Category Archives: economics

“The Start-up of You,” or The Future and Its Friends

Last week, I devoured Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha‘s brand new book, “The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform your Career.” It couldn’t have come out at a more appropriate time for me personally, given that I have abandoned academic aspirations, left grad school, quit a boring publishing job, […]

social welfare, the handicapped, and special education

Common sense may suggest that increases in social welfare are more easily obtained by focusing resources on the mentally and/or physically handicapped, rather than using those resources instead to marginally improve non-handicapped individuals’ lives. The capabilities approach, as developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, would also imply that resources are well-spent when devoted to […]

thinking about academia like an economist

Today, some grad school advice I wrote for Kosmos went live. Check it out: Thinking About Academia Like An Economist

have your college and eat it too: consuming education

Today, I want to make what, to my economics-ish friends, are probably some painfully obvious points. However, I had never explicitly considered this angle on college/education before taking economics of education last semester, and I suspect that it’s something many others of even my rather intelligent friends and colleagues have also failed to consider in […]

book review: Schmidtz and Brennan’s “A Brief History of Liberty”

Actually, this is more of a book recommendation than a book review. David Schmidtz is one of my favorite philosophers; it was his book “Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against” (written with Robert Goodin) that first began to wake me from my dogmatic political slumbers circa 2006, when I was an undergrad back […]

on the non-normativity of value-added analysis

As you are likely to have heard by now, the Los Angeles Times recently conducted and published a value-added analysis of some of the city’s elementary school teachers, using data that had been collected by the school district but never previously analyzed in this way. There was a nice summary of the value-added analysis and […]

business-izing higher ed: I’m not scared

A few days back, this post about higher ed in the UK appeared over on one of my favorite blogs, Feminist Philosophers. Here’s the big quote: “Business secretary wants students and parents to be treated more like customers in proposals to overhaul higher education.” The original poster worries that “universities get put under a great […]

my least favorite facebook group: "cancel student loan debt to stimulate the economy"

I found out about this little movement through its Facebook group, “Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy.” Basically, a guy named Robert Applebaum hatched an attractive-to-some but crazy plan to have the government bail out those carrying college debt by paying off their loans. This would, allegedly, cause all those formerly oppressed by […]