March Madness

It’s the first day of “March Madness” and already my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, has been bounced from the tournament.  If you’re looking for an interesting article about how you should choose your NCAA tournament bracket for next year, check out the N.Y. Times article “Top Seeds can often mislead in NCAA bracket.”

Your Congress Your Health

Ever wonder what exactly are your Congressional representatives’ views on health care? A new website from Research!America and Parade look into just this question. Currently, their ‘Your Congress. Your Health.‘ website is asking members of the public to vote on which health issues/questions they want to be asked of their representatives. According to the website,…

On the Optimal Progressivity of the Income Tax Code

Economists throughout recent history have created models in search of answering the following question: what is the optimal income tax structure? Optimal is generally defined by some social welfare function. While liberals generally favor progressive taxes over proportional or regressive taxes for ideological reasons, this paper makes an argument for progressive taxes by employing economic…

A week of Corruption

As an economist with libertarian leanings, last week was a great one to display the imperfection of government action. Below are some of the lowlights: Scooter Libby was convicted for leaking the identity of a CIA agent (Washington Post article). A Justice Department audit found that “the FBI broke the law to secretly pry out…

Bayesian Inference III

Today we will look at some common distributions used for Bayesian inference. Beta The first distribution we will look at is the Beta distribution. The beta distribution is equal to: [B(a,b)]-1πa-1(1-π)b-1. We can show that: If the prior ~ πa(1-π)b And likelihood ~ πS(1-π)F Then the posterior ~ πa+S(1-π)b+F Where ‘~’ denotes equal except for…

Elle Jae Jewelry

Do you need a gift for that special someone? Are you interested in being one of the first to own a rare, handcrafted necklace? If so, Lisa Jacobson (my girlfriend) has some amazing pieces you should check out. On her Elle Jae website (click here), you can view and purchase her latest cutting-edge designs. Take…