Economic Debates

Most economic decisions can be debated. We have to decide whether we want higher or lower taxes, where to cut government spending, whether the deficit matters, if a business should have more regulation, if marginal analysis should affect environmental regulation. Learning about economics involves defending policy alternatives.

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    Grade Bubbles

    Dec 27, 10 • 272 Views • No Comments

    At the University of North Carolina (UNC), the average G.P.A. was 2.49 in 1967 and 3.21 in 2008. Are we 25% smarter? In a 2003 Washington Post article, one of the nation’s grade inflation experts, Stuart Rojstaczer, then a Duke professor, explained his...  [read more]

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    Sounds Like Pistachios

    Dec 25, 10 • 213 Views • No Comments

    “Remember the pistachios,” is a memorable line from a novel by economist Russ Roberts. In the first several pages of The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance, a teacher says you have been given a room filled 5 feet high with pistachio nuts. The...  [read more]

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    Education Matters

    Dec 21, 10 • 261 Views • No Comments

    The NY Times tells us that students who graduate from “elite” colleges could be more likely than those at less elite schools to earn more and attend a prestigious graduate school. As a result, although the initial cost may be high, the benefit,...  [read more]

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    Unintended Green Incentives

    Dec 19, 10 • 209 Views • No Comments

    True or False? When we become more energy efficient, we use up fewer resources. This New Yorker Magazine article says maybe. Citing the “rebound effect,” the article briefly takes us back to Williams Jevons, England, and 1865. In a book called The...  [read more]

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    Do You Approve of Profits?

    Dec 18, 10 • 232 Views • No Comments

    Two Questions: 1.How do you feel about profit? In their paper, “Is Profit Evil? Associations of Profit With Social Harm,” 3 University of Pennsylvania researchers discuss two studies that display people’s negative response to profit seeking...  [read more]