Universal Basic Income

Universal basic income is the idea that all individuals in a society should be guaranteed a minimum income.  The logic behind this approach is one of equity.  Many members of society feel that all individuals are entitled to some basic level of financial well-being regardless of their skills, ability or willingness to work. Current government…

Is more income equality a good thing?

This is a normative question.  Some people would prefer a society with more income re-distribution.  More income re-distribution is “fairer” in the sense that fewer people would suffer from a low standard of living.  Most societies (and individual humans) place at least a some value in insuring that the worst off amongst us have some resources at their…

2016 Nobel Prize in Economics goes to…

…Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström for their research on contract theory. One of my favorite papers in all of economics is Holmstrom and Milgrom’s 1991 paper titled “Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design.”  In a world where health care is increasingly moving to value-based payment, payers (i.e., insurance companies, employers, and the government) are increasingly…

Useful mental models

Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, has a list of mental models that he believes “come up repeatedly in day-to-day decision making, problem solving, and truth seeking.”   Many are from the world of economics, but I focus on non-economic models as well.  I organzie them into categories based on how Weinberg did in his post. I have…