Sun, 14 April 2019
My guest today is Matthew Curtis, founder of the startup Vice Lotteries. Vice Lotteries is a new startup that aims to challenge state governments' legal monopolies over lotteries.
State lotteries are amazingly and bizarrely unethical. They drain billions of dollars out of communities, primarily poor ones. Lottery spending has increased substantially over the past decades, with the average lotto player spending $600 per year, and many spending significantly more than that.
Vice Lotteries aims to create a more ethical alternative to state lotteries, allowing people to have the fun of gambling without losing significant amounts of money. From the Vice Lotteries website:
Vice Lotteries was founded with one purpose: Allow our customers to enjoy gambling while saving money. With Vice Lotteries, you can enjoy the tremendous pleasure of tossing the dice without losing your ability to afford all the other things in life that you love.
However, it is currently illegal to run a private lottery. Before Vice Lotteries can start operating, they need to win one of the multiple lawsuits they are filing in state courts to challenge state lotteries.
Thu, 4 April 2019
Today's guest is Jamin Speer of the University of Memphis. We discuss his paper, "Are Changes of Major Major Changes? The Roles of Grades, Gender, and Preferences in College Major Switching" co-authored with Carmen Astorne-Figari.
The choice of college major is a key stage in the career search, and over a third of college students switch majors at least once. We provide the first comprehensive analysis of major switching, looking at the patterns of switching in both academic and non-academic dimensions. Low grades signal academic mismatch and predict switching majors - and the lower the grades, the larger the switch in terms of course content. Surprisingly, these switches do not improve students’ grades. When students switch majors, they switch to majors that "look like them": females to female-heavy majors, and so on. Lower-ability women flee competitive majors at high rates, while men and higher-ability women are undeterred. Women are far more likely to leave STEM fields for majors that are less competitive – but still somewhat science-intensive – suggesting that leaving STEM may be more about fleeing the "culture" of STEM majors than fleeing science and math.
Neal's paper on job mobility featuring the following quote mentioned in the episode:
"To the extent that college provides an opportunity for premarket search over potential careers, this result [of fewer career changes among college graduates] is to be expected." (p. 250)