Thursday, March 27, 2008

Choking on Growth

A New York Times series of articles and multimedia on China's pollution problems

This is the link to the first article in the series. I was under the impression that a while ago I had mentioned it, perhaps in the wiki we have/had. I strongly advise you to read all of the articles in the next few days and perhaps to even take down some notes. Remember that increased production implies increased income but also increased environmental problems. The extent of the latter seem rather significant in the case of China. You could even download the articles and listen to them on your ipods before you go to bed. Last resort: listen while you sleep.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Moral Vulnerability of Markets

...because analyzing what MR and MC represent and why only final goods should be included in the measurement of GDP is not enough to understand what the real issues are in studying Economics, please sacrifice 10 minutes and read this piece by Robert Skidelsky who is Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University on the Moral Vulnerability of Markets....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A jewel by Dani Rodrik made especially for you guys...!

"Why doesn't the public buy the economists' advocacy of free trade?" This is a post in Rodrik's blog (March 18) which I will expect you to have read and understood later when we discuss in a detailed fashion the benefits from free trade.

Make sure you read/ save/ print not only the Rodrik post but also the Mankiw article in the NYT and the Dean Baker entry.

This is required reading, so do what you got to do.

Why have burglaries declined?

"Burglaries have declined steadily, when other crime rates have been more volatile" is a post in the blog Marginal Revolution. Well, one can claim that it's China to thank! Read it to see why!

At least three reasons to fear inflation

This is a link to an article on why the risk of inflation is looming which is or, better, will be (relatively) easy to understand written by Prof. Monacelli of Bocconi. Please save it / print it out as we may discuss it later on in our Macro course!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Humor and Laughter

Frosyni H. caught me off-balance today when she claimed that posting the video clip below was in poor judgement. Was it?

I am not yet sure. She forced me to think why I cracked up when I first saw the clip and whether there was something unethical lurking around. I did some searching on the net and I found a few sites that I woul like to share with you guys:

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy on humor

The Joy of Laughter on The Morality of Laughter by F. H. Buckley

Practical joking in Seed Magazine

Thanks, Fro!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Trimester 2 exam

I'd like to let you know that I am done grading one of the two sections (the larger one -MWF) and I hate to say it but I am really disappointed by most. Very few seemed to have done proper work and I am strating to reconsider my initial assessment of your academic abilities.

I would like to publicly say bravo to Yiannis L. who had done abysmally poor in trim 1 but was impressive in the midterm (yes, I'm done grading that one!) and good in the final exam. Obviously, Yiannis L. decided to work and his work is already paying off. Congrats, dah-ling!

I should add that it seemed that natural monopoly was not in the syllabus for very many. Neither was the most important issue of how scarce resources are allocated in a market economy. Why? This was the micro section of paper 2 of the november 2007 exam. It could have been your exam. I hope that you've realized in a relatively costless way that everything in a syllabus may be examined in May...

(the picture of my friend sj was just to get your attention and let you know, sort of, of how I feel)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Well, most of you sound better than her!

Check this one out:

Global Quality of Living City Rankings 2007......

Well, the good news is that we are well in the top 50%. The bad news is that "Athens remains the lowest scoring city in Western Europe, scoring 86.8 at position 79".

Maybe you (we) should try doing something about it. Any ideas, grand or small?

The link is here.


Hi there darlings!

I've been checking out the commentaries handed in and it seems that:

* six of you have not handed one in (KA, MG, KL, PT, MNT, IM)
* some do not have a cover sheet or the cover sheet is inappropriate
* some articles are not news articles so are not acceptable
* some have exceeded the word limit