What to Read When you Don’t Read our Blog

This may come as a shock, but our humble blog is not the only game in town. Today I wanted to highlight a few other wonderful blogs that are out there and encourage you to check them out. I’ll do another feature like this soon, so if you’d like me to highlight your blog let me know…

Off the Charts provides reasoned, careful analysis from the left representing the views of researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy priorities. I liked this recent post that made a comment about how states collect their revenue: “personal and corporate income tax collections are far likelier to exceed estimates than are sales tax collections.  States that rely on personal income taxes and robust corporate taxes are seeing positive results.”

Something Not Unlike Research our friend Paul Kelleher has joined up with Bill Gardner’s awesome blog. Bill posts troubling maps that display the absolute decline in life expectancy in areas of the United States that had the most rapidly increasing obesity. Paul concludes that “claims about the point or purpose of insurance provide no guidance whatsoever in a ethical debates about social insurance policies.”

The Incidental Economist day after day provides some of the best commentary on United States health care. Austin Frakt reminded us last week of a frequently overlooked point: “Total Medicaid spending per person is about $6,300. Do you know what the average cost of the employer-sponsored tax subsidy is? You can read it off the graph above as the difference between the right-most and middle columns. It’s about $5,000.”

Consider the Evidence Lane Kenworthy’s blog brings together macroeconomics and social policy in an incredibly accessible manner. Check out a post in which he takes the cross-national debate on health care and life expectancy to a new level by focusing on trends : the United States’ “gain in life expectancy per additional health spending is much smaller than in other countries, particularly after the early 1980s when we reached expenditures of about $2,500 per person (in 2005 dollars) and life expectancy of around 74-75 years.”

Understanding Society is a nice outpost for scholarly rumination at the intersection of social theory, philosophy, and history. Daniel Little writes a post adjudicating some big debates in the philosophy of history: “There is no single unifying meaning or plan in history. And efforts to “colligate” events in such a way as to demonstrate that they contribute to such a plan seem to be unguided acts of creativity.”

A (Budding) Sociologist’s Commonplace Book provides some interesting perspectives on being a researcher in the social sciences. I loved this little recent post that looks at who gets more cites, Foucault or Bourdieu, “In all Sociology journals (according to JStor’s definitions), “Foucault” appears in 4,371 articles, “Bourdieu” appears in 4,846. In AJS, “Foucault” appears in 270 articles; “Bourdieu” in 296. In ASR, Foucault = 72; Bourdieu = 158. (Here’s a nice finding on the differences between AJS and ASR!)”

Statistical Modeling this is a funny(!), understandable and quirky blog on statistical modeling. What I love is that Andrew Gelman really hones in on substantive issues of interpretation. Scroll down to “Descriptive statistics, causal inference, and story time”, a wonderful blog post where he compares qualitative approaches to history of development with data-driven quantitative analyses.

About Brendan Saloner

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program. I completed a PhD in health policy at Harvard in 2012. My current research focuses on children's health, public programs, racial/ethnic disparities, and mental health. I am also interested in justice and health care.
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2 Responses to What to Read When you Don’t Read our Blog

  1. Folks might also want to check out ongoing work on inequality from the Institute for Policy Studies. Among the IPS efforts: Too Much, an email weekly on excess and inequality (current issue: http://toomuchonline.org/tmweekly.html), and the Inequality.Org web portal.

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