Thing I happen to be thinking about at the moment:The supply of drinkable water pumped into my house appears to vastly exceed my demand - almost all of it gets used for washing me or my clothes, some flushes the toilet and the little that is drunk gets boiled for tea (I'm English). Purifying water to drinking standard is expensive and has environmental costs, so - given the very ready availability of bottled water, juice, soda etc - is our insistence that the water we pump into homes should be drinkable (still) economically defensible? Is it advisable to apply game theory to parenting(a) from the point of view of the parents but more importantly(b) from the point of view of the children?
What secrets are better kept from our spouses, or for that matter, from our girlfriends/boyfriends?
Tom Barnett's comment about American military economic work in the Philippines, to the effect that "Southeast Asia is settling in to the point where it strikes me as unlikely anyone will consider it Gap in a decade's time." Do you think his "SysAdmin" stuff will work?
The influence of celebrity chefs (Food Network, etc) on home cooks dinner choices.
-The backdoor of the Economists' world....-The best 50 o 100 papers (in any field) that you've ever read or you think it should be worthy to read....-The best 10 o 20 books (in any field) that you've ever read or you think it should be worthy to read....
Due to job constraints, you're allowed one 3-week vacation every year to travel the world. You're young and have never been outside the United States before. Money, within reason, is no object. Over the next couple decades, you want to see as much as the world as possible. What's your strategy?
Is there an efficient way to divide up household chores between a couple and also ensure perfect harmony? Assuming that each has more or less the same talents? For example, me and my partner take it in turns to cook and clean dishes. We decided that whoever cooks also cleans up afterwards, therefore giving an incentive to minimize kitchen mess.
Wedding industry seems like one area where Galbraith might have been right about advertising. Even more troubling, the bride captures the psychological benefits while the groom suffers in the checkbook. What are future grooms to do?Also, any grossly unethical but effective ways to positively effect culture and institutions?
Economists often post about health care in the US, and why this or that solution is bad. What is your take on what the problem is?Is it that relatively healthy people with insurance use too much health care? That someone who has a catastrophic health problem is likely to go bankrupt? That some people with chronic conditions can't get health insurance at any price? That some people with chronic conditions can't afford to treat them? That Medicare, as currently projected, will be unaffordably expensive in a few years? That sick people are getting expensive, futile treatment? That sick people are getting expensive treatment that is not futile, but that is also not cost effective? That medical professionals have to spend too much time with paperwork?I get the impression that those on the right and those on the left both talk about a health care crisis, but they don't agree what the crisis is.
The homo-erotic milieu of male-dominated academic disciplines such as economics.
This special blog inspired an idea:What could encourage publishing to shift away from lengthy high-cost paper books towards shorter digital literary and non-fiction works, such as blogs or serialized fiction formats? Supplemental material like "secret blogs", podcasts of the author, pretty pictures, interactive graphs, games?I think there is a lot more opportunity for price discrimination, with potentially less risk to the publisher and greater profit back to the author.Many rabid fans would pay even more than a $17.95 cover price to get additional tidbits from their favorite author.I know not everyone wants to read a 300-page nonfiction treatise on something that could be fully covered in 40 pages. I'm sure many authors also don't want to write a long book, but the publisher needs them to fill pages so it looks like a real book.Would a predictable website ad revenue change the equation? Subscription only websites?
I'd like to know, from an economic point of view, if there is a health care problem in the US and exactly what it is. People keep calling for "universal health care" or social health care as I call it, yet nearly every American earning the standard of living or less are eligible for some form of government subsidy already.
I'd like to see an evaluation of the winners and losers when the world subscribes to anthropological global warming. "Carbon offsets" have been created as a means of discouraging pollution, but obviously somebody stands to gain from production. Is global warming a new market?
Neuroscience and economics
Something about how your political views have changed with your age (not just with the times). Do you see trends?
I'd like to know how I, who hates smoke and smoking, should judge and treat smokers. If I have an aversion to cigarette smoke, should I still make friends with smokers? And what if, ex post (after making friends) I find out that my friend smokes?
Scratch my earlier one...I'd like to know this: If you could pick 3 quartets/quintets to be treated orchestrally, which would you choose? Why? Also, the converse: If you could pick 3 symphonies/concertos to reduce to quartet/quintet, which would you choose? Why?
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