Category: Uncategorized

Summer Internship Opportunities

Act quickly if you wish to take advantage of the internships indicated below.

Summer Internship in Washington D.C: Still accepting applications
Sweet, Stephen [Stephen.Sweet@cgkfoundation.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:12 PM
Merton D. Finkler

Dr. Finkler,

I wanted to alert you that several great (and unexpected) internship positions have just became available in this summer’s Koch Internship Program, so we are going to continue accepting applications from interested candidates for a few more days. Please let your students know that this paid opportunity ($13.00/hr) is still available for those who are interested in gaining valuable professional experience in an organization that advocates free-market principles. Candidates who want to be considered for the program have until March 17th to submit their application materials. I will be available to answer any questions about the internship, so feel free to circulate my contact information.

Thank you!


Stephen Sweet
Program Coordinator, Marketing and Recruiting
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
Ph: 202.215.7491

Course Evaluations “Opportunity”

No kidding, we really care what you have to say.    It helps us to gauge how we’re doing, make specific improvements to a course, and make improvements to our teaching generally.  In the spirit of Bjorklunden weekend, consider it an opportunity!

Here’s the Provost again:

DearLawrence Student,

It is time to do the end of term course evaluations. This term, we will be continuing the on-line course evaluation procedure. T he instructions for completing the forms are at the bottom of this note. The on-line course forms will be available from MARCH 5 (at 5:00pm) TO MARCH 23.

These course evaluations are very important to course instructors, and I hope you will take the time to fill them out carefully. Faculty use them to make changes in courses that will benefit your education. They are a significant part of Lawrence’s efforts to make certain we have the strongest possible academic program– and that strength is good for everybody.

One change this term is that whenever you log on to Voyager you will be immediately directed to the evaluation site. This is being done to help remind you of the importance of completing the evaluations.

Thanks for your help.

David Burrows
Provost and Dean of the Faculty

“in this, the most efficient of all possible worlds”

Following this past weekend’s performance of Candide on campus (with our own Alex Gmeinder in the leading role), I was reminded of this sight gag in a set of slides by Professor Richard Langlois of the University of Connecticut.

For those of you not in Economics 450, that’s recent Nobel Prize winner, Oliver Williamson, pictured delivering a lecture.  Professor Langlois appears to be chiding him about the rather strong efficiency implications of transaction cost economics.

You can read the full explanation at the Organizations & Markets blog.

Fast Growing Young Firms Dominate New Employment

A study released today by the Kauffman Foundation documents the significant influence young companies have on employment growth in the United States.  Companies that are less than five years old and employ between 50 and 250 employees are likely to make the largest contribution to both economic output and job growth.  Check out the press release, or better yet,  read the report.


The End is Near

Many students find the end of the term the ideal time to break up with that not-so-special person they’ve been seeing.   Maybe your returns to scale in the relationship are constant or even decreasing.  Or maybe you really don’t have that much specific capital invested in the relationship (K is low).  Or, perhaps, you’ve found a relatively higher redeployment value for your affections.   If that’s the case, transaction cost theory suggests that you might consider outsourcing your break up.

That’s right, a mere $10, will get you into a “basic break up,” with escalating rates based on increasing specificity (engagement, divorce), but, interestingly, not based on increasing complexity.


The Cartoon Introduction to Economics

Well, the future of pedagogy has arrived in the form of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics. If you’ve ever wondered what economics would be like if someone with a sense of humor was teaching you, this might be the book for you. I have a copy if you are interested in coming by and taking a look at it.

Professor Bauman will be on campus April 26 to promote his book and maybe to help us to understand economics a little better.

Here’s a bit of his stand-up act. I find it laugh-out-loud funny in parts, but worry that he’s right about the Snickers bar.

The Gales of Creative Destruction…

Well, the good news is that the new site architecture is in place and it looks pretty fabulous  — thank you toschumpeter Jay Dansand and the gang for transporting the site.

The bad news is that some of our pithy posts from last week have been vaporized.

Overall, I judge the change to be Kaldor-Hicks efficient but not Pareto improving.   And, again, if you find this sort of joke amusing, you might consider subscribing to the RSS feed.

On the right there, just because we can, that’s Joseph Schumpeter.

Free Market Environmentalism

If you are interested in how economists make extensive use of markets to address environmental questions, you might be interested in attending the one week symposium in June put on by PERC (Policy and Environmental Research Center.) Furthermore, PERC provides funding to cover the costs of the program and a portion of the travel expenses to Montana. Last year, Tam Dao attended and really enjoyed it.


Koch Summer Internship Opportunity

2010 Summer Internship Opportunity

Are you interested in a paid internship that will give you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in Washington, D.C.? Applications are now being accepted for the Koch Internship Program.

The Koch Internship Program is a paid opportunity for young professionals with an interest in free-market ideas to gain the tools to be more effective advocates for liberty. The program seeks to engage interns through substantive roles within think tanks, policy institutes, and grassroots organizations. In addition to the professional experience, interns also are challenged through weekly seminar-style management training. Internship roles include: policy research & analysis, marketing & communications, grassroots education, and donor relations. Summer interns earn $13.00 an hour.

Interns who participate in KIP should expect to:

* Deepen their understanding of free-market ideas;

* Develop professional skills;

* Explore opportunities to advance liberty throughout their careers;

* Build a network of like-minded colleagues, through interactions with speakers, staff, and other interns;

* Be challenged through the semester!

The application deadline for the Koch Internship Program is March 1, 2010. For complete program information please visit our website www.cgkfoundation.com.

EconOlympics, Cont.

There’s another piece up at Slate.com about economics of the Olympics. This time, it’s Colorado College’s Daniel Johnson continuing research project — simple econometric specifications to predict medal counts. The explanatory variables are the number of country medals as a function of population (+), per capita income (+), climate (colder is better), political variables (openness not necessarily a good thing), and the host-nation advantage.

The upshot? Canada 27, the US 26, and Bangladesh 0. The predictions are also broken down by gold, silver, and bronze.

Here’s the Slate piece.

Economics Tea with Corry Azzi, Today at 4 p.m.

Rumor has it that Professor Azzi will be stopping by for tea and conversation.

More than likely, “subtle” is one of the last adjectives that springs to mind when a description of economics professor and alumnus Corry Azzi is needed. In a world fashionably attired in grays, Azzi, ’65, prefers going through life dressed to the nines in blacks and whites.


A willing combatant on the academic battlefield, he revels in the good fight. He doesn’t suffer fools easily and spouts sentences that sound like a talk radio host audition: “We’ve put such a value on open-mindedness that we think the uneducated and the ignorant are sophisticated.”

Peek beyond the bluster, however, and you will find an award-winning teacher, loyal friend, and most importantly, a nurturing mentor.

Who knew?

We will also be discussing the Bjorklunden weekend, the winter Olympics, and whether 4 p.m. is too late for “morning thunder.”

See you there!

Internets Down in Briggs, Monday 9 a.m.

The internet is down and so for those of us who spend time engaged in cyberspace, there has been a flight to [generally lower] quality. No word on it’s expected return except the always reassuring, “they’re working on it.”

If you need an economist, you might be forced to go to Briggs 2nd and bang on a door. I’ll see my 300 class at 9:50.

We will see you for tea at 4 p.m., somewhere on Briggs 2nd. Start at the Fish Bowl and then work from there.

UPDATE: Never mind.

The Fourth Branch: Coming to An Administration and A Classroom Near You

For those of you wondering what Economics 240, The Political Economy of Regulation is all about, it’s about stuff like this.

With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities…. Any president has vast authority to influence policy even without legislation, through executive orders, agency rule-making and administrative fiat.

Legislation gets all the attention, and regulation does all the dirty work.

In Econ 240, we will study “the fourth branch of government” (a.k.a., administrative agencies), including the continuing evolution and growth of the U.S. regulatory system, the process by which regulations are proposed, written, implemented, and enforced, and the tools used to evaluate the costs and benefits of regulations.

It’s designated writing intensive, and I couldn’t be more excited. See you in there.

This Saturday, LSB Banking Summit, One Day Only!!!

Don’t forget, tomorrow (Saturday) is the LSB banking summit. Looks like a solid lineup. Don’t worry if you haven’t already signed up, there should be plenty of space.

Banking Summit

The next Lawrence Scholars in Business event is the Commercial and Investment Banking Summit, and it will take place on Saturday, February 13th from 10:00 to 12:00 in the Hurvis room in the Campus Center. If you come for the event, join our guests for lunch right afterwards–just go through the line as usually, and then go to the Parrish/Perille dining room.

Our guests will be

Rob Bearman ’75 — managing director, Barclays Capital, Inc., (investment banking division of Barclays PLC); formerly at Goldman Sachs for 20 years;

Hugh McLean ’80 — former executive managing director and president, The PrivateBank & Trust Company (suburban Chicago offices);

Dave Naunheim ’77 — president and chief lending officer, United Missouri Bank (UMB)-St. Louis.

These three alumni have a deep knowledge of the banking world, so this is a great opportunity to learn about careers in banking, or just to learn about the financial world, the linchpin of the economy. Our panelists will specifically discuss the financial crisis from an insider’s perspective. In addition, they will talk about interviewing strategies generally and for banking jobs specifically. This is an opportunity to learn something about the economy that you don’t get in a course, and it is an opportunity to make connections with well-placed alumni who are ready to help you.

I strongly encourage you to attend, if you are on campus during reading period, and you might even change your plans for the weekend so that you are able to join us. Sign up in the career center or email careercenter@lawrence.edu.

Looking for a Talented Innovation Research Fellow

If you are interested in topics on innovation, let one of us know. The Skran Fellowship applies broadly to students with interests in innovation, including students of economics and policy. The deadline is right before we adjourn to Bjorklunden.

Here’s the announcement:


Two student research fellowships at Lawrence University, created in honor Mr. Dale L. Skran, Sr., reflect Mr. Skran’s strong endorsement of “hands-on” research and engineering involving faculty/student research collaboration. Mr. Skran was a graduate of the General Motors Institute and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard, and he enjoyed a 40-year engineering career in the auto industry, retiring in 1981 as the manager of Quality Assurance for Front End Brakes at Chevrolet Saginaw Manufacturing. During his tenure in this position, his factory won many awards for the safety of its brakes and other products.

Awards: The Dale L. Skran, Sr., Summer Research Fellowships at Lawrence are awarded on a competitive basis to two students each year who complete an application to conduct summer research in collaboration with a member of the Lawrence faculty. Each fellowship will consist of $5,000, $3,500 of which will constitute a stipend for a student, $500 will cover any ancillary costs of the project, and the remaining $1,000 of each fellowship will be awarded to the supervising faculty member either in the form of a stipend or reimbursement for costs associated with the fellowship.

Selection Criteria: All Lawrence University students are eligible for these fellowships with preference being given to rising seniors. These funds are awarded without consideration of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or international student status.

Guidelines and Selection Process: Possible areas of focus will relate in most cases to physics, applied physics, engineering, or innovation and entrepreneurship ventures. The selection committee for these fellowships will be chaired by Professor John Brandenberger or his designee. At least one member of the selection committee will represent the innovation and entrepreneurship program at Lawrence; another member is to represent the Department of Physics.

Applications: Interested students should consult with the chair of the selection committee (currently Mr. Brandenberger in Youngchild-116) to collect the application forms, part of which will call for a research proposal. The deadline for applications is February 26, 2010.

On the Enforcement of Private Customs

Any economist with an understanding of institutions (the “rules of the game”) will tell you that a rule, even a public law, doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t enforced. So a big question concerns what it means to be a rule — are informal norms and customs legitimate?

I was thinking about this as I got this piece of news from my old stomping grounds:

Longtime Pittsburghers know the unwritten code of saving parking spaces with a chair, and the tradition is in full effect after a storm dumped 20 inches of snow on the city last weekend.

Neighborhood justice can be swift — like in Squirrel Hill, where someone cleared a spot on Hobart Street and left a chair, but the chair was later moved and another car parked there. That car somehow became buried in snow, and a sign left at the scene said, “Now yinz know not to break the rules.”

Here’s the story.

I disagree with the story on one front: you don’t have to be a longtime “yinzer” (a.k.a., a person with Pittsburgh roots) to know about the consequences of violating “the chair” rule. After my first few months there, I realized that people kept chairs specifically for the purpose of blocking off parking spaces.

Well, now yinz know.