Monday, July 22, 2019

Competing with Shakespeare

What authors appear on the greatest number of syllabuses for college courses? The Open Syllabus Project collects the data that answer exactly this question. Here is the ranking. Shakespeare is number 1, and Plato is number 2. I show up at number 22, between Martin Luther King and Virginia Woolf.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Demand Curves Slope Downward (even for socialists)

This is a wonderful story. Staffers in the Sanders campaign, who are working on salary, complain that they are paid less than the $15 per hour that Senator Sanders advocates for the minimum wage. So Sanders raises their hourly wage. Does that increase their income? No, because he raised the hourly wage by cutting the number of hours they work!

Of course, if a President Sanders raised the federal minimum wage, I am sure he would be confident that the change would not have any adverse employment effects. Downward-sloping demand curves may describe socialist political campaigns, but back in the actual capitalist economy, the laws of supply and demand work completely differently.

Happy Semicentennial, Econ Nobel

Monday, July 15, 2019

Review of Bernanke et al.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Freshman Seminar 2019

I have written in the past about the freshman seminar I run at Harvard. I am teaching it again this fall, and I thought my blog readers might be interested in my current reading list. I always mix it up a bit to keep it fresh and, to be frank, more fun for me. Here it is:

The Worldly Philosophers, by Robert Heilbroner

Capitalism and Freedom, by Milton Friedman

Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, by Arthur Okun

The Haves and the Have-nots, by Branko Milanovic

The Wisdom of Finance, by Mihir Desai

Open: The Progressive Case For Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital, by Kimberly Clausing

Priced Out: The Economic and Ethical Costs of American Health Care, by Uwe E. Reinhardt

The Wealth of Religions, by Robert Barro and Rachel McCleary

Scarcity, by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

Phishing for Phools, by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller

The Myth of the Rational Voter, by Bryan Caplan

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Matt's Best Consumer Purchase

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Wise Advice from Josh Angrist

Here. Especially useful for young academics.