John Irons's Blog


Economic News, Data and Analysis

NET Institute

I just got this email from Prof. N. Economides at NYU. It looks like he is starting an interesting new institute.
Networks, Electronic Commerce, and Telecommunications,(“NET”) Institute
Dear Colleague,
I am writing to announce the creation of NET Institute, the Networks, Electronic Commerce and Telecommunications Institute. The NET Institute is a non-profit institution devoted to research on network industries, electronic commerce, telecommunications, the Internet, “virtual networks” comprised of computers that share the same technical standard or operating system, and on network issues in general. The NET Institute will function as a world-wide focal point for research and open exchange and dissemination of ideas in these areas. The NET Institute will competitively fund cutting edge research projects in these areas, and it will organize conferences and seminars on these issues. See
The NET Institute will fund a number of scientific research projects in the areas of network industries, including wired and wireless networks, “virtual networks,” electronic commerce, telecommunications, and the Internet. Proposed research may be either theoretical or empirical, and may also analyze issues of public policy and antitrust. The deadline for proposals is May 5, 2003. Details on the requirements are at . Please distribute this information to researchers who may be interested to get funding for their research in these subjects.
Thank you.
Best regards,
Prof. Nicholas Economides
Director, NET Institute

Filed under: Economics, Economists, Economy, Microeconomics, Teaching, Technology

Economics Education

Steven Pinker voices support for economics education at all levels. I have to agree!

How to Get Inside a Student’s Head
by Steven Pinker

Finally, a better understanding of the mind can lead to setting new priorities as to what is taught. The goal of education should be to provide students with new cognitive tools for grasping the world. Observers from our best scientists to Jay Leno are appalled by the scientific illiteracy of typical Americans. This obliviousness leads people to squander their health on medical flimflam and to misunderstand the strengths and weaknesses of a market economy in their political choices.
The obvious solution is instruction at all levels in relatively new fields like economics, evolutionary biology and statistics. Yet most curriculums are set in stone, because no one wants to be the philistine who seems to be saying that it is unimportant to learn a foreign language or the classics. But there are only 24 hours in a day, and a decision to teach one subject is a decision not to teach another. The question is not whether trigonometry is important — it is — but whether it is more important than probability; not whether an educated person should know the classics, but whether it is more important to know the classics than elementary economics.
This is not just a question of “relevance” to everyday life; these fields are as rigorous and fundamental as those in traditional curriculums.

Filed under: Economics, Education, Teaching

Resources for Teachers and Students

I have compiled a list of those sites which I find useful to keep up
with the economy and that help in my teachings. The links below are usually
good sites for finding handouts and other things of interest for students.

Every Day: News

Cnnfn -economy. :
U.S. Economy

FinancialTimes News & Events: Today’s

Economic Indicators:
The Dismal Scientist
– Your Eye on the Market

Non-economic news

MSNBC – for technology and internet


Every Week

The Economist

Online: Economy

Economics at The
Idea Channel

Economic Reporting Review: Fairness
& Accuracy In Reporting


Every Month

The Brookings

NBER Digest

Region Magazine

Data: US

The Economic Statistics
Briefing Room

BEA’s Overview of the
– recent GDP, consumption etc.

BLS Economy at a Glance
– data on employment, prices, productivity.

FRED – Federal Reserve Economic

of the Economy – About and The Conference Board.

Demographic Profiles of US States,
Cities, Towns

Economagic: Economic Time Series

Data: World

OECD Statistics

— The World Factbook 1999

The World Bank Group–Development

IMF Country

Other Resources

The Economic Report of the

Federal Reserve Board:
Speeches and Testimony

Course/syllabus ideas and  Education:

NSNS Syllabits: Economics

WLH – Economics 

– EconEdLink 

Region, December 1998 issue

Economists Can Improve Economic Education

The Journal of Economic Education

Economic Education Web: EcEdWeb

FTE: Foundation for teaching economics

Chronicle of Higher Education

Filed under: Teaching