Saturday, June 28, 2008


'...tears streaming down my face...'

I'm asking from you, my students, to devote 20 minutes and 43 seconds to watching and listening to Benjamin Zander in this TED talk.

The News

'Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, talks about why -- though we want to know more about the world than ever -- the US media is actually showing less'.

A couple of questions:
* What about news coverage on Greek TV? Anyone know of any studies on this?
* Do you agree with Ms Miller's explanation for the US? ('Covering Britney is cheaper')

Friday, June 27, 2008

Johnny Lee (and not Ken Lee this time)

We finally got a smartboard in our very own B7 (which we will be using more efficiently in fall), but......

....if you have a Wii remote controller and an infrared pen then you can have your own whiteboard at home and save yourself a couple of thousand euros!

Watch this:

and this:

and visit here and here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vodafone gr, the iPhone 3G, monopoly power and the Greek market....

I got a message yesterday by Vodafone that the company will provide exclusively in Greece the new iPhone 3G.

I like (mostly aesthetically) the device and I logged on to the Vodafone site. I filled out a form expressing an interest in buying one and then I checked out Cnet Reviews where I noticed :

We also approve of the new price: $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB version, a pleasing price for all but the poor souls who shelled out nearly $600 a year ago

The price that Vodafone has on its site is (OMG!!) 499 euros for the 8GB model!

Now, checking out exchange rates at XE we realize that the US price is 129.12 euros or that the Vodafone price is 764.41 US dollars.

Who are the poor souls?

JK Rowling at Harvard 2008 Commencement

I have posted this on my FB profile but I am also uploading it here on our blog as I'd like all of you to watch her speech.

Please think of your aspirations and responsibilities as you listen to her words. Enjoy.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Για δες ο Greg....

Well, perhaps now some of us shouldn't feel that bad wasting time watching it...!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Women and Development

Women and Development is the title of an article I just found in Project Syndicate.

At the theoretical level, it has enlightening links to the ideas or externalities, merit goods and economic development which we have been discussing in class.

Most importantly, it may help us realize that the world is not our (perhaps, priviledged) neighborhood and that we all share responsibility in our choices.

The article can be found here.

Distance does matter

This is the link to an interesting article I just read in Yale Global Online on the effects of rising oil prices. One interesting point is that this increase in the price of oil is rather 'systemic' and not transitory. While the crisis in Nigeria and speculation may be partly responsible, 'tight supply and growing thirst for oil by countries such as China and India' are probably here to stay.

The article is interesting in that it describes a number of substitutions that have and will take place as a result of the signalling and incentive functions of relative price changes. Patterns of international trade will change and the development prospects of some countries will be jeopardized.

Read it. It's short and interesting. You can find the article here.

PS: Then again, read this on Brazil and a new offshore field discovered

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Poolside Reading (and, assignments)

This is just to remind you to read during the summer the following:
1. Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction by James Fulcher
back to back)
2. One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth by Dani Rodrik

The Rodrik is a much more difficult book so I can not expect you to read all of it. I would like you to read:
* the Introduction
* Chapter 1: 'Fifty Years of Growth (and lack thereof): An Interpretation'
* Chapter 4: 'Industrial Policy for the Twenty-First Century', except for pages 113-119; just skim through table 4.2
* Chapter 5: ' Institutions for High Quality Growth' (a must up to page 166; the rest of the chapter you can read in college)
* Chapter 9: ' Globalization for Whom?'

Remember that you can easily answer many questions using the net (google the term - or, email me the question).

I will have your Dasgupta assignments and books available from Tuesday June 24 or even earlier. I will have also emailed you feedback on Commentary #1. Remember that I need commentary #2 (macro related) by September 23. So, search for articles. You could also be searching for articles related to International Economics (exchange rates, protectionism etc).

BTW, this weekend, if you get the hiccups, it will be because I will be grading your exams...