Facebook’s New Reactions

In the past few weeks, you might have noticed that Facebook rolled out new ways for you to react to your friends’ posts. You’re no longer limited to just “liking.” Now, among other things, you can express laughter, “wow,” sadness, and anger. Fom the user’s perspective, is almost definitely a good thing. Deciding whether it’s polite to like a post about your friend’s dead pet fish was always tricky. You might think that providing a more nuanced way to react to your friends’ lives explains why Facebook implemented this feature, but that’s not the whole story. Providing a satisfying user experience isn’t their only Continue reading Facebook’s New Reactions

Introduction to Econ Book Club: The Why Axis

  Sound Economics has begun its first ever book club where we have chosen to read The Why Axis; Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life, by Uri Gneezy and John A. List, who are two of Forbes magazine’s “worlds most powerful economists”. The aim of their book is to provide the breakthrough ideas to challenge the assumptions of human decision-making. Gneezy added that the book provides “new understanding of the hidden motives that drive people to behave the way they do and of how we can achieve better outcomes for ourselves, our companies, our customers, and society Continue reading Introduction to Econ Book Club: The Why Axis

The European Pension Problem and what the U.S. should Learn from It

[This post was written for Sound Economics by Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski] The 20th century saw a rise in global prosperity as medical and economic advancements contributed to vast improvements in the life of the average person. However, they haven’t come without unintended consequences – one of which is now very obvious in Europe. Thanks to rapid progress in medicine and health care, life expectancy across European countries has risen from 69 to 80 since the 1960’s. Meanwhile, as industrialization, global trade, and technological improvements, to name just a few factors, have improved the quality of everyday life, people are less inclined Continue reading The European Pension Problem and what the U.S. should Learn from It

North Korea the Closed Economy (?)

The CIA world fact book reports that North Korea’s GDP in 2011, 2012, and 2013 was at $40 billion each of those years. The GDP composition is broken down in agriculture (22% of GDP), industry (47%), and services (31%) (2015 est), and only 5.9% of GDP provided by exports. However, the service sector, in which North Korea’s economy gains a third of it’s gross domestic product, largely consists of a tourist industry (ethical implication?). CNN can provide you even more information on How North Korea Makes Money. “This is a time machine. This is 1930’s Russia or this is 1950’s Continue reading North Korea the Closed Economy (?)

Homes going solar! How helpful is your state?

Here’s a cool graph that shows just how rewarding it is for citizens to buy solar panels for their houses. Washington is doing iffy in 26th place, Oregon is rocking it in 6th place, and California is in a solid 14th place. Also, I see absolutely zero correlation between how sunny a place is and how much the government helps subsidize solar panels. But it appears most of the great plains states are not convinced solar power should be promoted. This isn’t to say that buying solar panels is a bad idea in those states, it will just take around 18 years Continue reading Homes going solar! How helpful is your state?

Is There a Student Loan Bubble in the Not-So-Distant Future?

Take a look at this ticker. Student loan debt is increasing by $2700 a second, with over $1.3 trillion American student loan debt (when I last checked). I’ve been wearing my student loan tin foil hat and ranting about a bubble for a couple years now. Think about it: 70% of students are graduating with some amount of debt and college attendance is increasing by about 0.3% a year since 2009. On average students are graduating with $35,000 in loans. The bachelor’s degree is now argued to be the new high school diploma. Being employable now depends heavily on your education, the higher the better – Continue reading Is There a Student Loan Bubble in the Not-So-Distant Future?

The Salary Cap in Sports: Part 1 (Baseball)

I think it would be efficient (haha) to introduce myself as a new writer for Sound Economics at the beginning of my blog post. My name is Lukie Crowley, a sophomore economics major and I am thrilled to start writing for Sound Economics. My first post will be part one of a three part series about the salary cap in baseball, football and basketball. I will be discussing about how it differs in each sport and the incentive to change it or stay stagnant in said sports. In the rare major sport that does not have a salary cap (while Continue reading The Salary Cap in Sports: Part 1 (Baseball)

Stopping Population Growth: “Get Used to it”

Have you ever thought about how many humans there are on this planet? The simple answer is a lot. But by digging a little further, it is evident that the Earth’s population is continuing to grow at astonishing speeds. The world’s population was recorded by WorldBank.org to be at 3 billion in 1960 and 7.125 billion in 2013. BBC estimates that the population will grow to 10 billion by 2083. Many people have seen this as an obvious problem, but what is to be done? Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet and co-founder of Gapminder, Hans Rosling makes the case Continue reading Stopping Population Growth: “Get Used to it”

What Percent are You In, and Will it Make You Happier

Would you rather make $100,000 a year or $200,000 a year? You probably think that’s a dumb question, and in its current form, it is. Of course you would rather take home twice the money. You can make the argument that you’d have to work more, or work in a field you don’t like, but for this case, we’re assuming that for the same job, if you could either make 100,000 or 200,000 dollars, you’d pick 200,000. However, the answer may actually change based on what your peers make. Researchers have found people are happier based on their relative wealth Continue reading What Percent are You In, and Will it Make You Happier