Feb 13 2009

Welker’s daily links 02/12/2009

Published by at 12:30 am under Daily Links

  • Leave it to a brainy Indian to come up with the cheapest and surest way to stimulate our economy: immigration.

    “All you need to do is grant visas to two million Indians, Chinese and Koreans,” said Shekhar Gupta, editor of The Indian Express newspaper. “We will buy up all the subprime homes. We will work 18 hours a day to pay for them. We will immediately improve your savings rate — no Indian bank today has more than 2 percent nonperforming loans because not paying your mortgage is considered shameful here. And we will start new companies to create our own jobs and jobs for more Americans.”

    tags: economics

  • Bribing smokers with cash incentives helps them stop, US research suggests.

    Smokers are three times more likely to kick the habit for at least six months when they are paid up to $750 (£520), a new study has found.

    Nearly 900 General Electric workers took part in the test across 85 US sites. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    GE will launch a similar scheme in 2010 for all US employees, believing it will be cost-effective in the long term.

    It aims to save some of the estimated $50m spent annually on extra costs for smoking employees.

    The company believes it will get back what it spends over three to five years, through reduced illness and increased productivity.

    Financial incentives

    Previous studies had indicated that smaller financial incentives had little effect on quitting smoking, said Kevin Volpp of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, who led the research project.

    “Incentive programs work if they’re well designed and adequately funded,” Mr Volpp told Reuters news agency.

    “If you do a low-budget incentive program, it may have little effect.”

    “Our study shows that if you’re able to get people smoke-free and keep them smoke-free for six months or more, there’s a fighting chance they can stay smoke-free on their own,” he said.

    In the GE study, half the participants were given the financial incentive, while the rest were merely encouraged to join quit-smoking programmes.

    tags: economics

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

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