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Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man's lifetime income which he then spends sending his son to college.
Economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research and University of Chicago persuasively argue that one of the biggest reasons for the nation's current obesity epidemic is that food is now so much cheaper and easier to prepare.
Economists who have studied the relationship between education and economic growth confirm what common sense suggests: The number of college degrees is not nearly as important as how well students develop cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving ability.
Economists typically think that your happiness goes up as you get more money, but the more you have, the less each additional dollar matters. This means that you value money most in times when you have less income and more expenses.
Economists are coming to acknowledge that measures of national wealth and poverty in terms strictly of average income tell you little that is significant of the health or viability of a society.
Economists specialize in pointing out unpleasant trade offs a skill that is on full display in the health care debate. We want patients to receive the best care available. We also want consumers to pay less. And we don't want to bankrupt the government or private insurers. Something must give.
Economists tend to think they are much, much smarter than historians, than everybody. And this is a bit too much because at the end of the day, we don't know very much in economics.
Economists should be modest and be aware that they are part of the broader social science community. We need to be pragmatic about the methods we use. When we need to do history, we should do history. When we need to study political science, we should study political science.
Economists have put themselves in a position where what they are doing is supposed to be impossible to understand for outsiders, so they don't even talk sometimes not even with their girlfriend or boyfriend or friends about what they are doing.
Economists love to talk about incentives, but the bottom line is that people hate being controlled or manipulated, even when done through voluntary institutions. This is one of the most important tensions in capitalism.
Economists treat economics as if it is a pure science divorced from the facts of life. The result of this false accountancy is a willful confusion under cover of which industry wreaks its havoc scot free and ignores the environmental cost.
I think America, which most Americans would like most right wing or left wing economists would like, is a university in which a smart, ambitious, hard working person with a lot of resources has a very good shot at beating a rich person less intelligent, less ambitious, less hardworking.
Unlike physics, economists do not solve problems. There seems to be a lot of room for different conclusions that are still accepted in the academy.
Perhaps concentrated wealth will inspire an innovative nation in problem solving. But if many economists are right in thinking that it sometimes discourages innovation, we should worry.
The quantification of happiness seems a little tricky, of course, and through a series of carefully managed surveys around the world, economists and psychologists have certainly faced a lot of thorny problems regarding how to measure and even define happiness .
I do not think a lot of change comes from economists. I think that comes more from political realities. John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman are probably the two giants of the twentieth century who really changed American and world government policy. I do not see anyone in our system at this level of influence.
Like a bottle of wine or a promising quarterback, the BACs look like what economists call experiential goods: you agree to pay a price well before you know if they are worth it.
Even as I pursued a doctorate in the history of ideas in my native Denmark, I realized I had neither the encyclopedic training nor the passion for cool logic not to mention the nerve to follow in the footsteps of classical liberal philosophers and economists such as Robert Nozick, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman.
To economists, prices serve as crucial signals to producers and consumers. In a regulated market, the state sets prices high enough for private companies to cover their costs and earn a guaranteed profit for their investors. But in a deregulated market, prices should vary with demand and supply.
Macroeconomics is the analysis of the economy as a whole, an examination of overall supply and demand. At the broadest level, macroeconomists want to understand why some countries grow faster than others and which government policies can help growth.
We have lots of evidence that putting investments in early childhood education, even evidence from very hard nosed economists, is one of the very best investments that the society can possibly make. And yet we still don't have public support for things like preschools.
As economists have often pointed out, we pay doctors for quantity, not quality. As they point out less often, we also pay them as individuals, rather than as members of a team working together for their patients. Both practices have made for serious problems.
Raising the minimum wage, as President Obama proposed in his State of the Union address, tends to be more popular with the general public than with economists.
We want an economic team, Paul Krugman and Robert Kuttner, Joseph Steiglitz's people and others, who say, you know what? We're sophisticated economists but we're concerned about poor and working people.
In the 2013 Economists Program, we hired 51 percent women, 49 percent men. And the reason for that is that we have a draft from all over the world, and we've hired, for instance, in that group, a good number of Chinese economists highly qualified, all Ph.D.s from the best universities of the world. And guess what? They're all women.
When you poll all of the economists, uh, across America that I think are intellectually honest they would all, or maybe not all, but 95% of them 96% of them would say you know we really have got a powerful economy.
With more than 67 percent of the Nation's freight moving on highways, economists believe that our ability to compete internationally is tied to the quality of our infrastructure.
The rationale for tenure is still valid. But the system has turned the academy into one of the most conservative and costly institutions in the country. Yes, conservative: Economists joke that their discipline advances one funeral at a time, but many fields must wait for wholesale generational turnover before new approaches take hold.
Many economists are great believers in the idea that everything in nature is competitive and that we should set up a society which is competitive to reflect that. Anyone who cannot keep up, well, too bad.