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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Useful links: Micro principles edition

  • Amazon’s explanation of their dealings with Hachette provide a great, highly-specific example of the connection between elasticity and total revenue. You could ask students to use the provided data to calculate what Amazon thinks is the price-elasticity of demand for e-books. In addition, this InsideHigherEd post raises some good points about substitutes and pricing strategies across books.
  • All Things Considered aired a story this week entitled “Why are theater tickets cheaper on the West End than on Broadway?” In discussing the price difference between tickets in New York and London, the story touches on multiple economic concepts, including economies of scale, product differentiation, price discrimination, subsidies and substitutes.
  • The next time your students ask you what they can do with an economics degree, you may want to share this article with them. It’s about how economists are increasingly being hired by tech companies to talk data and PR to customers and the media. I do have to say, I find it interesting that economists are not exactly known for their great communication skills but the article makes it sound a bit like finding economists with the skills to communicate effectively with the public is no big deal.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Useful links for beginning scholars

Back in April, I mentioned that the Journal of Econ Ed had several articles providing advice for those who submit papers to the JEE. Two other recent publications may also be useful, particularly for grad students and those at the beginning of their academic careers:
  • In The Art and Science of Scholarly Publishing, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Maureen Pirog, provides some great do’s and don’ts for getting published in peer-reviewed outlets. She also summarized her main points for Inside Higher Ed.
  • The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) has a wonderful guide for academics about how to write for non-academics, called Going Public: Writing about research in everyday language. Although the focus is on education research, Mark Dynarski and Ellen Kisker’s advice applies to anyone doing policy-relevant research.
And of course, younger scholars should not miss the Primer for New Teachers of Economics in the Southern Economic Journal (an ungated version is available on my website).