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Tag Archives: Education

Higher education sentences to ponder

We find that the WTP [willingness to pay] for in-person instruction (relative to a remote format) represents around 4.2% of the average annual net cost of attending university, while the WTP for on-campus social activities is 8.1% of the average annual net costs. We also find large heterogeneity in WTP, which varies systematically across socioeconomic groups. Our analysis shows that economically-disadvantaged students derive substantially lower value from university social life, but this is...

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My Conversation with Patricia Fara

The last chat was with Brian Armstrong about bitcoin, this one started with Isaac Newton and bit coins (really).  Here is the audio, video, and transcript.  Here is the CWTeam summary: Patricia Fara is a historian of science at Cambridge University and well-known for her writings on women in science. Her forthcoming book, Life After Gravity: Isaac Newton’s London Career, details the life of the titan of the so-called Scientific Revolution after his famous (though perhaps mythological)...

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Duke is a Trademark Bully!

Duke University has gone to incredibly and absurd lengths to contest other people’s trademark applications. For example, Duke opposed the following marks by filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board : “The Dude Diet” for a diet-related website “Kuke” for electronic products “Goluke” for clothing “Le Duc” for food and drink services they have even tried to claim they own “devil” and filed oppositions against: “Werdo” with this scribbled image of a devil for...

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My history of manual labor

Here is another request: What is the hardest manual labor you’ve ever done? I love intellectual policy wonk commentary, but I can’t help but feel some small amount of disdain for people who SEEM (a possibly faulty assumption) to have never really suffered trying to solve problems in the physical realm. There’s so much abstract data/policy up for debate, but how many talking heads have even replaced a toilet or turned a wrench in their lives? From ages 16 through 18 I worked in the produce...

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Political economy matters

Schools in Oregon, Washington, and much of the west coast are slow to reopen, even with teachers getting vaccinated: Marguerite Roza, a Georgetown University school finance expert based in Seattle, points out that Washington, Oregon and California “all have more left-leaning leadership that is cozier with the unions.” But Boston, Chicago and New York also have strong public employee unions. Those Eastern cities also have mayoral control of the school systems. Elected school boards govern the...

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The regulatory state and the passage of time

The mere passage of time as an explanatory factor is underrated in public choice and regulatory economics, though Mancur Olson understood it well.  Here is an update on the new CDC guidelines for school reopening: For months, President Biden has been urging schools to reopen, and promised that guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would help them do so safely. At the same time, public health experts including some at the CDC said available evidence suggested...

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Diversity and Inclusion in Economics

We congratulate the Department of Economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia for winning the AEA’s inaugural Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion. Eric Parson’s, one of the leaders of the initiative, credits our textbook, Modern Principles of Economics, with providing the springboard for fruitful discussions and explorations of these ideas. He writes: [The Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy chapter] really illustrates the authors’ willingness to...

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Arnold Kling’s Fantasy Intellectual Teams Draft

Here is his explanation, earlier post here, the point is to pick the undervalued people, not to pick your favorites or “the best” per se.  In essence you are assembling a “team” of public intellectuals to…I am not sure what.  But it might be fun!  Here is my advice for picks: 1. Pick people who have had more than one significant job. 1b. Pick people who have had to manage something, broadly defined. 2. Pick religious thinkers. 3. Pick people who keep on getting...

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Gender and the dynamics of economics seminars

This paper reports the results of the first systematic attempt at quantitatively measuring the seminar culture within economics and testing whether it is gender neutral. We collected data on every interaction between presenters and their audience in hundreds of research seminars and job market talks across most leading economics departments, as well as during summer conferences. We find that women presenters are treated differently than their male counterparts. Women are asked more questions...

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Why Does Teacher Quality Matter?

From Mike Insler, Alexander F. McQuoid, Ahmed Rahman, and Katherine A. Smith, here is an apparently major result: This work disentangles aspects of teacher quality that impact student learning and performance. We exploit detailed data from post-secondary education that links students from randomly assigned instructors in introductory-level courses to the students’ performances in follow-on courses for a wide variety of subjects. For a range of first-semester courses, we have both an...

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