Skip to content

Daniel Altman

Chief Economist, Big Think

Daniel Altman is Big Think's Chief Economist and an adjunct faculty member at New York University's Stern School of Business.  Daniel wrote economic commentary for The Economist, The New York Times, and The International Herald Tribune before founding North Yard Economics, a non-profit consulting firm serving developing countries, in 2008.  In between, he served as an economic advisor in the British government and wrote four books, most recently Outrageous Fortunes: The Twelve Surprising Trends That Will Reshape the Global Economy.

Why Must Seeing Be Believing?

Can we pack the entire human race into Missouri, the “Show Me” state? We might as well try, because when it comes to making important decisions, we humans have a […]

How Much Is a Life Worth?

It’s cheaper to save people’s lives in poor countries than it is in rich countries. So how much is a life worth?

How Are Jobs Connected to Economic Growth?

Growth comes first, then more jobs, and then, as higher incomes translate into consumption, more growth… and then more jobs… and then more growth… until the next recession.

The Sixteen Days of Shutdown Song

The government itself may have lost $300 million for every day that Congress dithered. These statistics certainly sound depressing, but their importance can be hard to grasp without some concrete points of reference.

Turn That Bubble Into Bricks!

This week the New York Times published a story about Chinese investors snapping up property in the United States. Prices are rising here, but I don’t think these purchases are […]

The Value of a Complaint

Feedback is important to every large organization, and complaints are one of the ways that big companies get feedback from their customers. 

The Failure Fetish

A fetish for failure has been sweeping the blogosphere, the Twitterverse, and the broader market for ideas for a couple of years now. It’s ridiculous, and here’s why.

Tracking My Own Predictions

Daniel Altman offered predictions for what the global economy would look like 10, 20, 40 years down the road. How did he do with these predictions and what does it mean for economic opportunity around the world?

Medicaid Will Change, and Almost Certainly for the Better

Today’s Medicaid could affect a small number of poor people within two years. Truly finding out how Medicaid might change their lives would take much longer. Moreover, Medicaid would change with time, too – and almost certainly for the better.