From the monthly archives:

March 2021

The Boys Aren’t Back in Town

by Harry on March 3, 2021

A colleague from the school of Education who is visited my (in person, on campus) classes for the first time expressed surprise that out of 40 students total (distributed equally between two classes) only 8 are male. Both classes are in a classroom that is inside a large, new, well-ventilated building with a large atrium in which students typically sit and work (silently). Normally, I would say, that the students in that space are about 50% male. But, prompted by my colleague, I have started counting: from outward appearances the ratio of male: female seems about the same as in my classes. I’m on campus most days, so have started counting (its easy, there’s hardly anyone around). Every part of the campus I am on has about the same ratio, and that includes the Engineering side of campus which I walk through twice a day even when I am not, otherwise, on campus. I’ve inquired with my students: they report roughly the same ratios in the spaces they frequent and that among their friends a much larger proportion of women than of men are taking classes in person.

I presume that the registrar has data on who is taking our in-person classes. I’m curious whether people on other campuses have noticed the same phenomenon, or whether it is specific to Madison or even just that I have a highly unrepresentative experience. If it is a general phenomenon: why?

Here’s the draft introduction for The Economic Consequences of the Pandemic. Comments, criticism and congratulations all appreciated.

Too many choices

by John Q on March 3, 2021

In the NY Times, Paul Krugman makes the case that too much choice (particularly about retirement investment) can be bad

Ani Guerdjikova and I demonstrate this with lots of algebra