Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nobel Prize Possibilities

The Nobel Prize for Economics is given out every year, and this year it will be announced on October 9th. Here is a link to my post on the winners from last year, Thomas Schelling and Robert Aumann. Follow the links to Schelling's work, which is particularly interesting.

The weeks leading up to the announcement always result in guesses as to who the winners will be. The publisher Thomson Scientific has some predictions for this year's Nobel Prize. On their online poll, the current leaders are Paul Krugman, Avinash Dixit, and Jagdish Bhagwati for contributions to internation trade theory.

Economist Tyler Cowen has some predictions posted on his blog as well; he is predicting that the prize will go to Eugene Fama and Richard Thaler for contributions to empirical finance.

I am personally hoping that the committee recognizes my contributions to the field of interactive whiteboard graphing and audioblogging...

I will try to profile a few of the main contenders over the next week (at least the ones that I am familiar with), but anyone who wants to post comments identifying what exactly these guys are known for would be a good post to earn extra credit.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wal-Mart Cuts Generic Drug Prices

You may have seen this on the news last week, but Wal-Mart has just cut prices on some generic drugs to $4 for a 30-day supply. Here are some good questions posed by Sarah:
How will this new policy from Wal-Mart affect the demand for brand name drugs and will this policy affect total revenue? Consider the elasticity of demand for generic drugs. Wal-Mart claims up to a 70% savings for consumers on some drugs, so where does Wal-Mart benefit? What are some possible negative repercussions for such a policy?

Yale to Offer Videos of Courses

This article on reports that Yale is planning to offer digital videos of its courses online for free:

Yale University said on Wednesday it will offer digital videos of some courses on the Internet for free, along with transcripts in several languages, in an effort to make the elite private school more accessible.

While Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others already offer course material online without charge, Yale is the first to focus on free video lectures, the New Haven, Connecticut-based school said.

The 18-month pilot project will provide videos, syllabi and transcripts for seven courses beginning in the 2007 academic year. They include "Introduction to the Old Testament," "Fundamentals of Physics" and "Introduction to Political Philosophy."

The courses cannot be counted toward a Yale degree, and educators say they are no substitute for actual teaching.

What do you think about this plan? Is it smart on Yale's part or are they giving people a free ride without having to pay the high tuition?

(Source: Greg Mankiw's Blog)

Monday, September 25, 2006

More on School Choice

Here are a few more resources to fuel the discussion on school choice from a website of resources for the PBS show Frontline when they did a special on the subject.

In particular, here is a set of interviews with proponents of school choice, and then here is a page with interviews with opponents of school choice.

In your posts be sure to reference the article or provide links to what you are commenting on so people know how to go to the source to respond.