standard rom-com, more comedic than a drama, more earnest than standard Hollywood fare. Most definitely recommended, especially for a date night.

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12 июня, 13:31

Hamilton Tickets Redux

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James Stewart takes a look at theater tickets on Broadway, a topic I discussed last year.  I love his ending:Dynamic pricing and super-premium prices may be relatively new, but the scarcity of tickets for hit shows has a long tradition. Mr. Schumacher cited “My Fair Lady,” the “Hamilton” of the 1955-56 Broadway season. As Broadway lore has it, a man in the audience turned to his neighbor, an older woman, and asked why the fifth-row center seat next to her was empty. “My husband died,” she replied. “Didn’t anyone else want to come?” he asked. “No,” she answered. “They’re all at the funeral.”

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06 июня, 21:08

Advice for Young Economists

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05 июня, 16:37

Economists for Hassett

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An open letter supporting Kevin Hassett's nomination as CEA chair.

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03 июня, 13:16

On Taxes and Deficits

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Click here to read my column in Sunday's New York Times.

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26 мая, 17:08

A New Mankiw Publication

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This one I am particularly proud of, though I cannot claim to fully understand it.

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19 мая, 13:59

Why people prefer unequal societies

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A friend points out that this paper is related to some themes I have written about.  The abstract (emphasis added):There is immense concern about economic inequality, both among the scholarly community and in the general public, and many insist that equality is an important social goal. However, when people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies. We suggest that these two phenomena can be reconciled by noticing that, despite appearances to the contrary, there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality itself. Rather, they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness. Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favour fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality. Both psychological research and decisions by policymakers would benefit from more clearly distinguishing inequality from unfairness.

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13 мая, 16:44

Adverse Selection in Practice

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This article about genetic testing presents a great example of adverse selection:Pat Reilly had good reason to worry about Alzheimer’s disease: Her mother had it, and she saw firsthand the havoc it could wreak on a family, much of it financial. So Ms. Reilly, 77, a retired social worker in Ann Arbor, Mich., applied for a long-term care insurance policy. Wary of enrolling people at risk for dementia, the insurance company tested her memory three times before issuing the policy. But Ms. Reilly knew something the insurer did not: She has inherited the ApoE4 gene, which increases the lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s. “I decided I’d best get long-term care insurance,” she said.