Monday, April 27, 2009

Registered for 304L

I just registered for Intro Macro for the Fall semester:


Based on Juan's recommendation and on the available session meeting times, I decided to take Dr. Gervais' class instead of Dr. Norman's (which, strangely, is TTH 5:00-6:30P).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

UT Economics Graduate Program Ranked #25

US News and World Report has just published their annual grad school rankings, and UT's economics program comes in at the middle of the pack, tied for #25 (out of 54) with Johns Hopkins.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Third Exam Done

I'm not sure how I feel about this exam. There wasn't anything I didn't know, but I got wrapped around the axle on one of the long-answer questions and spent more time on it that I had wanted to. I again wound up finishing with seconds to spare and no time to check my work on anything.

I'm going to go through the questions now while my answers are fresh in my mind and see how I think I did. I'm also going to check the exam questions against the condensed study guide I made for myself to judge whether a similar approach would be a good idea for the final.

One more homework assignment and the final to go.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

P.J. O'Rourke on Micro vs Macro

This article by Tim "The Undercover Economist" Hartford has a great quote from P.J. O'Rourke:

"Microeconomics concerns things that economists are specifically wrong about, while macroeconomics concerns things that they are wrong about generally."

The rest of the article is worth reading too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Loss! Despair! Oblivion! And Yet...

I got my exam back. 24/30. Oof! I took my seat feeling like I had been punched in the gut.

A few minutes to recover, and then I started looking for what I had gotten wrong.
  • Section I: 8/8. Good.
  • Section II: 11/11. Great.
  • Section III: 5/11. WTF?
The hour dragged on as I waited for Dr. Hickenbottom to get to the answers for Section III. I had chosen the latter of the two problems, so there was only a couple of minutes left in the class before he got to mine.
  • Part A: Check. 2/2
  • Part B: Yep, that's what I got. But no credit! Not even a 0 or a slash to indicate I had gotten it wrong. Hmm.
  • Part C: Right again. 1/3. Huh?
  • Part D: Correct. 2/2
So here's what I think happened: the grader didn't even see my answer to Part B and overlooked the part of my answer to Part C that I wrote on the back of the page. So I'm 90% sure I scored at least 28/30, with which I'd be satisfied since it was the highest grade reported, and 80% sure I scored 30/30, with which I'd be quite pleased.

Unfortunately we have Friday off and since Dr. Hickenbottom won't be back in his office until Monday I won't be able to turn in a regrade form until then. When I eventually get it back I'll let you know how it went.

Update: I was awarded all of the points I disputed, so I scored 30/30. More here.

Getting Exam #2 Back Today

When I finished the exam I was pretty sure I had gotten everything right, but since then my confidence has eroded daily. Now I'm afraid I totally blew it. The good news is that I'll know one way or the other in about 74 minutes. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Economic Forecasts with Google Data

From Predicting the Present with Google Trends on the Google Research Blog:

Our work to date is summarized in a paper called Predicting the Present with Google Trends. We find that Google Trends data can help improve forecasts of the current level of activity for a number of different economic time series, including automobile sales, home sales, retail sales, and travel behavior.

In a world of data, Google is king. Note to self: buy more GOOG.