A recent study by the American Sociological Association has found that the old staple of prison currency – cigarettes – has been replaced by instant ramen noodles in prisons across the United States. The rise of ramen in the grey markets of intra-prison exchanges can be tied to two trends shaking up the “traditional” prison … More Econ in the News: Delicious Prison Currency
One class I’m taking this quarter is ECON137: Decision Modeling and Information. Taught by the legendary Scott McKeon, this class focuses on the deterministic side of Economics – given some information, figure out the right decision a person should make. With this decision analysis comes a philosophical quandary: should we as a society reward … More Do you applaud the decision or the outcome?
On August 21st, a lucky swath of the United States will experience a total eclipse for the first time in nearly a century, and the entire mainland will get to see a decent partial eclipse. That adds up to 300 million people who are potentially in the market for solar eclipse glasses. With an Amazon-induced … More Econ in the News: the Great American Solar Eclipse
For the past two weeks, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to go on tour to Mexico and Cuba as a violinist in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. One thing that stood out to me during my weeklong stay in Cuba was how entrepreneurial the Cuban people I met along the way could be. Even more impressive … More Cubans do Entrepreneurship Better than Silicon Valley
One very interesting class I took this quarter was ECON45: Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems. In addition to learning about statistical techniques, quasi-experimental models, and real-world applications of “big data” (or “wide data” – tons of things are observed, leading to datasets with more variables than observations), the class gave some insights … More My Foray into Machine Learning
I stumbled across a really great article on Wired titled “In Science, you Can’t Always Get What You Want”. The author describes the firm beliefs people often hold about “scientific fact,” and juxtaposes it with the reality that we can never truly be certain about these facts. I’ve seen this play out a lot. In … More Economics: the Honest Science
On Saturday, I (and about 50,000 other people) took to the streets in San Francisco to March for Science. This was actually the first event I’ve taken part in on this scope and scale – I’m normally not one to “protest” so visually and vocally, even though the March for Science was non-partisan in nature. … More March for Science SF
I recently stumbled across a great article on economics lessons that kids develop throughout their childhood. In an article published by the Foundation for Economic Education, the author discusses common scenarios that lead to kids understanding principles behind exchange, value, and, at its heart, the idea in economics that there exists unlimited wants, but limited resources. … More Economics for Kids
Economics is a discipline that is often interpreted, or misinterpreted, by people in various ways. When explaining to friends about your major, what’s a good metaphor to use? In this interesting article, three metaphors are proposed, each with their own merits: Economists as Weathermen This metaphor has been more disparagingly used in reference to macroeconomic models that … More Economists as Weathermen, Engineers, and Plumbers?
A recent New York Times Article revealed that Cubans can’t afford diet staple foods because of increased tourism in Cuba. In response, Raúl Castro has pledged to crack down on middlemen for price gouging, and institute price controls on certain fruits and vegetables. While Castro’s engagement of the issue signals the government’s theories for reasons behind … More Econ in the News: Agriculture in Cuba