Thank you!

I want to thank our writers and contributors from this semester: Max, Abigail, Madeleine, Finn, and Emily! We’ll be back in the spring to bring you more news and analysis from the world of economics! EXTRA! If any students out there are interested in pursuing a one-year Master’s degree in Applied Economics and Finance, check out this program at UC Santa Cruz. Flyer HERE!

Economic Food for Thought: Are we about to see the rise of Giffen goods?

Conventional economic theories suggest that as supply and demand act in negative correlation with one another. The Giffen good defies these market forces, whereby an increase in the price of a good correlates with an increase in its consumption. The only problem is that this sort of economic behavior is rarely, if ever recorded however, University of Pennsylvania Economist, Dr. Robert Jensen, pointed out several conditions that would have to exist in order for Giffen behavior to occur in food. The first assumption is that households must be heavily impoverished, to the degree that they face regular concerns about where Continue reading

The Cost of Making Judgements

Most people probably know this feeling: a movie makes hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, even though you did not like it; a painting sells for a record amount at auction, but you cannot tell much of a difference between it and its contemporaries; radio stations keep playing the same five songs even though there are plenty of others that are just as good (if not better); something becomes popular and you just don’t get it. It is easy to make this complicated, to assume that there must be something in the subtleties of the popular thing Continue reading

Honey, The Market Shrunk Our House: The Journey of Micro-Apartments in Seattle

While visiting my boyfriend a few weeks ago at Seattle University, a shocking facet of the city’s housing crunch was brought to my attention. As we walked through Capitol Hill’s bustling streets, looking for a place to eat dinner, he pointed out a building just a few blocks from his school, where he had heard the studio apartments were built with no wall separating the toilet and shower from the main room. How horrible, I thought. The demand for affordable housing has left Seattle’s low-income residents living in prison cells. Some investigation into this issue has shown that Seattle is Continue reading

Everyday Economics: Not Just Supply and Demand

As an economics student, few things make me happier than applying economics outside of the classroom. While I admittedly over do it (sorry Sara, Doug, and Jenna) I still love finding examples in everyday life. My favorite definition of economics is, “Economics is the social science concerned with how individuals, institutions, and society make choices under conditions of scarcity.” This is definitely different than most people’s idea of economics, which tends to be something like, “the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth.” In this article, I’m planning to briefly summarize many of the ideas I have had Continue reading

Is Universal Basic Income the future of welfare?

The recent release of the European Social Survey showed several interesting trends regarding the opinions of younger generations regarding welfare policy. Throughout the continent, the younger generations were in strong support of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), with strongest support coming from Russia. The European Social Survey is not the first indication of support for this simplified welfare system. Finland is in the midst of a 2-year long trial run where the government selected 2,000 unemployed individuals to receive a UBI to see how it impacts their employment status, income, and social well-being. A similar pilot experiment is taking place Continue reading

A Short History of Black Fridays

Today, the term “Black Friday” is most commonly associated with the day after Thanksgiving, the so-called biggest shopping day of the year (although, according to a report by Business Insider, the 2016 the biggest shopping day in terms of sales was actually December 23, and the biggest in terms of number of customers was December 17, also known as Super Saturday–but neither of these days capture the media’s attention quite like Black Friday). This usage, however, traces back only as far as the mid-twentieth century, at which point there are multiple competing theories about how the day earned the name. Continue reading

Why Should(n’t) You Study Economics? (Part 2)

In my last post, I outlined some of the stereotypes associated with econ majors and why I personally decided to major in economics. For this post, however, I am planning to address research and opinions which say that economics makes you a bad person, or more specifically, ” to exhibit a range of “debased” moral behavior and attitudes” (Etzioni, 2015). For this post I will be citing some relevant academic literature, explaining via examples, and trying to correct what I view as a fundamental misunderstanding of economics. Much of the sociological research, as well as a number of blog posts, describe economists and Continue reading

The Economics of Media Franchises

Movie franchises are having a bit of a moment right now. Between Star Trek, Star Wars, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the DC Extended Universe, it is almost impossible to escape movie franchises. And if you did not start all of these at the beginning, good luck catching up (take the Marvel Cinematic Universe for example; there are 17 movies already). The amount of time and money required to catch up on these franchises would be quite large. Say, for example, that the average length of a movie is two hours, it would take almost a Continue reading