Author Archives: anneloesdros

The financial crisis and blood donations

Here’s an interesting idea on the effect of the financial crisis on blood donations.

But as the bad economy has caused a decrease in blood donations, it has also served to lessen the demand.

People who still have their jobs are anxious to take a day off work to donate their blood. Although it might be expected that the unemployed would be more willing to sell their blood, it turns out that they are likely to be upset and stressed, so they do not feel like donating their blood ( Moreover, the majority of the blood donations are supported by businesses, of which many have been shut down. These three reasons combined have led to a decrease in the supply of blood.

However, the demand for blood has decreased, ofsetting the decrease in supply:

Botos said Yolo County hospitals have reported a recent and significant drop in elective surgeries and that could account for the decreased demand. 

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Economics and Mathematics

Looks like not every is too happy with the increased use of mathematical tools in economics.. Interesting in the light of this weeks discussion, about economic analysis expanding its boundaries into other non-economic fields. Take a look at how some famous economists react to the extension of mathematics into economics:


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‘Keynes: The Return of the Master’

In this excerpt from ‘Keynes: the return of the master’, written by Robert Skidelsky (2009), Skidelsky argues that we need John Maynard Keynes in order to handle the financial  crisis. Skidelsky says the following about the cause of the crisis:

I therefore believe that the root cause of the present crisis lies in the intellectual failure of economics. It was the wrong ideas of economists which legitimized the deregulation of finance, and it was the deregulation of finance which led to the credit explosion which collapsed into the credit crunch.

In order to overcome the crisis, Skidelsky proposes the following:

An economy hit by a shock does not maintain its buoyancy; rather, it becomes a leaky balloon. Hence Keynes gave governments two tasks: to pump up the economy with air when it starts to deflate, and to minimize the chances of serious shocks happening in the first place.

Skidelsky believes that the first lesson as begun to sunk in (e.g. through bail-outs, stimulus packages), but that the second lesson as not yet been  learned, although governments have come up with reforms (see also: ). It thus seems that there is a Keynesian approach to ‘healing’ the economy.

On, I found an interesting comment regarding Skidelsky’s book:

I am sure many economists will not like this book because they think these questions to be irrelevant and outside the realm of economics. However, reality-based economists will surely find lots of value in this timely book and perhaps the legacy of Keynes is a collection of very relevant questions to which each generation needs to find its own answers.

Perhaps the  uncertainty about the future and current state of the economy will again lead to the popularity boost of Keynes’ ideas.

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Colleges Are Failing in Graduation Rates

This article discusses the effect of college drop-outs in America. The author suggests that public universities should be added to the list of organisations whose failures have done most damage to the American economy in the recent years. He puts public universities in line with Wall Street firms and regulatory agencies that brought the financial crisis. It presumes that college drop-outs are a reason for the soaring of inequality and has slowed productivity growth.

This article is interesting in our discussion, since these findings are brought forward in the book ‘Crossing the Finish Line’, written by William Bowen (an economist and former Princeton president) and Michael McPershon (en economist and former Macalester College President). Again, economists seem to pop-up in a seemingly unrelated field.

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