Saturday, May 10, 2008

Krugman on higher gas prices and (short run) ped

In this interesting post you will see a graph showing how consumers adjust their behavior following a rise in gas prices. Notice the steep switch to greater efficiency in the US that took about 5 years to complete.

Food prices - what's going on?

Food prices are rising. Why?

This is from the Altman blog Managing Globalization. Read Bhagwati and Jeff Sachs explaining what is going on. BTW, we just got for the library the new Sachs book Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet.

Also read Rodrik's post on Food prices and poverty: confusion or obfuscation? (a bit more demanding - but you are really great students, interested and ambitious!)

On Inflation

We're doing inflation in class and I'd like you to check out the following (save, print, read, file):

This NYT article was brought to my attention by Elly V. (an ex-student -my best ever from the Lyceum part of the globe i.e. that side of Kapodistriou- and, hopefully, a soon to be colleague):
For Europe’s Middle-Class, Stagnant Wages Stunt Lifestyle

This one is interesting as it helps you understand some of the terms we learn and how they are used but most importantly because it provides a (plausible) explanation to why every single Greek thinks that the government is manipulating the statistic. Think about it. The points made are sensible!
Seeing Inflation Only in the Prices That Go Up

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Giffen Goods again!

Rob Jensen and Nolan Miller of the Center for International Development at the JFK School of Government at Harvard are about to publush a finalized version of their 2002 paper on the elusive Giffen good we learned in Micro. They had found that higher rice / noodles prices led to higher consumption of rice / noodles BUT, what if the higher consumption of rice (i.e. higher demand for rice) led to higher rice prices? This is the so-called identification problem in Economics (Econometrics) and to solve it they decided to do a field test! They carecully designed a field experiment giving a random sample of Chinese farmers small (voucher) subsidies and observed that their consumption of rice decreased (to presumably eat more protein) while when the subsidy was removed (and the price faced rose) consumption increased!

Read this at the Wall Street Journal
this at the Rodrik blog
this at another blog
and this from the JFK paper site and here the paper itself (read the first few papes and look at the rest!).


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Symphony of Yawns....

Well, Easter break is hours away to become a memory, the last stretch of the school year is about to begin, year2 guys are freaking out and this clip is your best excuse for some of your classes (rem: I meet with some of you periods 7&8...)

Check out the rest of these clips here.

The work is Prof. J. Medina's:
DR. JOHN J. MEDINA is a developmental molecular biologist focused on the genes involved in human brain development and the genetics of psychiatric disorders. He has spent most of his professional life as a private research consultant, working primarily in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries on research related to mental health. Medina holds joint affiliate faculty appointments at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in its Department of Bioengineering, and at Seattle Pacific University, where he is the director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research.

Medina was the founding director of the Talaris Research Institute, a Seattle-based research center originally focused on how infants encode and process information at the cognitive, cellular, and molecular levels.

His site is here