Friday, November 30, 2007

Economics and Psychology

Harvard Economist David Laibson recently gave three lectures at LSE on Psychology of Saving and Investment. In these lectures, he challenged many standard assumptions in economics and showed how a combination of psychology and economics can better predict behavior.

Lectrue 1: The Psychology of Saving and Investment: Intertemporal Choice
Lecture 2: The Psychology of Saving and Investment: Investment for Dummies
Lecture 3: The Psychology of Saving and Investment: Sticky Biases and the Curse of Education

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Super Crunchers

Ian Ayres, a lawyer and economist at Yale Law school has a new book, Super Crunchers. The book shows that a new thinking by the numbers provides people with greater insight into human behavior and allows them to predict the future with staggeringly accurate results.

So far, I haven't got the chance to read it. However, according to Freakonomist Steven Levitt, it is fun to read and may also change the way you think. Here is a video introduction.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Milton Friedman Anniversary

Dallas Fed president and CEO Richard W. Fisher sat down with economist Milton Friedman on October 19, 2005. In this wide-ranging interview, Friedman and Fisher discuss a myriad of topics, including globalization, China, the Federal Reserve, free trade, government spending and education reform.

Dallas Fed released the record recently. (also here and mp3, hat tip to Mankiw.) It's at a right time, I think, since November 16th, 2007 would be the first anniversary of the passing away of Dr. Friedman.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dump Adobe?

R. Preston McAfee - a recognized expert in Industrial Organization - wants us to dump Acrobat into trash can, using Acrobat alternatives, like Foxit reader, to open PDF files. I cannot figure out why the Vice President and Research Fellow at Yahoo! Research hates Adobe so much! Can anybody give me a hint?

Advice for new econ PhDs

Initially posted by Mankiw, if you are an econ grad student about to go on the job market:

Here is the link for the AEA signaling mechanism.
From last year, here is some advice from Al Roth about the mechanism.
Here is advice that new Harvard PhDs are getting.

Access to Lectures on Contracts, Organizational Economics and Strategy

If you've heard of, or even familiar with, TCE, Coase theorem, TIOLI, fundamental transformation, hold-up, V.I., GHM, PRT, residual control rights, Self-serving bias, repeated game, S-C-P, Porter, five forces and core competence, I think the following lectures might be worth a lot to you.

Contract Theory
Oliver Hart, Firms versus Markets;
Oliver Hart, Partial Contracts (former version of Contract as Reference Point);
Oliver Hart, Contracts, Reference Points, and the Theory of the Firm (mp3);
Hideshi Itoh, Relational Contracts and their Interactions with Formal Institutions;

Organizational Economics, Management and Strategy
Robert Gibbons, Organizational Economics and Management Education;
Luis Garicano, Positions, Activities and Organisations: strategy, from conception to implementation (mp3).

The Nobel Message

...conveyed by Jeffrey Sachs.

£awrence $ummers

In The International Economy, Summers, the Harvard professor takes on the subprime crisis, moral hazard, and Alan Greenspan's inflation forecast. Here are a few excerpts:

"I am not one who shares as fully as others the obsession with moral hazard. The mirror image of moral hazard is confidence..."

"There are plenty of predatory abuses that we should correct, but we need to be careful about succumbing to a sadomasochistic 'We need pain or we'll become complacent' sort of world view..."

"...harmony had been purchased at the expense of ambiguity..."

"We only call it a bubble in history if it did burst...In the fall of 1996 when Alan Greenspan used the term "irrational exuberance," the Dow was in the 6,000s. That was a declaration of a bubble that wasn't."