Don’t say we didn’t tell you so

Tag: Don’t say we didn’t tell you so

See Your Future, Be Your Future…

Alright, folks, here is the unofficial unveiling of the courses coming for next year.  If you don’t see what you think you should see here, get in touch with one of your friendly neighborhood LU economists and ask about possible independent and group study options.

Fall 2010


ECON 170 FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING 2:30-4:20 TR  Mr. Vaughan

ECON 200 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (G,W) 12:30-2:20 TR  Mr. Finkler

ECON 390 HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT 2:30-4:20 TR  (Sign up for tutorial with Professor Finkler)


ECON 430 CAPITAL AND GROWTH (Q) 9:00-10:50 TR Mr. Finkler

ECON 520 ADVANCED MACROECONOMICS (Q) 1:50-3:00 MWF Ms. Karagyozova

Continue reading See Your Future, Be Your Future…

Learn, learn, learn…

…said the great Lenin—at least that is what we all heard in Soviet countries.

I couldn’t find the source of the quote, but it is written in giant letters on buildings, carved into stone in numerous places in the former USSR, so it must be true. Well, the great Lenin was born exactly 140 years ago, on April 22 1870, as Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. Happy Birthday, Comrade! The living room window of the apartment where I spent much of my childhood faced the Lenin statue you see on the right. I am sure in a drawer back home there is a black-and-white photo of 10-year-old me bicycling around it… You can’t tell from this picture, but the statue is 4 meters tall.

Lenin, on the other hand, was rather short, but extremely persuasive, as this video will no doubt convince you. He came back from his exile in Switzerland just in time to lead the October Revolution.

LeninHe wrote a lot, including some quotable bits such as “Where the bourgeois economists saw a relation between things (the exchange of one commodity for another) Marx revealed a relation between people.” He died after a stroke, which was confirmed in this study of his brain.

I could say a lot more, but I’d better get back to my five-year plan.

Standup Economist to Visit Lawrence

Students in economics will have two opportunities next Monday to hear and interact with Yoram Bauman, self-styled standup economist, who specializes in not only making the complex accessible but also humorous.

Students in Econ 280 and Econ 320 will hold a joint session on Monday morning at 9:50 in Science Hall 102.  Other students are welcome to attend.  Bauman will discuss Paul Krugman’s recent article ( here ) in the New York Times Magazine entitled “Building a Green Economy.”

Bauman will also be the second speaker in the Povolny Lecture Series on The Climate for Climate Change.  His talk is entitled “Comedy, Economics, and Climate Change” and will take place in the Wriston Auditorium at 7:30 PM next Monday.

To get a snippet of his style or to see excerpts from his new Cartoon Introduction to Economics go here.

Nothing Elementary About It!

You should check out the Watson Fellowships if you think you might be in the running.  If you are intellectually curious and have a good idea, this is a big opportunity.

Watson Fellowship

Information sessions!

Wed. April 21st 11:10-12:20 Runckel, and 2:00-3:00 Kraemer

Warch Campus Center

With the Director of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation

Cleveland Johnson

What is the Watson Fellowship?

Simply put, one of the coolest fellowships ever offered.  The winner of a Watson Fellowship receives $25,000 to carry out a one-year independent study of her own design.


The Watson is awarded to graduating seniors. The winner must carry out the proposed study outside of their home country (typically the US), and they must be gone for the entire year (no sneaking home for the holidays).  The proposal should be focused on something the applicant is passionate about, but may not have had a chance to explore before.  Sword-making, rain-forest ecology, mermaid myths, and the role of harmonics in sacred music are just a few of the topics previous winners have studied. Our winner this year, Alex Winter, will be heading off to Asia to study on-line gaming culture.

Time Line

Applications are due at the end of September at the start of your graduating year, BUT it is never too early to start thinking about what you might propose. So everyone is welcome to this information session given by the Watson Director himself.  Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!

We have scheduled two separate sessions for your convenience!


This seems to need no explanation.   I wonder if you could do the same analysis from the annual Lawrence faculty picture?

Smile Intensity in Photographs Predicts Longevity

Ernest Abel & Michael Kruger
Psychological Science, forthcoming

“Photographs were taken from the Baseball Register for 1952 (Spink, Rickart, & Abramovich, 1952). We restricted our analysis to players who debuted prior to 1950, and we included only photographs in which the player appeared to be looking at the viewer…Players with Duchenne smiles were half as likely to die in any year compared with nonsmilers, HR = 0.50, p = .006…In this model, smile intensity accounted for 35% of the explained variability in survival”

The Times They Are A-Changin’

I just made my way over to Briggs because I have a 20-page paper due, and I am, like, totally stressed out about it.**  I was wondering why there were students milling around outside, and it turns out that they were victims of the time change — the building is supposed to open at 1, but evidently security didn’t push its clock forward yet.

At any rate, this brought to mind some calculations my colleague Paul Fischbeck and I made about the changes in pedestrian risks associated with daylight savings. The moral of the story — watch yourself crossing the street, especially when it’s dark outside.

There are some interesting regulatory policy implications of the time change. If you are interested, here are my thoughts posted at the Organizations & Markets blog last year.

**Well, not, like, totally.

Are You Ready for Some Econ?!?

It’s come to my attention that many of you have not registered for Spring term.   You can’t be serious!

Here’s what’s in store:

  1. Professor Galambos: Econ 100: INTRODUCTORY MICROECONOMICS (Q) 12:30-02:20 TR
  2. Professor Karagyozova Econ 120: INTRODUCTION TO MACROECONOMICS (Q) 11:10-12:20 MWF BRIG 223 09:50-11:00
  3. Professor Galambos Econ 180: ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE ARTS & SOCIETY (S) 09:00-10:50 TR
  4. Professor Gerard Econ 240: POLITICAL ECONOMY of REGULATION (W) 03:10-04:20 MWF
  5. Professor Gerard Econ 280: ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS 09:50-11:00 MWF
  6. Professor Finkler Econ 320: MACROECONOMIC THEORY (Q) 09:50-11:00 MW and  08:30-09:40 T
  7. Professor Finkler Econ 425: ENTREPRENEURSHP & FINANCIAL MARKETS 12:30-02:20 TR
  8. Professor Karagyozova Econ 460: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS (G,Q) 01:50-03:00 MWF

Count ’em, two courses on entrepreneurship, a new 400-level chance to take International, and my new writing-intensive course on the political economy of regulation.   If you are itching to take that one, signal your interest by getting on the waiting list.

The schedule for next year is up on Viking as well.  Start planning ahead if you need to fill those econ boxes.

The New Palgrave Encylopedia of Economics, Redux

While dredging through Steven Landsburg’s excellent, yet interminable, chapter on perfect competition, we took a brief break to contemplate the Austrian critique paused to think about some of the Austrian critiques of the competitive model.   To wit:

The trouble with the concept from the Austrian point of view… is that it describes an equilibrium situation but says nothing about the competitive process which led to that equilibrium. Indeed, it robs the firm of all business activities which might reasonably be associated with the verb ‘to compete’ (Hayek, 1948). Thus, firms in the perfectly competitive model do not raise or lower prices, differentiate their products, advertise, try to change their cost structures relative to their competitors, or do any of the other things done by business firms in a dynamic economic system. This was precisely the reason why Schumpeter insisted on the irrelevance of the concept of perfect competition to an understanding of the capitalist process.

That passage, of course, is from The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, which is one of the fabulous economics resources offered through The Mudd.

Having trouble with the Principal-Agent Model? Wondering about empirical work on the make-or-buy decision?  Need a quick primer on health economics or the ins-and-outs of the logit model?   This might be a good starting place.

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.

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.

The Secret Lives of Economists

A recent Wall Street Journal piece provides a rare glimpse into the propensities and proclivities of economists. If you don’t find what the economists are doing at all unusual, then you are probably in the right place.

The article includes a nice couple of quotes from Yoram Bauman, who will be speaking at Lawrence later this year:

“The economics students seem to be born guilty, and the other students seem to lose their innocence when they take an economics class,” says Mr. Bauman, who has a stand-up comedy act he’ll be doing at the economists’ Atlanta conference Sunday night. Among his one-liners: “You might be an economist if you refuse to sell your children because they might be worth more later.”

I’m not sure if the take-home point is that we take our models too seriously or not seriously enough.