Undergrad Economics

A site to help undergraduate economic majors find information that will help them study and research. It will include links to certain questions. It will also be used to answer policy questions by finding economic answers.

Monday, June 28, 2004


Since my last post I have graduated from college with a Finance and Economics degree. I have gotten a job in Wisconsin with a good company and I don't have as much time to post. I am thinking of what topic I want to talk about on my future blog. It might be nothing to do with economics or it might be all about economics. I will be back in a few with an update.
posted by gaddismatt  # 6:40 PM

Thursday, April 29, 2004

A few links for you to read during the weekend.....

I am taking Tapit in the Kentucky Derby. He drinks Guinness, which this study says is good for you. (Link via The Sports Economist) He is in the 18th starting position and the odds are 8-1. If he wins I am going on that diet.

I talked about Barry Bonds in my last post. Jayson Stark has some great info on Bonds and other weird stats in baseball in these two articles: Useless Information Department and Really Useless Information. Barry Bonds is going to be the subject of many studies.

This article about a student living in a NYU library. I always thought it would be cool to live in the library, but I don't know if I could do it that long.

Last Note: I want to do a game theory study on how people bet in Final Jeopardy. I think people make some dumb moves.
posted by gaddismatt  # 3:09 PM

Monday, April 26, 2004

Ok a short little post today, because I should be posting more often. The first thing I want to mention is the West Wing episode last week that talked about trade and globalization. The show does a great job of writing and expressing different views. I thought the point they were trying to get across was that globalization was good in the long run, but in the short run it is going to hurt people. Those people will be Americans losing their jobs to cheaper labor in different countries. It was interesting because they used Josh, who is usually a very strong character, to show how outsourcing has a personal side. I will try and post the script if I can find it.

I also wanted to make a comment on Barry Bonds. Last week I heard on ESPN Radio while driving home from a job interview an amazing stat about Barry. He had swung at 61 pitches so far this year. (As of Wednesday 4/21) He missed the ball only 7 times. That is rather amazing. Even more amazing is that he has hit 9 home runs. That means about every 6 swings he hits a home run. It takes the average player 100 swings. Just an amazing stat, he is on pace to have the most efficient season ever.

My last comment is on the NFL Draft. I spent all day Saturday watching the draft. I find it amazing because it is such a chess game. I was trying to think of the draft in economic terms. The draft is a way for the league to allocate resources in a fair manner. The draft is also a way of determining market value. The higher the player goes the higher the market value. General Managers and teams collect as much information as they can before the draft and then use this to their advantage. It would be interesting to look at what information is the most important to them. Is the 40 time the most important for WRs? What is more important for a cornerback, 40 time or height? I think there could be some interesting studies done about the draft. One interesting thing is that the Packers picked a punter in the third round. They feel he is third round talent, but the market might have allowed them to draft him later.

Hopefully some more stuff this week.
posted by gaddismatt  # 11:21 AM

Monday, April 19, 2004

It has been a long time since I have posted so here is a short one. I am going to give you a link to what I am reading tonight as I go to bed. I have to read it for a discussion on globalization tomorrow. Tomorrow night I will discuss more about the articles. In the next few days I will talk about beer drinking decisions, Chicago Cub baseball, the job search, and the paper I am working on.

Mary Robinson, Shaping Globalization: The Role of Human Rights

Mary Robinson, "Getting Back on Track With the Global Human Rights Agenda"

More Mary Robinson Speeches

Have a great night.
posted by gaddismatt  # 9:53 PM

Sunday, April 11, 2004


I have gotten some e-mails about my post on "College Students Are Not Rational". They are very helpful and they remind me that there is a lot I don't know. That is what I really love about this site...........I know nothing about economics. This site though allows me to display what I am thinking and then really smart people e-mail me and tell me where my thinking breaks down. I feel more college students should have to blog so they can learn about their thought process. I am going to paste the two e-mails below.

The first one is from Jacqueline Passey (check out her blog):
Hi from a fellow undergrad Econ student. What you were experiencing is
that you have a very high personal discount rate for fun now versus fun
(or lack of pain) later. At least that's my theory.

The second e-mail is from Charles Parekh (check out his blog)

You asked for an email, so I thought I'd give a quick comment. What you
are hinting at is what is often called discounting future consumption.
In other words, you value current consumption (going to bars) more
heavily than future consumption (feeling good in the morning). This is
normal, and perfectly rational. Different people will make different
choices depending on their discount factor for future consumption. More
to the point, younger people do all sorts of things that show they
value current consumption over future consumption: you borrow against
future earning to pay for college (student loans), you borrow to buy a
house, you gain credit card debt.

All of these things are quite rational, and don't exactly mean college
students are rational only in the short run. Rather, they are rational
and discount the future much more heavily than older people.

For more insight into this, turn to the chapter on two-period
consumption models in your micro textbook.

I love the responses. I am hoping that I can continue to post questions and thoughts from my basic life and then we can apply it to economics. Have a great day.
posted by gaddismatt  # 9:54 PM

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


My intramural basketball career here at UW-La Crosse has just ended with another championship loss. We lost in three overtimes, and in the third overtime I had a chance to tie the game with a three and I missed. I am a little upset with that. I am going to stop talking about that before I cry though. Here is what I have been thinking about lately.

I have decided to write my globalization paper on "Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries". I don't know much about this, but I decided it would be fun to research something I know nothing about. I plan to highlight my thought process on this paper on this site. I think this will be a good way for people to comment and help me with my paper. I started today by thinking of some basic questions I want to answer:

1) What roles do entrepreneurs play in a developing countries market?
2) Where do these entrepreneurs get their money?
3) Are they from the entrepreneurs from within the country or do they come from outside countries?
4) Define: entrepreneur
5) What steps does an entrepreneur take in this country and other developed countries?
6) Do these steps change in a developing country?
7) What barriers exist?
8) What institutions exist? Do they help?

From here I really just have to learn more about the subject. In the next few days I hope to have some links to these articles.

I have also been reading a lot of baseball stuff lately, because I am excited that baseball has started again. In the future I want to do some baseball research and one thing I want to research is what makes up a winning team. Lots of people are using economics to study baseball, but I have yet to see a study on this. Here are some good links to sites on baseball.

Aaron's Baseball Blog
The Cub Reporter
The Sports Economist
Wait til Next Year
posted by gaddismatt  # 10:22 PM

Friday, April 02, 2004


Last night I was really trying to use economics to make my decision about what I should do for the night. Let me take you through my thought process. I was in the shower it was 10:00pm I had just gotten back from playing some basketball and running when I was deciding which of the following to do:

A) Go downtown to Brothers for $5 all you drink.
B) Stay at home and watch some TV.
C) Stay at home and do homework.

Important Note: I had to work at 8am the next day till 6pm. We were doing interviews for people applying to work at the REC Center.

So I learned a little bit about decision making in my micro class and I was told people choose their decision based what option maximizes their utility. So I considered the utility of each.

A)Probably the greatest utility because drinking at bar is good times, BUT being hungover at work all day is no fun at all. So this raised some questions. Is the utility I am trying to maximize only in the short run so it only includes that night? Is their negative utility the next day and does that offset the positive from the night before?
B) Requires the least amount of effort, but it is really not that fun. This made me question though were effort comes in to affect.
C) Probably what I should do because I need to a get a lot of stuff done. But it requires effort to do homework. In the end finishing the homework would be a great thing, probably a better feeling than going downtown. It really made me question the effort factor though.

Well I thought of all this while I was in the shower. I came out of the shower and I had yet to make my decision. Now it is Friday morning and I am sitting at work. What did I do last night..........................WENT TO THE BARS.

This made me conclude that college students are only rational in the extreme short run. If anyone economist is out there and can help me explain some of this please send me an e-mail at gaddismr@yahoo.com. I would love to post some papers on this or just talk more about. I think this might be a future study (if I ever go to grad school). Well time to go and interview some people. Have a great weekend everyone.
posted by gaddismatt  # 7:42 AM


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