« January 2010 | Main | March 2010 »

February 2010

"Toddler economicus"

Abstract for "Toddler economicus: childhood habit cessation in a Beckerian Model of pacifier use" by F. G. Mixon, Jr., T. D. Poussan, and T. G. Green, Applied Economics, 41(6), 2009:

As a test of elements of Gary Becker's model of habitual behaviours, the present study examines another potential example of a habit pacifier use - within the youngest segment of the population, infants and toddlers. To explore the facets of a child's pacifier habit, we make use of an extensive questionnaire on the effectiveness of several proposed methods for stopping a child's pacifier consumption. Results indicate that children's pacifier use approaches the habit/addiction threshold, and it is best alleviated with abrupt cessation, or 'cold turkey.' Interestingly, our empirical finding that 'cold turkey' dominates or is superior to other methods of getting children to stop relying on pacifier use ( e. g. limiting time of use, altering the pacifier's tip, etc.) has two implications. First, it supports the Beckerian notion that a child's pacifier habit approaches the habit/addiction threshold, as stated above. Second, it contradicts suggestions from many in the health profession to seek methods other than 'cold turkey' to stop a child's pacifier use.

I don't know about in general, but my wife imposed "cold turkey" on my older daughter's pacifier use and it worked out just fine.

"We’re All Right-Wing Bastards Now . . .

. . . that is, if the NEA’s logic is to be believed."

On the final day of the National Education Association’s convention last summer, its outgoing general counsel, Bob Chanin, gave a speech for the ages. After sharing fond recollections of his 41 years as the NEA’s top lawyer, he switched gears and started lobbing grenades at “conservative and right-wing bastards,” including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. The NEA and its affiliates, by contrast, were “the nation’s leading advocates for public education and the type of liberal social and economic agenda that these groups find objectionable.” Chanin’s glowing portrait of the NEA was wildly wrong, of course, but so was his characterization of the union’s opponents. People of all political stripes—not just right-wing “bastards”—are starting to realize that the single biggest impediment to education reform is the NEA itself.

I think it's quite clear who the bastards are.

Three posts from Mark J. Perry on market-driven innovations in medical care

If the political system stays out of the way, some great things are happening to make medical care cheaper and better.

"Bypass the Doctor and Go Straight to the Lab".

"Market-Based Health Care Reform: Cash Only Family Practice, No Insurance, House Calls for $90".

"More on Cash-Only Medicine: Like Being Born Again".