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Tuesday's Assorted Links
Taylor Swift, Soda Taxes, ChatGPT, Trade Programs, and Kelp
Hi y’all! Here are five stories from this week that contained some neat applications of economic principles or are related to teaching:
Would you give up your Taylor Swift tickets for a year of free pizza [The Hill]
Study shows sugar-sweetened beverage tax improves health, lowers healthcare costs [The Daily Californian]
ChatGPT can decode Fed Speak and predict stock moves from headlines [Bloomberg]
Trade programs — unlike other areas of higher education — are in hot demand [The Hechringer Report]
Global kelp forests provide services worth between $465 billion and $562 billion per year [Nature]
The 2023 NFL Draft is coming up this weekend, and it’s a great opportunity to talk about how amateur drafts are plagued by misaligned incentives that have led to the unsportsmanlike behavior known as tanking. The worst-performing teams at the end of each season have the best odds of getting top picks in the subsequent amateur draft, so some teams lose games on purpose, especially toward the end of the season.
While I was working on Monday’s post about tanking in professional sports, I came across Yaron Weitzman’s book “Tanking to the Top.” The book chronicles the Philadelphia 76ers' rebuilding process, known as "The Process," which started in 2013 and lasted for several years.
The book takes readers behind the scenes of the Sixers organization, exploring the decisions and strategies that led to the team's controversial and highly scrutinized approach to building a championship-caliber team through a series of high draft picks and intentionally losing games. It also provides insights into the personalities and motivations of key figures involved, such as former general manager Sam Hinkie and current team owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer.