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

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 Everyday Economics: Not Just Supply and Demand

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 Is Universal Basic Income the future of welfare?

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 A Short History of Black Fridays

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

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 The Economics of Media Franchises

Heart of Gold: Game Theory in Game Show “Golden Balls”

Would you trust a complete stranger to cooperate with you when money is on the line? Would you deceive them instead and take the money for yourself? These questions are put to the test on the British TV game show called “Golden Balls”, which ran from 2007 to 2009. After several rounds involving strategizing, cooperating, and lots of golden balls, the final round consists of an all-or-nothing decision between the two finalists. The jackpot will either go to only one of the two contestants, be split in half, or be lost by both players. This is because each finalist has Continue reading Heart of Gold: Game Theory in Game Show “Golden Balls”

Why Should(n’t) You Study Economics? (Part 1)

Last Friday, I registered for my last undergraduate semester, and now I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. This made me start thinking about how I ended up as an economics major, given that I spent my first year here assuming I’d be a chemistry major. (I guess making that big of an assumption should’ve been a clue) I think the main two factors were a fun, engaging economics teacher in high school, and a class called IPE 201, with Lisa Nunn. I ended up joining IPE 201: Introduction to International Political Economy, a week into the semester, after a brief foray Continue reading Why Should(n’t) You Study Economics? (Part 1)

Thoughts on Inequality

About a week ago, a professor sent me a link to an article discussing how free markets do not evenly distribute wealth but instead lead to wealth concentration. The article focused on the work of a Tufts University Mathematician, Dr. Bruce Boghosian, who has created a model that represents a simple free market to show how, as time progresses, wealth becomes more and more concentrated, into the hands of fewer and fewer people. Unlike traditional economic models, which presuppose that markets are built off of supply and demand that eventually equilibrate, this model assumes markets are exist transaction to transaction. Continue reading Thoughts on Inequality