Read as if You’re Presenting: A Backdoor Argument for Oral Exams

In my experience, the best way to retain the material you’re reading is to be giving a presentation on said material. That might sound a little odd, but consider it for a moment. If you have to present on a topic, when you’re reading about that topic, you (should be) reading just a little bit closer and […]

Is the “Hollywood Model” Really Something New?

There was a great article in the New York Times the other week called: “What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Future of Work.” The author uses Hollywood to make the case that this is how work is going to be in the near future for everyone (not in Hollywood): This approach to business is sometimes called the “Hollywood model.” […]

Does Everyone Want to Attend University?

There was an op-ed in the New York Times the other week that detailed some of the economic inequality in the US. It used academic data to discuss how poorly Americans estimate the level of social mobility. It’s certainly worth reading, but I wanted to highlight one section (and study): Studies by another author of this article, […]

What if We Treated Prisoners Like Humans?

There was an excellent article in last week’s New York Times Magazine about a maximum-security prison in Norway. Though, when you read about this prison, it sounds nothing like any prison you’ve probably heard about in the US or Canada: Norway’s newest prison was marked by a modest sign that read, simply, HALDEN ­FENGSEL. There were […]

How Smartphones Can Lead to Better Parents

Over three years ago, I wrote a post about cell phone etiquette. At the time I wrote that, I wouldn’t have guessed that three years later, I’d be considering the possibility that smartphones could actually lead to better parents. But that’s exactly what this post is about. The stereotype goes that many parents will bring their children […]

Do Public Salaries Increase Performance?

With the recent news regarding Jill Abramson and the New York Times, I wanted to take a closer look at the academic literature to see if I could find something about public salaries. There’s certainly been a lot written about whether she was fired or she quit or whether it had to do with secretive salaries or her […]

Is There a Way to Broadcast Ideology Without it Colouring Opinion?

There was a good article in the New York Times this past weekend from a professor of economics at Harvard, N. Greg Mankiw. He talked about how when economist give advice on policies, they’re also giving advice as political philosophers. While this should come as no surprise to anyone, I think it’s good that it’s […]

If We Want to Change the World, We’ve Got to be Better Parents

Note: I’ve been away from writing here for the past 6 weeks or so. My writing will continue to be less frequent than it used to be, but my plan is to at least write something once a week. Hopefully, it can be more frequent than that, but we’ll see how things go. I chose […]

France’s 75% Tax on Millionaires is Not What You Think

Almost two years ago now, there was a big hullabaloo because France proposed a 75% tax on millionaires. Some folks were really upset that millionaires were going to have to pay 75% of what they earned in a year for taxes. WRONG. This is not true. In no country (that I’ve ever seen), do taxes work this way. […]

How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk: What About Canada?

I’ve been clearing out some of the tweets that I’ve favourited over the last week or so and one of them was a fun dialect quiz from the New York Times Sunday Review. There are 25 questions that ask you the various ways you do (or do not) refer to certain things in the world […]