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Jodi Beggs: Economists Do It With Models

This site was started by Jodi Beggs, currently a lecturer at Northeastern University who has made many advancements for Economics in pop culture (like economics lessons in The Simpsons). Her posts appeal to a wider audience with easy to understand narratives, humor and wit.

Sooo…I have a bit of a confession to make- I’ve…

Sooo…I have a bit of a confession to make- I’ve established a bit of a cottage industry tutoring students in the course I taught while I was in grad school. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty nice to be seen as an advocate as opposed to the thing between the student and the grade that the student wants, in part because students are more willing to admit what they find confusing to me than to their “real” instructors. As a related project, I figured it would make sense to create videos for the items...

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Comparative Advantage and Gains From Trade – The Size of a Trade

This video goes through a common issue that students have when thinking about gains from trade- it's not only the "price" of a trade that matters, it's the size of the trade too! Here, I implement a couple of trades of different sizes to show how some are mutually beneficial and others not, even though they all take place at the same "price." By Jodi Beggs - Economists Do It With Models http://www.economistsdoitwithmodels.com Facebook:...

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As a related matter, never say “give me all of your money” when…

As a related matter, never say “give me all of your money” when mugging an economist: “So, like, do you mean only M1 or do I need to hand over M2 as well? Are you only counting items officially recognized as currency or are you demanding all items that could function as money? Technically speaking, fiat money has no intrinsic value so is there any chance I can convince you that this is not worth your time?” You can also see the post on the original site here.

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At Google, Employee-Led Effort Finds Men Are Paid More Than Women

In case you haven’t heard, Google is the target of a class-action lawsuit based on gender discrimination. (Shocking, I know, given what we know about Silicon Valley more generally. =P) Part of the impetus for the lawsuit is an employee-led effort to collect compensation data that shows that men are paid more than women at the company, as described in the above article. From a data perspective, proving discrimination can be somewhat difficult- for example, we hear the often-quoted “women make...

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Elon Musk auto-magically extends the battery life of Teslas in Florida to help drivers evacuate

price discrimination: n. the action of selling the same product at different prices to different buyers in order to maximize profits. This is, of course, the definition of price discrimination that I give to my classes. In practice, however, this notion of “same product” isn’t quite as simple as us instructors would have you believe. (Is anything ever, really?) We know that early-bird discounts at restaurants are generally considered price discrimination, as are higher prices for airline...

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One of the main topics in organizational economics (and…

One of the main topics in organizational economics (and economics in general I suppose) is the principal-agent problem- i.e. the misalignment of incentives between one party and another party enlisted to do the first party’s bidding. For example, a small-business owner hires an employee to run things and maximize profit for the owner, but a self-interested employee who is paid a fixed salary would likely rather check Facebook then do whatever it is that would be in the owner’s best interest....

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Causal Friday: The Most Depressing Instrument Ever, Fox News Edition…

On Fridays, we examine a research paper that uses (or fails to use) a clever method to perform causal inference, i.e. to tease out cause and effect. Economists Gregory J. Martin and Ali Yurukoglu have a new paper published in the American Economic Review (also available in working paper form here) that shows that the existence of Fox News has a (statistically) significant impact on Republican vote share. Here’s the abstract:We measure the persuasive effects of slanted news and tastes for...

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