Lottery Gambling is addictive

An NBER working paper by  Jonathan Guryan, Melissa Schettini Kearney (2009) gives strong evidence that gambling is addictive using a creative identification technique: “We use the sale of a winning ticket in the zip code, the location of which is random conditional on sales, as an instrument for present consumption and test for a causal…

What is it like to be a librarian? “Essentially, it is all about money and power.”

Harvard Professor Robert Dardon has a fascinating piece on books, college libraries, copyrights, and what’s Google’s drive to digitize the world’s books means to society.  Some excerpts from the original New York Review of Books article are below. One of my colleagues is a quiet, diminutive lady, who might call up the notion of Marion the Librarian.…

Health Insurance in an Experimental Market

Using real world data is fraught with complexity.  Wouldn’t it be nice to randomly change government regulations and see how people react?  A paper by Stephen Rassenti and Carl Johnston use a laboratory experiment to do just that. In the experiment, survey participants are in charge of running a firm.  The firm must decide if it will provide…

Costing Methods

How do hospitals estimate the cost of different inpatient stays?  A paper by Clement et al. (2009) reviews 3 techniques: Microcosting. “With microcosting, a detailed list of each component of a patient’s care is created and costed separately for each facet of a patient’s hospitalization. Given the level of detail, microcosting is generally considered the…