Monday, September 28, 2009

So Far, So Good

death-by-failing.jpg Grades have been posted for the first macro exam and I'm pleased to report that I didn't answer anything incorrectly.

I don't yet know how I did on the first Health Econ test, but I feel pretty good about maintaining my 4.0 in economics this semester.

Later this morning I have a scheduled Strategic Advising Session (sounds official!) to talk to the department about taking some honors economics classes despite my awful GPA from 20 years ago.

May the force be with me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Longhorn Football on Google Calendar

Google Calendar has added college football schedules, including one for our beloved Texas Longhorns. Sadly, Ohio State and Michigan both have more fans, at least according to number of calendar subscribers.

So go subscribe!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Two Exams One Day

bummer.gif I just sat down to plug the important dates from both of my classes into my calendar and discovered that the first exam for both of my classes is on September 25. Boo!

The good news is that there aren't any other collisions the rest of the semester. Yay!

Friday, September 11, 2009

First Macro Quiz Today

I find exams, and to a lesser extent quizzes, to be among the most exciting things about school. I'm such a nerd.

Today I'll take my first macro quiz. It will cover the circular flow diagram, PPF's, the Law of Increasing Opportunity Cost, supply and demand curve shifts, nominal vs. real GDP, the GDP deflator, and a bit of inflation. All very exciting.

I've reserved a group study room in PCL (5.120A) for anyone who wants to get together the hour before class to discuss the homework assignments and the quiz.

Update: A great group showed up for the review. The quiz went well. And there was much rejoicing.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Job Losses

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Best Daily Economics News

I read a bunch of economics news online, and find Real Time Economics from the Wall Street Journal to be the best source of macroeconomic news and analysis.

I also keep a list of bookmarks to interesting economics-related stories here. (You can see the most recent of these in the "Interesting (?) Articles" sidebar on the web version of The 40-Year-Old Freshman.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting Past Chapter 2

My macro class is proving to be a bit slow off the line—in three class meetings we have yet to make it out of the review of basic material from micro: supply and demand, equilibrium, PPF's, etc. I mean, we all know this stuff and agree on it, right?

But yesterday we got to something interesting: irony and a meta-commentary on economics itself. Whoa.

Innocently enough, we talked about some common problems that crop up in economic reasoning, including omitted variables and reverse causality (which is both less common and less problematic than affirming the consequent, but let's keep moving).

"Hey!" I thought, "I read examples of an economist making both of these errors just this week!"

The irony? They were made by the author of the textbook, on his blog. While Dr. Mankiw's post was ostensibly pointing out an ommitted variable bias in someone else's graph, it included problems of its own:

Smart parents make more money and pass those good genes on to their offspring.

Well, that's quite a statement. Paul Krugman jumped on it, and it was on! Well, as much as it's ever on between two world-renowned economists who are also Ivy League professors. Which is to say, lots of passive aggression and condescension.

Fiscal stimulus? Health care reform? Forget it. Apparently even after you earn your Ph.D., a professorship at Harvard or Princeton, tenure, and maybe even a Nobel Prize, you won't even agree with other economists about what's covered in Principles of Macroeconomics, Chapter 2. Which one of you wrote.

Ask A College Professor Having Trouble With The Audiovisual Equipment

Apropos of my macro class: Ask A College Professor Having Trouble With The Audiovisual Equipment, from The Onion.

So far every class session has started with 5-10 minutes of AV equipment futzing.