Video Series–Daniel Hamermesh explains why “Beauty Pays”

Scarcity of Beauty

The marriage market, employment, and how we judge each other: UT Economist and PUP author Daniel Hamermesh on the scarcity of beauty.

This is the last of five videos in which Hamermesh explains some of the research he did for Beauty Pays. If you missed the others, find them at the links below!

Beauty and Happiness

Why Beauty is Good for Business

Why Economists care about Beauty

The Economic Benefits of Beauty

Video Series–Daniel Hamermesh explains why “Beauty Pays”

The Economic Benefits of Beauty

Could looks amount to a 12% difference in wages between two people?

Consider what UT Economist and PUP author Daniel Hamermesh has to say about beauty’s impact on economic benefits:

This is the fourth of five videos in which Hamermesh explains some of the research he did for Beauty Pays. Tomorrow: “The scarcity of beauty.”

Video Series–Daniel Hamermesh explains why “Beauty Pays”

Why Economists care about Beauty

Did you ever think beauty might have a direct effect on national policy?

Consider what UT Economist and PUP author Daniel Hamermesh has to say about why economists should care about beauty:

This is the third of five videos in which Hamermesh explains some of the research he did for Beauty Pays. Monday: “The economic benefits of beauty.”

Video Series–Daniel Hamermesh explains why “Beauty Pays”

Why Beauty is Good for Business

UT Economist and PUP author Daniel Hamermesh on why beauty if good for business.

“Some of our papers show that those companies that had better looking executives–same location, same size–had better sales. And the effect was not small.”

This is the second of five videos in which he explains some of the research he did for Beauty Pays. Tomorrow: “why economists care about beauty.”

Video Series–Daniel Hamermesh explains why “Beauty Pays”

Beauty and Happiness

Daniel Hamermesh, UT Economist and author of Beauty Pays, created a series of five videos describing his research. This first is on the relationship between beauty and Happiness–check back for more on the PUP blog!

Pterosaurs are almost here!

Are you a big fan of flying reptiles?

Here at the PUP, we certainly are.  Last year we gave you a sneak peak at a book we have in development with author Mark Witton on Pterosaurs.  If you are not quite sure what a Pterosaur is, here’s an image to give you an idea:

(Cool, right?)

That’s why we at the press are very pleased to announce the launch of Mark Witton’s new blog, at which you can find more of the beautiful images and information about Pterosaurs (such as this characterization by Witton himself: “Even the boring ones have natty looking teeth and preposterous bodily proportions, while more extreme variants wouldn’t look out of place in a Guillermo del Toro movie.”)

The site also features a new excerpt from the upcoming book.

Check it out, and stay on the lookout for more news about the Pterosaurs release!

Recognizing an ethical dilemma is not as simple as you may think

PUP author Max Bazerman recently posted a video on the website Big Think in which he addresses the problem of recognizing ethical dilemmas.

In the video he considers the case of Bernie Madoff.  How did the very intelligent people working with Madoff fail to see that his returns were too good to be true?  Bazerman argues that “we often behave contrary to our best ethical intentions without knowing it.”

This concept is the basis for Blind Spots, the book he co-wrote with Ann Tenbrunsel.  In it they explore cases where groups of people either willingly participate in–or seem to willingly ignore–actions that they should easily recognize as unethical.

The video presents a fascinating new way to understand the Madoff scandal, and cases like it.  Check it out, and pick up a copy of Blind Spots to learn more about “how we can become more ethical, bridging the gap between who we are and who we want to be.”

Amar Bhidé on Sovereign-Debt Crisis

After the discouraging developments in the stock market last week, you may be wondering how exactly the global economy ended up where it is now.  PUP author Amar Bhidé recently wrote an op-ed piece for Project Syndicate that should answer some of your questions.

Bhidé explains why “lending to foreign governments is in many ways inherently riskier than unsecured private debt or junk bonds”: governments, unlike private borrowers, are not required to offer any collateral to lenders.

On top of this, the practice of sovereign lending has evolved from “a job for a few intrepid financiers” to an institutionalized practice for large banks.  What was once a risky venture for individuals is now a risk taken by the same banks in which we invest our money–Citibank, to name one–bringing the global problem very close to home.

The article has a lot to say about the lessons we should take from the current sovereign lending crisis.  Click here to read more, then pick up a copy of Amar Bhidé’s The Venturesome Economy to learn more about global economics in today’s world.

How warfare and altruism go hand in hand

Whether one is for war or against it, humans generally agree that warfare is a terrible thing.  Wars happen when people are unable to settle disputes using our higher faculties, the capacity to reason and compromise that differentiates us from animals.  War is, therefore, a degenerative act for humanity.  …right?

Nicholas Wade’s article in the New York Times this week explains that over the course of human history war may have been the strongest factor in promoting the evolution of human altruism, the trait on which human societies have been founded.  It’s the same problem proposed by Rousseau in The Social Contract: “The problem is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before.”  Humans are a strangely independent and dependent species.  Evolutionarily speaking altruism is nonsense: why should I sacrifice my own self interest to yours?  How would that help an individual survive?  And yet humans are constantly sacrificing their own interests for those of another–a spouse, a family unit, a community, or in the case of modern warfare, a vast nation of strangers.

The seemingly paradoxical evolutionary development of altruism is easily resolved if you consider natural selection as a group effort.  By banding together, people were more easily able to promote their own survival, and thus the instinct for group preservation developed in conjunction with self preservation.   As Wade notes, “Warfare may not usually be thought of as a form of cooperation, but organized hostilities between chiefdoms require that within each chiefdom people subordinate their individual self-interest to that of the group.”

Wade concludes with the conjecture proposed by A Cooperative Species authors Bowles and Gintes: that warfare “may have contributed to the spread of human altruism.” Communities that are successfully able to organize and raid others gain advantageous resources that increase their potential for survival.

The article is well worth a read.  And pick up a copy of A Cooperative Species–you may be surprised by what you learn about the human race!

Author Shamus Khan to speak at Hopewell Public Library!

Shamus Khan, author of Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School, will speak at the Hopewell Public Library this September 7, exact time to be announced.

Keep checking the PUP blog and the library’s website for more details about the event.  Be sure to pick up your own copy of Privilege to read before his talk!

To learn a bit more about the book, check out this blog post.

Reflecting on the Berlin Wall

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall. The wall represented so much to people and nations around the world, and despite its destruction in 1989, the memory of its significance endures to this day. Half a century after its construction, what meaning does the Berlin Wall hold for us? Two Princeton University Press authors examine this question in different lights.

In Driving the Soviets up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961, Hope M. Harrison examines the Wall as a symbol of the Cold War, telling “the behind-the-scenes story of the communists’ decision to build the Wall in 1961.”  Her book explores the relationships between nations within the Soviet bloc as they dealt with the issues of immigration and liberalization.  Her narrative provides new insights into how the Wall was viewed by Soviets, and how the initial decision to build the wall was reached.

Mary Elise Sarotte’s 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe takes a look at the tumultuous period following the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Her book tries to understand how various pressures affected the development of the post-1989 world, and how the events of 1989 affected and continue to affect our world today.

Both authors present pictures of the Berlin Wall in ways that ask us to redefine its importance in our lives.  The Cold War was a major defining aspect of the United States’ identity in the last century, and its legacy continues to affect America today.  With the 50th anniversary of the Wall’s construction upon us, it is worth while to take time to reflect on the Wall, the War, and the vast changes in the world from 1961, to 1989, to the present day.

A night of poetry with author Troy Jollimore

This Monday, July 25, author Troy Jollimore will be speaking in San Francisco!

The event will be hosted by Green Apple Books at 7pm, and will also feature Anthony Carelli.  The two poets will give readings from their new works.

To learn more about Jollimore’s amazing poetry, pick up a copy of At Lake Scugog.  And don’t miss the chance to hear him speak on Monday!