Archive for April, 2014

World’s Healthiest Drink?

April 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Isn’t coffee the best?

Researchers examined 20 years worth of data on diet, lifestyle, medical conditions and chronic diseases from three large U.S.-based observational studies and found that participants who said they increased their coffee consumption by more than a cup a day over a four year period had an 11 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes in the subsequent four years compared with those who made no changes in coffee consumption.

Categories: Uncategorized

China’s Growth Path

April 22, 2014 Leave a comment

When your lowest growth in six quarters is 7.4%, few would worry much about a looming slowdown. But, China is an exceptional case:

Since slower growth is a necessary part of this program, the current slowdown could be read as a positive sign that the days of growth at any cost are over. The announcement last month that deposit rates will be liberalized over the next two years signals an end to financial repression, by which interest paid on savings was kept low to make borrowing cheaper. That suppressed consumption and led to the most lopsided economy the world has ever seen, with investment accounting for about 50% of GDP.

Then again, China isn’t all that exceptional. Other countries have come to this fork in the road.

One thing most everyone agrees on: China is in transition from a go-go phase driven by abundant capital and labor (think of the U.S. in the late 19th century) to a more mature development track in which growth depends on productivity gains. At this point other countries such as Brazil and Malaysia fell into the “middle-income trap” and stagnated, while South Korea and Taiwan powered through to become wealthy, although not without crises along the way.

My guess is this transition is going to look a lot more East Asian than South Asian or South American.

In-Class Videos on Moral Hazard

April 22, 2014 Leave a comment




Categories: Microeconomics, Videos

Then, the Largest Office Building in the World

April 17, 2014 Leave a comment


This caught my eye:

Among his first actions as commander in chief was to lay the cornerstone of the Department of Commerce building (now the Herbert C. Hoover building) using the very trowel George Washington used to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol. The building, which was constructed between 1929 and 1932 and cost $17.5 million to build (“over $2,000,000 more than the Louisiana purchase,” From Lighthouses to Laserbeams brags), was then the biggest office building in the world.


I occasionally had meetings there, but much preferred the newer Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center nearby, where most of my colleagues had their offices. 

I’m not too far, now, from what some call the world’s largest building. It has lots of offices but also other commercial space, and plenty of it.

It’s large enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses and, with about 5.5 million square feet of floor space, has three times the square footage of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

What’s the relationship between the size of any enterprise and asymetric information? We’ll touch on that in class today.

Categories: China, Microeconomics

Good News for Second-Tier University Students

April 15, 2014 Leave a comment

It doesn’t much matter where you go to school. What matters is how you perform once you get there.

Whether your degree, for example, is from UCLA or from less prestigious Sonoma State matters far less than your academic performance and the skills you can show employers.

Categories: Education

Is There Anything Coffee Can’t Do?

April 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Coffee’s the best health food ever.

In their continuing quest to prove that coffee is indeed a health food, medical researchers analyzed the health records of nearly 180,000 Americans and determined that the ones with a daily java habit were less likely to get a common type of liver cancer than their less-caffeinated counterparts.

Take care of yourself. Drink coffee!

Categories: Uncategorized

Video on Consumer Choice Theory

April 11, 2014 Leave a comment

For students in Intermediate Micro, the video we watched on Thursday, if you want to review it:

Categories: Microeconomics