Econ in the News: Vanilla Beans are more Expensive than Silver

The skyrocketing price of vanilla beans has led to shortages of vanilla-derived products across the world, to the dismay of all who enjoy making baked goods (myself included).  During the 2017-2018 season, black Madagascar vanilla bean prices peaked at $635 per kilogram ($18/ounce), a price that officially made it worth more than its weight in … More Econ in the News: Vanilla Beans are more Expensive than Silver

SF Scooter Wars

Over the past few months, I’ve been following the “scooter wars” raging on in SF as part of a very interesting class on the sharing economy I took at Stanford. Several scooter companies have emerged across major metropolitan areas in the United States, offering electric scooters for people to zip around on. San Francisco has … More SF Scooter Wars

Econ in the News: Delicious Prison Currency

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study by the American Sociological Association has found that the old staple of prison currency – cigarettes – has been replaced by instant ramen noodles in prisons across the United States.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

Do you applaud the decision or the outcome?

  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?

Cubans do Entrepreneurship Better than Silicon Valley

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

My Foray into Machine Learning

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

Economics for Kids

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