Is Economics bogus science?

John Ioannidis has an interesting article in the L.A. Times titled “Economics isn’t a bogus science — we just don’t use it correctly.” Some excerpts are below: Most published studies use limited data. By a conservative estimate, the average study has 18% power to detect a modest association if one exists. Due to this low…

Is Economics a Science?

That is the question addressed by in a paper by Colin Camerer and co-authors in Science. The authors repeated 18 economics experiments conducted in a laboratory setting. These articles were published in leading economics journals including the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics between 2011 and 2014. As The Economist reports, they…

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…

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…

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…

Does International Development Work?

In a well thought out piece in the New Republic, Michael Hobbes argues the answer isn’t ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but the expectations for aid programs to completely reinvigorate an economy or improve health care dramatically are often overestimated.  Consider the case of a program that distributes food to individuals who are malnurished. In Udaipur, India, a…