Problems with Procrastination

Whenever I have major deadlines encroaching, I suddenly find YouTube and Facebook utterly fascinating and irresistibly amusing. I end up spending my scarce time randomly surfing the web despite the hours of work I have yet to do. Looking back, I often wonder how I could have possibly justified watching hours of YouTube videos? I mean I’m an economist for heaven’s sake! I am well versed in cost-benefit analysis. I understand the inner workings of achieving market efficiency. So why, despite all my econ know-how, do I often find myself regretting the choices I have made? To better understand my Continue reading Problems with Procrastination

Nobel Su-Prize

Compared to other fields, economics certainly has its fair share of controversy, and maybe a little bit more. As a fledgling freshman in Econ 170, I am surprised by how many statements my professor prefaces with the disclaimer “most economists would agree that…”. On the political stage, consensus on what should seem general economic “fact”–budget figures, growth rates, etc.—often seems fleeting at best and nonexistent at worst. While dissension doubtlessly underlies any healthy debate, quarrelsomeness and vehemence can detract. Proper balance between controversy and courtesy lays the foundation for a more fruitful dialogue. An article from the NPR Planet Money blog about Continue reading Nobel Su-Prize

A Possible Improvement on the Efficient Market Hypothesis

This year Eugene Fama won the nobel prize in Economics for his work on the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). The idea behind his work is that it is impossible to “beat” the market, because all information about a given stock is available to everyone. That is, the EMH assumes that a stock valued at $60 is in fact worth $60: it is impossible to purchase an undervalued stock. The only way one could potentially make higher returns than the average, then, is to engage in riskier trading where bigger payoffs are possible. Investopedia offers a neat little video overview of Continue reading A Possible Improvement on the Efficient Market Hypothesis

Why Low Fast Food Wages Really Matter

According to an article in Business Week, over 50% of fast food workers are enrolled in at least one public assistance program, a substantially higher proportion than any other industry. The low wages paid to these workers cost American taxpayers an average of $7 Billion a year. Is that really worth a Big Mac that’s a buck cheaper?

Busking: Free Speech or Free Pass?

Busking has become apart of urban culture throughout America. From musicians, to clowns, human statues and theatrical arts, all have had their share of time on the busy street corners of New York, Chicago, Massachusetts, San Francisco and the like. But as The Economist highlights, each city deals with busking differently. Some cities have outright bans on busking. Arguments have been made that this suspends the first amendment right to free speech. Others require permits, which may be costly, but remove the risk of being harassed or arrested (Like Space Cowboy in the article above, arrested for “brandishing weapons in public”). Continue reading Busking: Free Speech or Free Pass?