Monday, August 31, 2009

Mankiw's Freshman Seminar Reading List

From a post on his blog, with links each on to Amazon:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Economics of Doing What You Love

From the Freakonomics Blog:

To an economist, the choice is still a no-brainer. We think you should only do what you love, and pay for it by doing what you are good at.

Nice Little Gift from Amazon

Just got this in an email from Amazon:

As someone who recently purchased at least $75 in qualifying textbook item offered in the Books store, you have automatically qualified for $5 worth of any Amazon MP3 downloads. Use your credit toward the purchase of a full MP3 album or a single song.

Since I didn't even know about this offer before I made my purchase, it doesn't count as an incentive. But it does make me feel more positive about Amazon, which will probably influence my future buying decisions. How does one account for that in economic terms?

Now, what MP3's to buy with my $5 credit? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Books Bought, Lesson Learned

I just bought the textbooks for my two courses at the University Co-Op ("Proudly serving the University of Texas at Austin since 1896"). Total price $351.43. When I got back to my office I found that they were both in stock at Amazon. Total price, including standard shipping, $270.89.

When my package arrives from Amazon in a few days I'll return the books to the Co-Op for a full refund (which I can do until September 11) and realize $80 in savings.

Thanks for, uh, serving me, Co-Op.

Update: Amazon says that Health Economics won't arrive until September 22, so I canceled that. It was only $10 cheaper than the Co-Op anyway. But I'm still saving a ton on the Mankiw book, which should be here on September 1. Whew!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


From the Regustrar's office:

Congratulations, waiting for classes paid off! You were added into a course off of the waitlist. Please check your class listing at to see your new class schedule.

If you're in Helen Schneider's Health Economics course with me (MWF 11-12) let me know. See you Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Movin' On Up (the Health Economics Waitlist)

waitlist.gif Last time I checked, I was #6 out of 9 on the waitlist for ECO 330T: Health Economics. Today I'm #2 out of 5. With a couple more add/drop days left before the semester starts, I think I have a pretty good shot at getting in. That would be awesome for a couple of reasons.

First, I can't imagine a better time to be studying health economics. The national debate—if it can be called that—will be heating back up when Congress gets back from its "Summer District Work Period", which coincides nicely with the start of the semester. If the course content is what I hope it is, it will provide ample opportunity for timely discussions.

Second, taking only one course per semester is the slowest, most expensive path. Taking one three-hour course costs me $1,874 per semester. If I take two courses, my bill goes up to $2,769, an increase of only $895—less than 50% the cost of another one-class semester. And obviously, taking twice as many courses per semester gets me to the finish line in half the time, while still allowing me enough time to get my "work" work done.

So I waited with bated breath. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion...