Anecdotes at the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve occupies a special pedestal of authority and competence in the arena of governmental bodies charged with economic policy. Compared to Congress, it acts with amazing unity and speed. Moreover, compared to Congresses’s shortsighted and often political settlements, the Federal Reserve tends to make calculated, strategic decisions with an close eye to their long-term ramifications.The tendency of investors and analysts to hang on very last word of the Chairman’s public statements evidences the delicately crafted nature of its policy. However, in moments of crisis, even the ordered, empirical world of the Fed policy-making can be turned upside down. Transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee Continue reading Anecdotes at the Federal Reserve

Thesis Corner: Read and Write the World With Music

No matter what our caliber of creativity is, art and music are important elements in our lives one way or another. Obviously there is enjoyment and pleasure imparted to audiences whom observe these creative and artistic products. But what is often overlooked and equally as important is the benefit gained by the artist producing these novelties. Educational scholars have confirmed the importance of children’s art and musical programs because thinking creatively and artistically unlocks ways our mind can process other types of scholastic information. Ben Hagen, a senior Economics student at the UPS, studied the importance of educational music and Continue reading Thesis Corner: Read and Write the World With Music

Inequality matters… but so do the details.

A lot of public attention has been paid recently to economic inequality, from the Occupy Movement’s “We are the 99%” to more recent debates over hiking the minimum wage. Sometimes lost in this discussion are important questions such as which inequalities matter most and how they vary throughout an individual’s lifetime. Sociologist Mark Rank and a co-author looked beyond the static distribution of income into the mobility of individuals throughout their lives within the income distribution. Their results suggest that income distribution is more complex than the oversimplified picture of “one-percenters,” as if they were a relatively fixed collection of Continue reading Inequality matters… but so do the details.

How NOT To Talk About Supply and Demand

When someone thinks of economics, the concepts of “supply and demand” often spring to mind. But, it can be easy to misuse the terms. Take this article from The Dish discussing the factors influencing the price a woman could receive for her donated eggs, which features this reader’s submission (emphasis mine): I seriously considered donating my eggs as a way to pay off some grad school debt. I knew from the frequent ads in my undergrad newspaper (a prominent liberal arts school) that there is a high premium not just for the characteristics of being tall, slim, and with high Continue reading How NOT To Talk About Supply and Demand

Cryptocurrency: Not Just Bitcoin (Part III)

Bitcoin thoroughly dominates media coverage and public discussion of cryptocurrency. It is the oldest crypto-currency and does by far have the largest market capitalization—all Bitcoins are together estimated to be worth US$5.5 billion. More than sixty peer-to-peer currencies existed as of November 2013, and that number has dramatically risen since. As of April 8th, lists market capitalization values for over 200 cryptocurrencies.  Market capitalizations range from Litecoin’s US$300 million, much a smaller than Bitcoin but still substantial, to LiteBar’s $384. The sheer number of similar-sounding names (well more more than half include the word “coin”) raises the question… Why? Two weeks ago, I began Continue reading Cryptocurrency: Not Just Bitcoin (Part III)

More to Burn

Coal is the number one source of energy in the globe. It is cheap, abundant, and easy to store and burn. Much of the world depends on coal to become an industrialized economy. The price of electricity produced from coal can be as low as half the price of other forms of energy. The United States generates 26% of all electricity through coal. Plans to lower that level are minimal. Japan turned to coal after the Fukushima disaster. While some countries seems to be tapering off their use of coal, others are just getting started. Last week I discussed the Continue reading More to Burn

Interactive Census maps

In recent work for my Urban Economics Class with Professor Mann, I came upon some very interesting maps during my research on ethnic neighborhoods. I have been looking for a quantitative way to define ethnic neighborhoods, to be able to perform some numerical analysis on their impact on cities. The first map that I found is a visual representation of the ethnic/racial distribution of our population. With this map, we are able to see where there are areas that have high densities of a certain race or ethnicity or we are able to see cities that have even distributions of Continue reading Interactive Census maps

Student Opportunities (Updated)

Hi readers, There are several new economics student opportunities posted online, including: Mark Blaug Student Essay Prize: An undergraduate research prize. Click here for details. Developing Economist: A new journal which reviews and publishes outstanding undergraduate research. Click here for details. Warwick University Summer School 2014: A summer economics program located in Coventry, England, UK from July 21 – August 8 2014. Click here for details. Sound Economics hopes to continue to share these opportunities with its readers!

Thesis Corner: Pay Those Players!

College is a promise land offering a wealth of academic, extra-cirricular, and professional opportunities. It’s the time of your life when you can create new experiences, juggle your interests, and form your identity. But for student athletes, this idea of “you can do it all” is often an unattainable reality due to the time crunch required by sports. I’m sure Division I student athletes everywhere have reflected on their hard work and commitment to their sports and have wondered, “man, I should get paid for this”. While playing sports is a passion, it’s morphed from an extra-cirricular activity to a full Continue reading Thesis Corner: Pay Those Players!