Entries in harvard (2)

Friday
Oct022009

Bet on your star economist to win the Nobel (Predictor) Prize

Too bad the pool is being adjudicated via snail mail. For we econ nerds, it would have been interesting to watch the dynamics of the market.

From Harvard University:

On Monday, October 12 the Swedes will announce the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.  While only some of you may hope to win this honor, all of you may hope to win a prize no less famous: the Nobel (Predictor) Prize.

HOW TO ENTER: Nominate who you think will win the 2009 Memorial Prize in Economics. Each name that you enter costs $1. You can also guess that no entrant will correctly guess the recipient(s). You can enter as many times for as many names you’d like.

To enter, simply input your details into the form here. You’ll need to write the name of each predicted recipient and the number of bets (dollars) you’re putting towards him or her. If you want to bet that no one will guess correctly just write “No Correct Guess” in one of the names. And no funny stuff—your bets will be disqualified and given to charity as per our unappealable discretion. Once you’re done with your entries, mail the sum of your bets IN CASH to

Tristan Reed, Littauer Center, Harvard University,

1875 Cambridge St, Cambridge MA 02138

We will post who the most popular choices are here on Sunday October 11.

RULES: Entries must be RECEIVED BEFORE 11:59 PM EST ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10. PAYMENTS MUST BE POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN THE SAME DATE. Economists in the Cambridge area can, if they prefer, place their entries and payments in Tristan Reed’s mailbox on the second floor of the Littauer Center. We are not responsible for missing cash under any circumstances.

All money collected will be divided between the winners of the pool. If there is one recipient of the prize, the payout will be divided among all those entrants who guessed correctly, with each of those correct guessers receiving a share in proportion to her/his share of the total number of bets placed on the prize recipient. If no one guesses correctly, the votes will be divided in the same fashion among those who entered "No Correct Guess." If there are n>1 recipients, exactly 1/n of the payout will be allocated to each and distributed as per the rules for one recipient.

This contest is open to any and all economists who wish to participate; please share with your friends, and good luck!

Tom Gole, Alex Peysakhovich, and Tristan Reed

2009 Pool Coordinators

Monday
Jun152009

Social lending for education financing

Harvard students already have the best deal in the country when it comes to higher education financing--the university absorbs all tuition costs for families making less than $60,000 per year--but now they have another exclusive option. UniThrive connects Harvard students with Harvard alumni for interest-free loans up to $2,000.

The Harvard location is a good test bed. The university's massive endowment is proof of its dedicated (and successful) alumni who want to feel a continuing connection to their alma mater. Harvard students are also likely pretty good bets for reliability.

The site integrates the peer-to-peer connection by allowing lenders to browse student profiles to find the prospective borrower they most relate to. The student is then required to write his/her lender a couple times a year with updates.

The site is an important step forward in the education financing debate. PeopleCapital also focuses on the student lending market, as we've profiled, but this direct college link may be an important differentiating factor for Unithrive. Only individuals with .harvard.edu e-mail addresses can access the site, creating an Ivy League in-club of trust and transparency. $2,000 is a tiny amount, however, and it will be interesting to see if the site evolves to allow lenders to earn interest. After all, if Harvard students are a good bet for reliability, why not make some money on investing in college students' futures?