Monthly Archives: April 2010

总结

昨天上完了本学期最后一节课,感觉轻松了很多。那个期中考试不及格还希望得B的同学居然连最后一节课都没有去。希望他不要忘记参加期末考试。这个学期整体感觉不错,evaluation应该还好。昨天很多学生下课后跑过来说这是这个学期最好的一门课。
 
自己的几个小tricks:
 
1。记住每个学生的名字,见面给他们打招呼时直呼其名,这样可以拉近和学生的距离。我一般第一节课时给每个学生照张相,上课前快速看一遍,几次课下来名字就记得差不多了。以前曾教过一个有100多个学生的课,自己居然也把所有学生的名字记住了。搞得学生特感动,期末evaluation比别人高了很多。其实除了稍微多花几分钟记名字外,自己并没有多花时间准备上课内容。
 
2。开始的两节课很重要。前两节上课气氛好了,整个学期都不错。如果开头没开好,中间试图改变课堂的dynamics似乎更困难。所以开头两节课可多花点儿时间准备一下,想想有什么东西可以活跃课堂气氛的。
 
3。如果有class presentation,可以安排在一个特殊的星期,比如halloween, st. patric day等。鼓励学生present的时候dress up。当然自己要首当其冲dress up。出了学东西外,having fun也很重要。新东方为什么那么火?除了学点儿技巧和交流信息外,自己最大的收获就是能在那么boiring的一段时间里keep my spirit high.现在对新东方的回忆就只有玉米糊的笑话了。
 
4。当然讲课内容也很重要。如果学生觉得一个学期没学到什么东西,也感觉不爽。不过千万别高估美国大学生的自学能力。一定要手把手地在课堂上演示一些例子,然后把数字改了让他们回去练习。

today’s news

1.Bernanke强调要减少政府赤字。目前美国政府每年的赤字是GDP的10%左右。累计赤字(只包括联邦政府,不算地方政府的)有GDP的70-80%。这些指标其实比希腊强不到什么地方。希腊去年的赤字是GDP的13%左右,累计赤字是GDP的100%。最近希腊的债务危机搞得整个欧洲都鸡犬不宁的。希望今天的希腊不要是明天的美国。
 
要减少赤字,只有两条路:要么减少社会福利(主要是医疗保险,教育和国防,其中医疗保险占了最重要一部分),要么增加税收。政客很难做到减少福利,因为这样会直接影响到他们的选票。所以更有可能的是增加税收。看来巴马总统关于不增税的承诺很难要兑现了。
 
2。中国对从美国进口的鸡肉产品再次提高关税。主要是报复美国对中国出口的轮胎加关税。报道称美国的鸡翅和鸡爪出口到中国可以卖到在美国价格的20倍!对于鸡爪,应该是无穷倍罢。没听说哪个美国人吃鸡爪的。
 
 
新闻1来自华尔街时报:
Bernanke Urges Cut In Deficit

By Luca Di Leo and Jared A. Favole
28 April 2010

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. needed to come up with a plan to cut the budget deficit soon, telling a White House debt commission it should look at how the tax system could be changed.

Mr. Bernanke’s remarks Tuesday kicked off the first meeting of an 18-member panel charged with drafting ideas to reduce the country’s $1.4 trillion annual deficit. President Barack Obama created the panel, which includes congressional Republicans and Democrats.

Two former Congressional Budget Office directors said the biggest threats were ballooning health-care costs, interest on money borrowed from abroad, Social Security and taxes.

Mr. Bernanke has not spoken about taxes for a while. The Fed chief is being more cautious on the subject than his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, who made the controversial move of endorsing President George W. Bush’s tax cuts in 2001.

Mr. Bernanke said the U.S. would ultimately have to decide between raising taxes, cutting Social Security or Medicare, or spending less on everything from education to defense. Mr. Bernanke didn’t make specific recommendations.

Ahead of the meeting, groups on both sides voiced doubt that the panel could succeed, particularly in an election year. "When we say everything is on the table, does that include the new health-care bill?" asked Rep. Dave Camp (R., Mich.). The right worries the panel will recommend tax increases, while the left says it could seek entitlement cuts.

The debt panel is chaired by former GOP. Sen. Alan Simpson and Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. It must report back by Dec. 1.

新闻2来自金融时报:

China to hit US chicken with new tariffs

By Geoff Dyer in Beijing
April 28 2010

China will impose new tariffs on US imports of chicken of as much as 31.4 per cent, raising the temperature in the ongoing trade tussles between the two countries.

China’s Commerce ministry on Wednesday announced that the new tariffs were a response to what it said were unfair subsidies given to poultry farmers in the US. The duties come on top of tariffs of up to 105.4 per cent that China placed on US poultry two months ago because of alleged dumping, and industry analysts said they would likely end US poultry exports to China.

The new tariffs come at a time when economic friction between the two countries appears to be relaxing. The US Treasury department has delayed its decision over whether it thinks China is manipulating its currency and Beijing has signalled that it will abandon its dollar peg.

However, Wednesday’s news underlined the thorny bilateral trade issues between the two countries. Earlier this year, China threatened to impose sanctions on a number of leading US companies for participating in a planned arms deal with Taiwan.

China has become the biggest export market for the US poultry industry with sales of $722m in 2008. Chinese consumers favour chicken wings and feet, parts of the bird that are usually shunned in the US, which means that they can fetch prices 20 times higher in the Chinese market.

Although there have been complaints from Chinese companies for several years about surging US chicken imports, the Beijing government announced it would investigate US poultry imports two weeks after the Obama administration said in September that it would impose tariffs on Chinese imports of tires.

This is the first time that China has imposed duties on imports of agricultural goods on the grounds of alleged subsidies, following similar duties placed on some US specialist steel products last year. The Commerce ministry did not say how it had calculated the level of subsidies received by US farmers, although it said it was a result of the subsidised corn and soybeans that they use in chicken feed.

Under the new ruling, US companies which submitted information to the Chinese government investigation would face duties of 3.8 per cent to 11.2 per cent, while companies which did not co-operate would face duties of 31.4 per cent.

 

Two great blog articles about reduced and structural form research

亚利桑那通过更严格的移民法律

亚利桑那通过州立法,给予警察权力可以检查可疑人的移民文件。以前对移民身份的检查只能通过移民局。比如有人犯罪后被警察抓了,警察怀疑是非法移民,可以交到当地移民局由他们处理。根据新的法律,和警察有任何“legal contact“ 的人,如果警察怀疑你的身份,他可以要求你出示合法居留的身份,不然警察有权拘留你。提醒一句,在亚利桑那州上学的同学,请随身携带I-20和护照,不然被警察拘留了,人生就又完整了一把。什么是“legal contact“呢,包括闯红灯,stop sign没有fully stop,超速等被警察抓;在家里被老公或老婆家暴后打911报警等。
 
正方观点:加强对非法移民的打击可以减少非法移民数量。现在亚利桑那有1/3人口是南美洲(大部分是墨西哥)人。很多人是非法来美,这些人不交税,占用医疗,教育等政府资源。
 
反方观点:1。这个立法解决不了非法移民问题。应该通过联邦立法使移民有合法的渠道能到美国工作,才能从根本上消除非法移民问题。2。警察只能从外貌来决定一个人有没有非法移民的嫌疑。南美洲人将成为重点怀疑对象。这种法律会引起种族关系紧张。3。损害妇女儿童权益。对于非法移民的妇女儿童,在收到家暴或者其他非法侵犯时,由于担心移民身份,将不敢报警。
 
我的观点:1。只要收入差距够大,非法移民的问题没办法解决。2。如果只从经济角度出发,移民促进更有效的配置劳动力资源,应该大大鼓励。3。但移民也是一个政治问题。经济地位决定个人观点。high-skill labor一般对非法移民更同情。这部分人的工作机会不会被非法移民抢走。另外非法移民的涌入会降低low-skill workers的相对工资。这样high-skill workers的实际收入增加。给我们家做yard work,打扫卫生的都是墨西哥人。除了老板,很多人英文都不会说,很可能是非法移民。这些公司的报价很低。根据我们家yard work的价格我估算了一下,干这种工作人的工资最多是$7-8一个小时。如果没有非法移民,估计价格要高很多。相反,low-skill workers就业收入情况恶化,当然哭着喊着要反对非法移民了。

Talking about Growing like China

  This blog article contains some useful information for those that plan to find an academic position in China.

"你们这些刚毕业的博士,只能从博后干起"

I am pretty sure that this does not apply to econ and business fresh phds.

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Growing like China

 
假期结束,明天又要开学啦。
 
放假的时候,清华的副校长来牛津访问,做了个讲座,给广大的留学生介绍国内情况和海归的形势。国内的经济形势,无非是收入差距、房价飞涨,等等。讲到留学生回国的前景,校长说,“你们在牛津、剑桥这样的世界著名学府,拿到学位……”在座的我想,下面是不是该国家栋梁、天之骄子什么的啦。可校长停顿了一下,话锋一转,说,“好像,也不难吧。”这话好‘犀利’,hehe。
 
至于清华对留学生的优惠政策,校长说,“我们现在已经不招自己毕业的博士了,这就是是优惠政策啊”;鼓励广大的留学生回国向二三线高校发展;清华招的海归,如果没成果,5-6年职称都提不上去,“我们看着都着急啊,更别说这些年轻老师自己啦”;“清华,每年从海外回去授课、科研的特聘教授学者,都超过800人……你们这些刚毕业的博士,只能从博后干起……”;“现在北大清华的形势,你没成果、没经历、没职位,还真是不好办……”
 
介绍完国内形势,校长同志就孜孜不倦的给大家浇冷水,一壶一壶的,醍醐灌顶!
 
想想中国现在还真是很行。北大自己培养的学生都可以直接到IMF总部当economist,国内的年轻老师都在AER、Econometrica、RES上发文章了,中国人太NB啦。
 
少看闲书,把自己该做的事认认真真做好,这才是最重要的!
 
 

Unrealistic expectation

I am teaching an international economics class this semester. A student did not show up regularly in my lectures and received 50 out of 100 in the midterm. Then he sent me an email after the midterm, asking if it is still likely to receive AT LEAST a B for this class. I told him that if he showed me his efforts and did well in the final and other assignments for the rest of the semester, a B is still something possible. Then I only saw him once after the midterm. I thought that he had droped from the class. But he contacted me again recently and said he was still enrolled in the class. The reason for his absence from my lectures is because he was too busy. In addition, he is still expecting to receive a B or even better from my class because otherwise, he is going to lose funding. I really don’t understand how someone can come up with such an unrealistic expectation. It has shaken my belief on rational expectations so much that I decided to work on a paper in the field of behavior finance.  

Talking about 哪有这样赈灾的=皿=

感觉这个形式主义搞得也太过了,成本太高了。不太明白的几个问题:

1。上次四川地震好像更严重罢,怎么没有这么隆重悼念?

2。由于停止营业造成的经济损失谁支付?国企就算了,反正产权是政府的。但私营企业呢?这政府咋还整天象土匪一样,完全无视和践踏别人的合法权益。

3。如果有人早就决定了当天有活动,比如结婚等,你临时搞个规定让别人取消,这不是扯淡么。结婚这种事情要计划好几个月的,你说不让搞,就不搞了? 

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哪有这样赈灾的=皿=

本来不想抱怨的。。毕竟是天灾。。默哀是应该的。。而且我又天高皇帝远的。。
可是俺的菜得停收一天 常去的论坛关闭一天 =皿= 这是什么道理!
实在看不出停止娱乐和帮助救灾之间有一毛钱关系
大家不娱乐了就能减轻灾区人民的痛苦?
集体悼念祈祷就能解决各种物资紧缺的问题?
稍微仔细考虑恐怕是负相关关系吧
比如游戏网站停止运营一天->收入降低->利润降低->纳税减少 or 公司捐款减少
水产社会就是这样构建的?
真是笑话。。