Editors' Picks – 5 October 2014

This week in Editors’ Picks we take a look at the individual’s  compared to the public’s benefit from tertiary education, a $23million book about flies, shifting the focus of economic growth to ‘degrowth’, Uber’s solution to supply capped taxi markets, and an explanation of what we knew all along: economic majors make bank.
OECD figures show public benefits more than individuals from tertiary education – Inga Ting
Students bare most of the cost a higher education, and are likely to shoulder more as a result of proposed deregulation of tertiary fees – but should they? Recent data from OECD countries indicates that Australia is one of the few countries where public economic benefit outstrips individual return. Read on to decide whether the research substantiates that claim that the public should, really, further subsidise university fees.
Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 book about flies – Michael Eisen
We’ve all seen the troll with too much time on their hand upload a ridiculous price for the goods there selling. But what does one gather, when they see a moderately well-known book about flies, priced at millions of dollars by an established seller? Find out how unchecked algorithms can result in the most absurd prices.
Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy and why you might actually enjoy it – Samuel Alexander
Research into sustainable economics has largely focussed on finding growth through efficiencies that reduce environmental detriment. But is this far enough? Samuel Alexander explores the concept of ‘degrowth’, which he argues, the only viable option for the future, as we learn to enjoy a life of “frugal abundance”.
Economists explain why they love Uber so much – Dylan Matthews
Taxi licensing in the US has long, artificially constricted the supply side of the market, raising prices, reducing consumer welfare, and are an economist’s nightmare. Uber, a private car and ride-share service, however, seems to be the solution to the problem. In a recent survey, of 43 eminent economists, by Chicago Business School, there was clear consensus that the services promoted societal welfare, even while taking account of all other relevant factors.
Want to be stinking rich? Major in economics. – Jordan Weissmann
It is now official. If you’re doing an economics major, feel comforted by the fact that, if you’re lifetime earnings are in the top few percentiles, after an economics major, you will outstrip the earnings of a graduate with any other major. Enjoy reading!

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