I've had this concept in my head that I'm pretty sure I picked up in economics/management studies but I can't recall its name: The division of labor between an executive and her direct support staff is that staff can advise the executive about decisions to make, but ultimately she makes the decision and they then have to carry out that directive or policy (regardless of whether it's justified in their opinion). I had assumed I was thinking of the principal-agent problem, but that's clearly something else. What is this concept called?
I submitted a prospectus to my thesis committee last month, but haven't started work on the thesis. Since I submitted the prospectus, I've come to have some doubts about whether or not this is the thesis topic for me. I'd like to take things in a slightly different, but still related, direction. Is is too late for me to do that without coming across as flaky, uncommitted, or reluctant to accept criticism? [more inside]
I just finished reading Jeremy Adelman's biography of Albert O. Hirschman. I loved the book because it vividly explained Hirschman's ideas (he was an economist and scholar of political thought) and because Hirschman had a fascinating and compelling life story. Can you recommend biographies of major thinkers in the social sciences and philosophy?
Help me to philosophically pigeon-hole what I take to be the methodological views of many professors in my economics department. Then help me to explore that and other pigeon-holes. [more inside]
I follow politics and current events, especially international politics, fanatically. I know next to nothing about economic systems, philosophy (particularly political philosophy), sociology, and other basics of social science that could be useful when trying to make sense of the world, though. I would like to change this. [more inside]
I'm looking for some good, meaty non-fiction to read over Christmas break while I'm home from grad school. Something with difficult ideas, yet readable and contemporary, and taking a fairly "big picture" view of a particular field. Any suggestions? Examples below. [more inside]
What single book presents the most forceful argument against both Randian Objectivism and the libertarian political philosophy that presents itself (in some ways, at least) as having followed naturally from Rand's ideas? [more inside]
For our society to evolve to the next level, what kind of surpluses do we need to have? Please share your wisdom.
For our society to evolve to the next level, what kind of surpluses do we need to have? [more inside]