Archive for April 7th, 2011

Profile of Al Roth

April 7, 2011 has an exciting profile of Al Roth of Harvard University.

Sitting in his office last week, Roth talked about how it was time for economics, as a field, to turn a corner — how merely describing markets as they naturally occur was no longer enough. Instead, he said, economists have to make themselves useful by fixing broken systems in which people aren’t getting what they want.

“We’re starting to know enough about how some of these things work,” Roth said, “that in some cases, when you’ve got a market in trouble, and you think, ‘Who’re you gonna call?’ you could call an economist.”

When most people think of economics, they think of money — the study of how much things cost and why. Roth distinguishes himself by being more interested in situations where money plays little or no role — for instance, the process that determines who among the thousands of patients awaiting kidney transplants nationwide should receive the small number of organs that are available. As a society, we’ve decided we’re not comfortable with people selling their organs, so some other system — some other kind of market — is required. And a market, in Roth’s view, does not necessarily come down to prices, nor is it always ruled by simple principles like supply and demand: As long as people are competing with each other to get what they want, then resources are being allocated, and that means economists should be thinking about it.

Read the whole thing. It has some nice insights on the market-designer. 

Is India’s recent high infllation a new normal?

April 7, 2011

Subir Gokarn’s speeches have been amazing bringing amazing insights and food for thought. His speeches especially on inflation are really  amazing.

His recent speech was reported in the media as RBI signalling high inflation as the new normal for Indian economy. This is worrisome as persistent high inflation erodes prices stability mandate of RBI. Moreover, it leads to lower investment and growth levels as well.

In the speech Gokarn looks at three qs:


How National Geographic Society is trying to change

April 7, 2011

Here is a nice brief of a HBS case study on National Geographic Society (NGS). 

NGS has been struggling to increase its sales since 1990s and roped in a new CEO in 1996. The case study deals with the changes and challenges in the organisation since then.


How teaching finance in MBA curriculum should change post crisis?

April 7, 2011

JR Varma of IIM Ahmedabad has written a nice paper on the topic. As one of the leading professors of finance in India, it is useful to hear his views on teaching finance post the crisis. (Read this speech as well from a Canadian Finance professor)

Summary of Prof Varma’s paper is finance theory needs to change with times. It needs new insights within finance and also take ideas from other fields like sociology, psychology etc. Moreover, we need more maths and models :


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