Archive for July, 2014

Want to Protect Rainforests?

July 25, 2014 Leave a comment

If you understand how public and private ownership explain, in part, why cows are not endangered but elephants are, you’ll appreciate this article:

The best way to protect rainforests is to keep people out, right? Absolutely not. The best way to keep the trees, and prevent the carbon in them from entering the atmosphere, is by letting people into the forests: local people with the legal right to control what happens there.

Categories: Environment

Marriage and Poverty


If you care about poverty and income inequality, you should also care about marriage:

In 2010, among people who were 15 years and over and who were in poverty, about 16.4 million lived in poverty areas (see Table 2b). Of these, more than half were people who were never married. Among the various marital groups who were in poverty, people who were separated and those who had never married had the largest proportions living in poverty areas.

Of course, we’re just seeing a strong correlation between not being married and being in poverty. Surely, there is causality in both directions: those very poor or with limited earning skills are also less attractive candidates for marriage.

But decade after decade of data point to the inescapable conclusion that stable families held together by marriage do a lot over the long term to lift people out of poverty and keep people out of poverty. The idea that you can care about the poor, but exclude marriage as an important part of the solution, ignores reality.


Applied Microeconomics

siegel_p-fig04_003It’s not just for business. It’s for life:

Why is it so hard for women to overcome the guilt and the shame around the word “no”? And when are we going to stop and realize the cost of always saying “yes” — both to our bank accounts and to our sanity? The answer just may lie in an economic concept called “opportunity cost.” (Oh, how proud my microeconomics professor at USC would be if he knew that after nearly two decades I was still throwing around that term.)

Categories: Uncategorized