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Jodi Beggs
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Entries by Jodi Beggs

Instructors Have Little to Fear, and Much to Gain, by Bringing MOOCs Into the Classroom

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 5:14 PM

As the spring academic semester winds down, many university instructors, ranging from tenured professors to part-time lecturers and teaching assistants, are likely reflecting on what aspects of their courses went well and which parts were unsuccessful. Intertwined with these assessments is an increasingly large-scale discussion of the use of MOOCs...

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Politics Aside, the Good and Bad Economics of Chained CPI

(5) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 1:23 PM

Much has been written recently about the potential adoption of a "chained consumer price index (chained CPI)" as the official measure of inflation and cost of living increases for the purposes of calculating government benefits, boundaries between tax brackets, and so on. Because this chained CPI gives lower estimates...

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Presidential Job Opening, Business Experience Not Required

(27) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 9:20 AM

Let me start by making one thing clear: I don't actually care who you vote for. If you want to vote for Mitt Romney because you believe that all the country's problems (including gun control) can be cured by women keeping their knees together and getting married, that's your prerogative....
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Reclaiming the Defensive in the "War on Women"

(15) Comments | Posted April 3, 2012 | 3:59 PM

Economists are not generally thought of as the most emotional of people. In social situations, this feature is usually a negative one, but in emotionally charged debates the lack of emotion can be quite beneficial. Take the birth-control debate, for instance.

Dear ladies: I really couldn't care less whether...

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Steve Jobs Versus Wall Street: Not All Capitalism Is Bad Capitalism

(6) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 5:30 PM

Newsworthy events of the last few weeks make for an interesting study in contrast. On one front, Apple Computer has a market capitalization of about $350 billion, and people left notes and gifts of admiration for its recently deceased founder, Steve Jobs. On another front, many financial institutions are concerned...

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Social Security: Maybe a Ponzi Scheme, Definitely a Bad Investment

(39) Comments | Posted September 15, 2011 | 1:21 PM

Rick Perry is getting some heat again this week for referring to the current Social Security system as a Ponzi scheme. Bernie Madoff has taught us that Ponzi schemes can be extremely problematic, so it's important to understand what exactly a Ponzi scheme is and whether Social Security...

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With Government Spending, the When Matters as Much as the How Much

(8) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 10:09 PM

In order to begin a discussion about government spending, let's compare two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Let's call this the "eat what you kill" scenario, although the government would prefer to call this the "balanced budget" scenario. In this scenario, the government can only spend what it takes in in...

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Public Goods: Public By Necessity or Choice?

(1) Comments | Posted June 30, 2011 | 2:46 PM

Rachel Maddow argues, in one of her latest Spike Lee-directed commercials, that some goods and services need to be provided by the government because there isn't a specific profit incentive for private enterprise to provide them:


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Why Non-Wage Collective Bargaining Is Part of a Small-Government Solution, Not Part of the Problem

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2011 | 3:07 PM

Let's begin with an almost perversely-timed history lesson: 100 years ago (March 25, 1911, to be exact), 146 factory workers lost their lives in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. The event was not only tragic but preventable, since many people were trapped in the building due...

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An Economist's Guide to Holiday Gift Giving

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2010 | 3:32 PM

It's that familiar time of year again -- crisp weather, holiday cheer ... and reindeer sweaters and fruitcake. The social norms of gift giving are alive and well, and I, as an economist, am here to help you navigate the murky and sometimes treacherous waters of trying to figure out...

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What Is Quantitative Easing and Why Should We Care?

(71) Comments | Posted October 27, 2010 | 4:03 PM

I have a confession to make: Despite having a masters degree (and almost a Ph.D.) in economics, I frequently resort to using Google to help me understand the business sections of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and, yes, even the Huffington Post. This strategy makes me think two...

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On the Divide Between Opinions and Reality Regarding Pay-For-Performance Compensation

(2) Comments | Posted August 31, 2010 | 1:58 PM

A few days ago, I was quoted in Human Resource Executive Online:


Jodi Beggs, a researcher in the field of behavioral economics and incentives who focuses specifically on when, if and how incentive schemes work, says the jury is still out on whether pay-for-performance compensation...

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How Video Will Likely Create Rather Than Kill the Classroom "Star"

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2010 | 9:40 AM

First it was music. Then it was theater. Now it's...education? Technology has enabled inexpensive reproduction of a wide variety of media, which has in turn radically transformed the structures of a number of industries. Whereas we used to have only concert halls and live theater, we now have CDs, MP3s,...

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An Open Letter to BP From a Seafood-Consuming Economist

(1) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 12:17 PM

Okay, so Top Kill failed. First, let me get the typical reactions to the BP/Transocean/whoever oil spill out of the way: RAWR! Oil everywhere! RAWR! Pelicans! RAWR! You should have been more careful! RAWR! Who would have thought that giant oil funnels wouldn't be the silver bullet? RAWR!...

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The Pros and "Cons" of Hidden Airline Fees

(2) Comments | Posted May 23, 2010 | 11:43 PM

It all started with the olive. Back in 1987, American Airlines became a pioneer in the declining amenities trend by eliminating olives on salads in order to slash costs by $40,000 per year. This trend re-emerged around 2005, when airlines started taking away free pillows, magazines...

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Andy Rooney Gets it Wrong on Gambling...and Lady Gaga

(34) Comments | Posted May 17, 2010 | 5:08 PM

Last week, HuffPost reported on a 60 Minutes piece where Andy Rooney laments that mainstream culture does not cater to him because he doesn't know who Lady Gaga is. In this instance, while Rooney may be somewhat curmudgeonly and his ignorance easily remedied, I can at least respect...

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