Configuration Unemployment: Measuring Structural Problems in a Contemporary Economy

<h2><a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ID-10079499.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2600" alt="unemployment" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ID-10079499-300x300.jpg" width="300" height="300" /></a>"The fact that it has not disappeared from the planet, and could potentially return to countries like the U.S. under the right conditions,makes sector analysis as a measure of structural unemployment look more like the cyclical model"</h2> <p>By Holly A. Bell</p> <p>In a recent article, Paul Krugman asked: “Is there any point to economic analysis?”.  The reason for his frustration is that “Beltway conventional wisdom has settled on the proposition that high unemployment is structural, not cyclical, even though there is now a bipartisan consensus among economists that the opposite is true.” Using the narrow definition of structural unemployment, Dr. Krugman is exactly right. When utilizing economic models for structural unemployment, we would expect employment disruptions in specific industries and areas of the country, including high unemployment in the vanishing sectors and shortages of workers in the emerging area of the economy. The

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When Did Collaboration Become Cheating?

<h2><strong><a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ID-10056573.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-1967" title="ID-10056573" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ID-10056573-300x196.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="196" /></a> We Need to Teach Collaboration for an Office-Less World</strong></h2> By Holly A. Bell <h3><strong>Cheating vs. Collaboration</strong></h3> Earlier this month we heard about a cheating scandal at Harvard University in which students worked together on a take-home exam they were expected to complete independently. As a professor I have a couple of concerns with this. First, while I understand the honor code (although ironically the exam was in an “Introduction to Congress” course), I wouldn’t give my students a take-home exam and not expect them to work together. Why not give an in-class open book, open note, open computer exam if independent work is required? Sarah Green articulated my second concern very well in an article for <em>The Harvard Business Review</em>, entitled “<a href="http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/hbreditors/2012/09/cheating_at_harvard_and_in_the.html">Cheating at Harvard, and in the ‘Real World</a>’”. In the ‘real world’ of work, no one operates in a vacuum. We

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Headlines You Might See During An Economic Recovery

<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/newspapers.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1231" title="newspapers" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/newspapers-300x225.jpg" alt="recovery"width="300" height="225" /></a>By Holly A. Bell The newspaper headlines seem to be a mix of positive and negative economic indicators lately. On the positive side we’re hearing new jobless claims and unemployment are down, corporate profits are up, and the stock market is at its highest level in years. However, the negative does seem to prevail this week. Headlines have included housing sales losing ground while mortgage interest rates increase, FedEx has warned they are lowering their financial expectations for the near-term due to predictions of slower economic growth, and others have even started to mention stagflation. A <a rel="nofollow" href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304636404577295421787354492.html?grcc=16da3bc60ef29c4da36bdfbea438d434Z10&mod=WSJ_hps_sections_lifestyle"><em>Wall Street Journal </em>article</a> this week outlined some “silly” economic indicators of improved economic conditions. They include more people going to sit-down restaurants, increased demand for liposuction, and more visits to dry cleaners. While I (and the author of the article I might add) think

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Determining ‘Value’ in Higher Education

<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/55973z0nf14698b.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-803" title="55973z0nf14698b" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/55973z0nf14698b-200x300.jpg" alt="education"width="200" height="300" /></a>By Holly A. Bell Last week <a rel="nofollow" href="http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Organizations/Schools/The+Princeton+Review" target="_blank">The Princeton Review</a> released their annual list of “<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/best-value-colleges" target="_blank">Best Value Colleges</a>”. While the Princeton Review makes their selections based on a formula that includes academics, cost of attendance, and gift aid, it does make you wonder about the definition of “best value”. Many of the colleges and universities on the list have rather high price tags. While some of the usual expensive schools were on the list including <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.yale.edu/" target="_blank">Yale</a>, <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.vassar.edu/" target="_blank">Vassar</a>, and <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.reed.edu/" target="_blank">Reed</a>, the top three included <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.bates.edu/" target="_blank">Bates</a>, <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.colby.edu/" target="_blank">Colby</a>, and <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.middlebury.edu/#story353239" target="_blank">Middlebury</a> Colleges. Granted, they make up for their high tuitions with significant student grants, but what if they didn’t? Would they still be a value? How do students measure value in their educations? <h2>How

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The Interview, It’s Not As Bad As It Seems

<h2><a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/470459qwx7p1nzr.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-659" title="470459qwx7p1nzr" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/470459qwx7p1nzr-199x300.jpg" alt="interview"width="199" height="300" /></a>About that job interview...</h2> By Holly A. Bell More 20 years ago I applied for a state job. The job required a prequalifying test, which I took and ranked #1 out of something like 300 people who took it. That earned me an <i>interview</i>. I was very enthusiastic about the potential job, but I was young and still relatively inexperienced with interviewing for any job that didn’t require scooping ice cream or running a cash register. It was my first “professional” <u>interview</u> and I bombed it. Big time. I had the firm handshake, the posture, the eye contact, but was completely unprepared for the questions. I swore I’d never let that happen again and began to educate myself on interviewing skills. I came across <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2011/04/27/top-executive-recruiters-agree-there-are-only-three-key-job-interview-questions/ " target="_blank">an article this week from <em>Forbes</em></a> that does a great job outlining the three basic interview

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Manufacturing: America’s Next Industrial Evolution?

<h2><a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/48518xmfkh8t0gp.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-579" title="48518xmfkh8t0gp" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/48518xmfkh8t0gp-199x300.jpg" alt="manufacturing"width="199" height="300" /></a></h2> By Holly A. Bell While I understand and accept the arguments for why globalization is a positive thing—higher wages and a growing global middle-class, lower cost of goods, and more goods available through specialization and trade (just to name a few)—an increasingly globalized <u>manufacturing</u> sector gives me cause for concern about competitive advantage in the United States. <h2>Should manufacturing be the next era in our industrial evolution?</h2> Readers of this blog recognize I am a free-trade capitalist who believes in competition, but like most people who identify themselves as such, I’m not a cold-hearted snake. I recently read an excellent, yet disturbing, <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?pagewanted=7&_r=1" target="_blank">New York Times article</a> that discusses why Apple is so pleased with their decision to move manufacturing from the United States to China. Their reasons? Here’s a hint, they didn’t mention the cost of labor as you might expect,

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Who Are The 1%?

<h2><a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/29442ssj4gp91zy.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-502" title="29442ssj4gp91zy" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/29442ssj4gp91zy-199x300.jpg" alt="1%"width="199" height="300" /></a>So who are the top 1% of wage earners in America?</h2> By Holly A. Bell What are their lives and households like and what do they do? <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/business/the-1-percent-paint-a-more-nuanced-portrait-of-the-rich.html?ref=business" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em> recently published an article</a> that gives us some real insights into the highest <i>1%</i> of income earners. You might be surprised who they are. The first thing most people don’t realize is the range of incomes in the top <u>1%</u>. The bottom of this group makes about $380,000 a year. While I realize this is a significant income, it is not unusual for a household with two working professionals to earn $380,000. Doctors, lawyers, pilots, entrepreneurs, accountants, and managers certainly have the potential to make $190,000 each or more. The thing that is significant about the lower end of the 1% is that these are the working class 1% who

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It’s Not Always a Competition

<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/659170i7dhnnvew.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-395" title="659170i7dhnnvew" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/659170i7dhnnvew-300x199.jpg" alt="Competition"width="300" height="199" /></a>Healthy <i>competition</i> is one thing, but… By Holly A. Bell I recently attended an ice hockey game that caused me to believe the Roman Empire still exists. They had simply moved The Colosseum from Rome to Anchorage.  I kept wondering which side Spartacus played for and why they’d traded swords and shields for hockey sticks and face-masks. To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, it was like going to the fights and having a hockey game break out. It seemed to have all the elements of the Roman games: drama, cheating, and fights to the death. But the most remarkable part was the spectators. Like every Colosseum <u>competition</u> I have ever watched in movies and on television, the bloodier the battle, the more they cheered. When it was broken up they booed. When the visiting team’s coach was thrown out of the game they booed and

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How YOU Can Fix The Economy

<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/203668u9t40fhwp.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-113" title="Solutions" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/203668u9t40fhwp-150x150.jpg" alt="economy"width="150" height="150" /></a>By Holly A. Bell Many years ago I asked my now nearly 90-year-old grandmother when the wisdom of age sets in and we start to feel in control of our lives. She made one of those “Ha!” noises and said she still felt like she was in her 20s, can’t figure out how she got to this point in her life, and would let me know when she felt like she was in control. I’m still waiting. Now that I’m firmly ensconced in middle age, I’ve started to understand a few things including why people have face-lifts and the importance of calcium. I’ve also sharpened my perception of what it means to be in control of one’s life and the power we have as individuals within an <i>economy</i>. Unfortunately the design and assumptions used in our  modeling of the <u>economy</u> attempt to minimize

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Don’t Quit, Negotiate

<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/66188pbudu2cp41.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-199" title="66188pbudu2cp41" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/66188pbudu2cp41-199x300.jpg" alt="negotiate"width="199" height="300" /></a>By Holly A. Bell I was in project avoidance mode at work when I started poking around the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> online. I came across an article entitled, “Quit: Do It Now” by Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist. I jumped a bit and wondered, “Do I have to?” I really don’t want to work on this project, but do I have to quit? What did she know that I didn’t? The article suggests quitting your job if it makes you feel overworked or overextended and advocates doing so in a Nike “Just Do It” style. I’m afraid if I did that I’d have short periods of work followed by long periods of unemployment. One problem with jobs is that they are attached to lives and between the two--periods of stress and overwork are inevitable. I’m not sure quitting my job would help.

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