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November 29th, 2001 - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Nov. 29th, 2001

01:19 am - Anyone who thinks money can't buy happiness doesn't know where to shop.

Does Money Buy Happiness? A Longitudinal Study Using Data on Windfalls
March 2001

Jonathan Gardner
Department of Economics
Warwick University CV4 7AL

Andrew Oswald
Department of Economics Warwick
University CV4 7AL



The most fundamental idea in economics is that money makes people happy. This paper constructs a test. It studies longitudinal information on the psychological health and reported happiness of approximately 9,000 randomly chosen people. In the spirit of a natural experiment, the paper shows that those in the panel who receive windfalls -- by winning lottery money or receiving an inheritance -- have higher mental wellbeing in the following year. A windfall of 50,000 pounds (approximately 75,000 US dollars) is associated with a rise in wellbeing of between 0.1 and 0.3 standard deviations. Approximately one million pounds (1.5 million dollars), therefore, would be needed to move someone from close to the bottom of a happiness frequency distribution to close to the top. Whether these happiness gains wear off over time remains an open question.

Lot's of fascinating stuff on Oswald's site: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/Economics/oswald/

02:45 am - Backwoods Home, Lehman's, Mother Earth News, Real Goods, Whole Earth Catalog

A potpourri of off the grid resources:

Back Woods Home Magazine
Off the grid howto articles plus libertarian propaganda.

Lehman's Catalog
For all your Amish tool needs.

Mother Earth News
Off the grid living. My parents have subscribed since the '70's.

Real Goods Catalog
More off the grid/solar living.

Whole Earth Catalog
Dated, and I don't agree with the motivation for much of it, but still great source of cool weird stuff.

03:34 am - Terrorism and You -- The Real Odds

Via Alex Taborrok of the Armchair Economist list. An illustration of the dangers of misjudging risks.


Terrorism and You -- The Real Odds

By Michael L. Rothschild

Sunday, November 25, 2001; Page B07

The odds of dying in an automobile accident each year are about one in 7,000, yet we continue to drive. The odds of dying from heart disease in
any given year are one in 400 and of dying from cancer one in 600, yet many of us fail to exercise or maintain a healthy diet. We have learned
to live with these common threats to our health. Yet we have been afraid to return to the malls and the skies.

What are the odds of dying on our next flight or next trip to a shopping mall? There are more than 40,000 malls in this country, and each is
open about 75 hours per week. If a person shopped for two hours each week and terrorists were able to destroy one mall per week, the odds of
being at the wrong place at the wrong time would be approximately 1.5 million to 1. If terrorists destroyed one mall each month, the odds
would climb to one in 6 million. This assumes the total destruction of the entire mall; if that unlikely event didn't occur, the odds would
become even more favorable.

Read more...Collapse )

03:40 am - Iatrogenic Risks of Risk Management

Managing the Iatrogenic Risks of Risk Management
Jonathan Baert Wiener
9 Risk: Health, Safety & Environment 39 [Winter 1998]

"...Empirical study of the modern medical system suggests that
iatrogenesis is serious. In the most thorough analysis to date, the
Harvard Medical Practice Study Group studied a representative sample
of over 30,000 hospital records from over 50 hospitals in New York
State. Using carefully developed protocols and trained reviewers, it
found that 3.7% of all hospitalizations induced iatrogenic health events,
of which just more than one in eight (14% of all iatrogenic injuries, and
about 0.5% of all hospitalizations) were iatrogenic fatalities. 2 9

Extrapolating this data to the full U.S. population, suggests a national
annual total of over 1.2 million iatrogenic injuries and over 150,000
iatrogenic deaths from hospitalization  amounting to 7.5% of all
deaths in the nation each year, more fatalities than are caused each year
by, e.g., auto (40,000 to 50,000) and occupational accidents (about
6,000) combined.30..."

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