Economics

"How to reform the economics Ph.D"

Tyler Cowen proposes as follows:

Eliminate the economics Ph.D, period.  Offer everyone three years of graduate economics education, and no more (with a clock reset allowed for pregnancy).  Did Smith, Keynes, or Hayek have an economics Ph.D?  This way, no one will assume you know what you are talking about, and the underlying message is that economics learning is lifelong.

It's an interesting idea but I, for one, certainly won't be holding my breath waiting for it to be adopted.


"Asset Backward: State pension funds keep increasing risky investments—as pension debt mounts."

At the risk of being monomaniacal here is yet another link to a discussion of government pensions. (It may be the last one for a while; I'll try.) And call me a crazy pessimist, but I don't think this ends well:

Since 2001, the study found, most government pension funds have boosted their share of investments in riskier financial vehicles, from volatile stocks to real estate. During this period, pension funds achieved median annualized returns of just 6.4 percent, well below the goal of 7.5 percent to 8 percent returns. Only one pension system has met its investing goals since 2001. No wonder, then, that the indebtedness of state systems increased from $33 billion to a staggering $1.5 trillion.