Posts Tagged ‘ Economics

Freakonomics

I was going to wait until I finished the book to write about it, but knowing me it’d collect dust in my “Draft” folder and never be published (or written for that matter). Anyway, yesterday Ryan surprised me with a book! (Yay presents!) The title: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side of Everything. And I can’t seem to put it down. Steven D. Levitt (boasting an undergrad from Harvard and a PhD from a MIT) takes the otherwise dismal science and applies it to everyday occurrence hoping to explain… well, everything. And he’s sincere about it.

What I think is most enjoyable about this book is that it’s written in plain English. I’ve read the reviews and between the praise are complaints that the book is too “dumbed down” to reach a broader audience. I think it’s because I’ve been spending the last seven weeks digging through hundreds of pages of economic verbiage to find “the point”, I’ve gazed at econometric functions trying to decipher the meaning of their p-values and translate all these deltas, betas, and alphas into concepts like “economic welfare” and “technological growth.” I’ve gotten sick of the as what Orwell indentifies as verbal false limbs and pretentious diction. It’s to the point and it’s easy reading. Would go so far as to say it’s even fun.

And now to continue reading, am soon approaching the chapter, “Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?”

Lately

I’m midway through Week 2 of Spring quarter and I can say that things are, well, different. A complete change in pace from my last five quarters in the INFO program. So, what have I been up to?

Banana Cream Pudding

Jules made banana cream pudding using Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies and I can’t stop eating it. It makes a great breakfast, pre-dinner snack, post-dinner snack, before I go to sleep-snack. Needless to say, it’s nearly gone now. I have such a soft spot for sweet mushy desserts.

ECON Classes

Besides eating banana cream pudding, I’m taking the following courses this quarter:

  • ECON 471 – International Trade
    An intermediate course in the theory of international trade, using microeconomic analysis, focusing on distributional impacts of free trade. Put simply: economists lub lub luuv free trade. It’s a pretty insightful class thus far and goes really well with my other courses. If only it were macro instead of micro…ah, was so close at having all my ECON courses being such.
  • ECON 406 – Economic Growth
    Exploration of growth theory through economic models and cross-country datasets. Basically the course focuses on exploring why some countries are rich and others are poor and what determines growth and development in economies. This class is jam-packed with fun facts. And the Solow model on repeat.
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Class Registration

This morning I registered for the last time as an undergrad at UW!

The Spring Quarter Lineup:
ECON 403 – Economics of Property Rights
ECON 406 – Seminar on Economic Growth
ECON 471 – International Trade

Ack! No INFO! Feels funny to think of an entire quarter without hanging out in TE lab or Group Room… Anyway, looks like no classes Friday. Just need one more credit for that double degree.

Geez, my freshman days of 6am registrations seem like yesterday: being in the dorms, hitting F5 repeatedly for fifteen to thirty minutes, trying to get into MyUW. My first two quarters here I actually used the phone STAR system cause I found it to be more reliable. Now those were the days, haha.

ECON 431 Final

So a funny thing happens on test days in ECON 431. Minutes before the exam is handed out, I’m sitting in class looking over my classmates’ shoulders noticing the amount of detail carefully jotted on their notesheets noting the inadequacy of my own. I sit and I listen as two guys in the row behind me discuss the ramfications of practice question number-something-or-other about some market model that sounds like something I should know. I abosrb all the economic-jabber around me and honestly think to myself: I have no idea what anyone is talking about.

Then the exam gets handed out, the class falls silent, and I move to the last question starting things backward. Less than an hour later, I’m standing up realizing I’m the first or second one done. As I’m walking out of class I wonder, “What on earth is everyone else still writing about that I didn’t think to write about?” As Ryan smilingly suggested once, “Maybe the right answers?” And I can’t help but agree, but with good humor. But a week later I receive my marked up green book where the inside left cover reads a score comfortably above the mean.

Today was another one of those exams. Except this time the material was harder, my notesheet unhelpful, and my head was spinning from lack of sleep. Eh well. My last final is complete for now. No more sifting through the verbiage of Section I of the Federal Trade Commission’s Guidlines for Mergers today! And here’s to my last day of Fall Quarter! My last fall quarter…

O_O