Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Summers on the US economy

"Wake up to the dangers of a deepening crisis": This is an article by Larry Summers published in the Financial Times on November 25 which I highly recommend (especially to any year 2 IB candidates who may be checking out this blog.

A year ago, Rolling Stone had an article by Paul Krugman on the US economy and the rising income inequality that is also interesting to read. It can be found here.
This is another 'blog' to keep an eye on: Economists' Forum

In this forum, some of the world's leading economists debate issues raised in columns by Martin Wolf, FT associate editor and chief economics commentator, and Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University.
Participants include well-known commentators such as Jagdish Bhagwati, Brad Setser, Andrew Smithers, Dani Rodrik and Robert Wade; and two winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics; Edmund Phelps and Joseph Stiglitz.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

Earlier today I asked Ms. Olga, our librarian, to order for us the new anniversary edition by Palgrave/ Macmillan of Keynes' General Theory with an introduction by Paul Krugman. It's perhaps the single most influential Econ book ever published, like his ideas or not.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Gapminder World

I have no idea how I bumped into this but its really cool:)
You can really learn a lot from it (at least i did) and its really interesting to watch!
Check it out:


Click on the left to see Carbon emissions per country,womean labor force percentages and other raunchy stuff:)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


no connection to economics - but, just couldn't resist. Those of you who have me in class may have realized that I am a bit wacky at times and, recently, my wackiness, is all King Julian.

Here he is - it's marvelous!

and, this is 'all the money'....:

I got 99 problems, but econ ain't one

I saw the post that Costas made in regards to other blogs and I wanted to add a few more, plus some links to a few non-fiction books I think IB econ kids would enjoy reading.

The other blog is Marginal Revolution run by two econ professors, which of course reminds me of a different dynamic duo. No, not the freakonomics guys, I mean those OTHER two guys.


wisdom of Crowds, Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business.

The Tipping Point, by Malcolm GladwellThis one is becoming a standard at business schools, but it's really more than that. It's really inspiring to see how social sciences can be written up in an accessible manner. Plus, if you're a cool cat wearing some cool kicks, you'll be glorified by Mr. Gladwell.

Everything bad is good for you. read this if you play videogames, you'll have ammunition for fighting the man. The man being your resident IB coordinator and any sort of parental advisory circulating.

Understanding comics Really good, nothing to do with econ, but if you want a great overview of the history and structure of the narrative process, read it.



Subprime markets - what are they?

Elly V. made me aware of this video which is both hilarious and pretty sad if you think of the ramifications. Watch it! (Bird & Fortune: The Long John's)

Joe Stiglitz

Joe Stiglitz is, in my opinion, one of the finest in the profession. I did indeed talk a lot about Stiglitz in Vilma's class and I am really happy that it did make an impression on her and, hopefully, on others. Please do download the article from VF (perhaps the best magazine where Prada ads coexist with solid analyses of current events)and check it out. Unfortunately, we do not have access to the Economists' Voice as we do not as an institution subscribe to it so the article on the environment as not available to us from that site. You could though check it out from the Stiglitz home page (do visit, as there are plenty of easy to read op-eds and articles there as well as his professional papers) here.

Thanks so much dear Vilma!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush

I was surprised see in the latest Vanity Fair issue Joseph Stiglitz's article on how the Bush administration has destroyed the US economy with consequences that will be suffered by future generations.
Mr Ziogas introduced me to both VF and J. Stiglitz, and it all comes together now!

Oh, and if you're really into Stiglitz (I know mr Ziogas is!) check his
article on global warming.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Exchange Rates!

Today in class we did the basic analytics of exchange rate determination as one more application of demand - supply analysis. It's not the easiest stuff but our simple theoretical framework can explain the basics and there is a lot going on now in the world with the US dollar.

I also mentioned that there are zillios of articles, blog posts, papers on this issue available by clicking your mouse. I just checked out the NYT and it's leading with exactly the issue:

Check out:
Markets and Dollar Sink as Slowdown Fear Increases

Krugman in his blog has a theoretical model (not accessible to read - perhaps just bits and pieces) and another model (you probably noticed) related to the issue. A note to my male students: the second model is also not accessible but for different reasons....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This is the video I mentioned in class today after the exam:

The lyrics are found here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A few more 'real' Economics blogs to bookmark

A recently brought to your attention Greg Mankiw's blog. Today I'd like to bring to your attention a few more that are interesting to check out regularly.

Dani Rodrik
A Harvard economist with seminal contributions in several areas especially development economics: 'Unconventional thoughts on economic development and globalization' is the heading in his blog. A must.

'Research-based policy analysis and commentary from Europe's leading economists'

Naked Capitalism

Brad DeLong
(Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley)

(the book is good; I haven't really followed this one but I think I'll be checking it out here and there)

Dean Baker
always interesting...

Economics UK dot com
For my UK buffs: 'All the economics you need. Welcome to EconomicsUK, the personal website of David Smith, Economics Editor of The Sunday Times, London'

and, of course, Paul Krugman


Sunday, November 4, 2007

on the micro exam

I hope you're all working on our micro material these days as this is our first 'real' exam this year.


1. Study the issues trying to understand the logic behind each. You do not have to learn anything by heart but you do have to be precise in your language. This takes some practice.
2..Practice doing all the diagrams. Try to construct each in a step by step logical manner. Make sure you understand the meaning of each function you draw. You should be able to draw each very fast and efficiently. Remember that proper and full labeling is very important. Remember to use a ruler and a pencil and to have an eraser.
3. Make sure you can write the correct definition of each term. Definitions are building blocks in all essays.
4. Go over all the relevant past essays I've given you. Every single IB past exam essay from 1988 until now is available to you! Think of the definitions you should include, of the diagram(s), of (perhaps) any examples. Make sure you realize what the focal point of each question is. A dear colleague in another IB school of Athens calls this 'unlocking the question' (more important in Long Essays).

Do a decent job. It feels good at the end!
This is somewhat interesting. I had seen this before on the net and I just saw it again:

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset nac eb a taotl mses and yuo cna sitll raed ti whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

I got curious so I googled the issue and I got these links from Cambridge: The Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge is here and this is a page on exactly the stuff above.

(PS: if you want to waste more time check the links at Urban Legends; actually, do this after our exam)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Interactive Whiteboards...

...10 good reasons why to use interactive whiteboards in school...

Here they are:
In my opinion (and I’m not a salesman) these are 10 of the reasons why I believe teachers should use interactive whiteboards:

1. Kids love technology, just not geeky technology. Expensive technology that is used correctly and fasionably will attract a young persons attention.

2. It is a large object, a focal point with a lot of detail. A normal whiteboard is big but only as interesting as the ink on it. A digital interactive whiteboard can have interactive objects on it, widgets like clocks, calculators, news feeds. Give yourself an interesting (not mad) wallpaper for added effect, maybe a landscape view or a closeup of a texture, or water.

3. You can share your experiences of browsing the internet with your class. Instead of hiding behind your computer while browsing for that image that will help with the lesson, do that with the class, they may offer help. Browsing the internet is an activity that todays students are more than familiar with and is as natural as flicking through a book or browsing the library was in the 80s.

4. Interact with video in front of your class and ask on the fly questions, pause a video in front of the class by tapping it, turn around and ask a question about what just happened, or what is currently on the whiteboard, and then resume.

5. Use photographs, in the past it may have been necessary for you to print out a large colour copy of a picture at your expense and stick it on the wall. You may have had to illustrate a vehicle or device crudely on your whiteboard. Now you can open a file and the class can see exactly what you are talking about, photos are available from many sources online.

6. If you loved the lesson you just gave, and the answers that your class wrote on your whiteboard were excellent, simply save your digital flipchart. In the past you may have had to take a picture or crudely write the notes down between classes, now you can save the file and look at it later. It’s a good idea to tidy these kinds of notes up and reuse them for another lesson.

7. Resources. Whiteboard manufacturers will provide you with many resources with your whiteboard, and many others online or via resource CDs. These resources, such as backgrounds, shapes or characters, can be used to quickly build a lesson that looks very good. These resources are providing many teachers with new options, these teachers may not have had the artistic skills to present their lessons effectively before.

8. Interaction. Allow your students to use your interactive whiteboard. They can also take this opportunity to use the features in telling their own stories, or explaining their ideas. Your students, unfortunately, are probably better users of the whiteboards than you are.

9. Games are a fun activity, but also a great way to learn. Many flash activities exist that can help in the classroom and are also fun to play on a whiteboard. Games like sudoku, wordsearches, anagrams, speed math. Maybe organise the classroom into several teams and arrange activities for them.

10. Simplicity, the whiteboards are just an input device for your computer. If you can use a PC then you can use the interactive whiteboard. In fact, having such a large screen should make things easier for you. If you are confident with PCs then give it a go, if not then ask your IT department for a few pointers, or sign up for one of the many free IT workshops available that can help you develop your IT potential.

This is found at http://www.innerllama.com/blog/ . For some reason the link doesn't load from here so copy it onto your browser's address link and then search for 'interactive whiteboards' to find the page.

At the movies!

This guy is great impersonating the guy that does the previews. He also does a mean Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Check him out:

Thursday, November 1, 2007


After today's lesson i did my research:

Τσάι και υγεία
Το τσάι, όπως και ο καφές, περιέχει καφεΐνη ή τεΐνη, που είναι το ίδιο συστατικό. Στον καφέ, η καφεΐνη απελευθερώνεται απότομα στον οργανισμό και δρά για περίπου 2-3 ώρες, ενώ στο τσάι απελευθερώνεται σταδιακά και δρά 6 με 8 ώρες. Γι’ αυτό λέμε ότι το τσάι διεγείρει χωρίς να εκνευρίσει

Click here and here.....


prisoner's dilemma

Prisoner's dilemma is of some high importance in Economics

Check out how it interacts with the increasing problem of climate change.

Note also how the notion of 'free rider' effect may set in, in cases other than economics, like this one regarding climate...

Click here!


Dear Facebook family: It may not be useful. It may not be interesting. But it is surprising. See how Facebook has done the last three years...

p.s. $15 billion (that says all....)