Big Data and Disperse Knowledge

  Economists are frequently turning to Twitter, Google and other online data sources to analyze the markets. In an economy less focused on manufacturing and more on information and connections, it only makes sense to use internet-created data in economic modelling.  Just as car sales were tantamount to analyzing the Rust Belt economy of the past, […]

What the Internet Can Do For Pennies

I enjoy listening to NPR’s Planet Money.  They make economic theory manageable to the average listener, through stories on everything from violins to professional sports. I’m frequently disappointed, however, in the incomplete economic thought that goes into the show.  The reporters tend to miss some pretty simple connections from their story to economic principles.   It […]

Is Leisure vs. Labor Irrelevant?

This New Yorker piece brings up a worthy dilemma of our age.  The focus of this story is on Keynes’s prediction that future generations will have so much idle time that it may even be bad for society.  Anyone who works even the most flexible of full-time jobs has to be laughing.   The story brings […]

The Skills Gap: It’s Mutual

This WP piece highlights another interesting debate in the college vs. manufacturing job debate (also discussed here yesterday).   The conventional wisdom is that there are all these manufacturing jobs available, but young people refuse to take them.  They find them too dirty and dead-end.  This is the much-cited “wage gap.”   This reminds me of a […]

Expensive Health Care: Is it Really the Transaction Costs?

This recent Fiscal Times article got me thinking about how to apply the lessons of e-commerce to health care.  The article stated at first that individual patient habits were to blame for expensive health care costs, but then goes on to explain that it’s really because they can’t make up their mind about what health care system […]