What We're Reading (and Seeing) 3/31/15

Waves of people

One of the ILW’s daily email’s last week included a link to a visualization of 200 years of immigration to the United States. The trends and aesthetics are both striking.




Monetizing the psyche

For better or worse, economists tend to be quite familiar with the sticky reality of monetizing aspects of humanity that are emotionally difficult for many of us. Mental health is certainly a subject that is understudied, confusing, and even repellant; strong opinions abound… so why not see if putting numbers to it allows us to better understand its effects? The numbers are a bit “gray,” but there is certainly evidence to believe that, even economically-speaking (not morally or otherwise), it would be beneficial to make a stronger investment in mental health.

“Where relevant statistics have been available, a huge trove of data has been collected over the past 15 years on how these mental health issues translate into healthcare costs and disability claims expenses.”

 “Some estimates place the return on investment from screenings and candid discussions about depression at $1.70 per $1 spent. And last year, a study suggested that for every $1 spent on creating a mentally healthy workplace—in terms of programs, resources, awareness, and so on—a company can recoup about $2.30….

 “It may sound distasteful to discuss the mental health of real people in terms of the dollars and cents it can bring tax collectors or corporations. However, it may be one of the best win-win arguments we have right now to promote these services, especially in the areas that right now, need them the most.”




A Google-doodle learning experience

I always enjoy the sporadic Google doodle, especially when it teaches me something new or helps me remember notable milestones throughout human history. As of March 23 last week, I had never heard of Emmy Noether (unless it was in high school science class and I promptly forgot after graduation).

Noether’s determination and accomplishments are quite impressive! (Obviously). I am a pretty big fan of Einstein – so anyone that he thought was remarkable is definitely on my list of people to learn about.


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