How a Ph.D. Can Save Your Life

Why do people, like myself, go through the grueling, boring, masochistic process of obtaining an Economics PhD. Well, according to Paul Kedrosky (“Self help“) getting a PhD can help you discover what you really like to do. …what I found out when doing my thesis — and something I noticed in pretty much everyone I…

Theory of the Second Best

There have been some interesting economics blog postings in recent weeks about the theory of the second best. Dani Rodrik of Harvard argues (“Why do economists disagree“) that economists can generally be viewed as first-best economists and second best economists. For instance, first-best economists would claim that all healthcare should be privately financed, with a…

Cats and dogs

Here are two interesting articles from the blog-o-sphere: Cat Bonds The NY Times has an interesting article about catastrophic risk (“In Nature’s Casino“). The article talks about how individuals such as John Seo and Karen Clark have helped to create a market for cat bonds. The problem with catastrophes is that insurance companies have not…

Russia’s mental hospitals

Its not a great time to be a political dissident in Russia. Larisa Arap, who openly supported Gary Kasparov’s opposition group the United Civil Front, has just emerged from a 46-day imprisonment in two Russian psychiatric hospitals. The Independent reports (“Putin critic…“) that Mrs. Arap was forcibly interned with numerous unknown pills forced down her…