Angus Deaton wins nobel prize in economics

You can find the Nobel website press release here: The work for which Deaton is now being honored revolves around three central questions: How do consumers distribute their spending among different goods?Answering this question is not only necessary for explaining and forecasting actual consumption patterns, but also crucial in evaluating how policy reforms, like changes…

Insider vs. Outsider

A post from Ben Casnocha has some really good insights about the pros and cons of being an insider vs. an outsider. I excerpt a parts of the post below: A striking section of Elizabeth Warren’s memoir is about advice she says Larry Summers once offered her: After dinner, “Larry leaned back in his chair and offered…

Becoming a health economist

A 2010 American Society of Health Economists (ASHE) newsletter provides some interesting perspectives on becoming a health economist.  There are a number of interesting perspectives on non-academic careers for health economists.  Some excerpts are below: On working for the American Medical Association: “…if freedom is desired to choose one’s research independently,then this would not be a good match…[however] there is…

Is 2% US GDP the new normal?

In the past, many economists targeted 4% GDP growth as the long-run average.  However, in recent years long-run GDP growth has fallen to about 2% per year.  Is the US economic engine slowing down?  Maybe, not. Growth in a country’s GDP comes from 2 components: growth in GDP per work and growth in the number of…

WTP to reduce mortality risk

How much would you pay to live longer?  Most people would say an infinite amount.  In practice, however, this is not the case.  For instance, you can drive slower to reduce your risk of a car crash.  In this case, you trade off your time with your probability of death.  Or, to continue the care…

The Standard Gamble

One concept often used in healthcare is the quality-adjusted life years (QALY).  The concept is fairly simple.  It assumes that people value one year of life in perfect health at 1; people who die have a value of a life year of 0.  One year of life where you have 50% health is then valued…