Air Travel is Costing Us

The threat of climate change is growing at alarming rates and one player in particular is not helping: airlines. Air travel is one of the most efficient means of travel, but what is it really costing us? Even though air travel is a form of shared transportation (something we tend to think of as having positive externalities associated with lowering our carbon footprint), it is actually making us worse off. Right now, air travel accounts for 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, but in thirty-one years, it could take up to a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. In Continue reading Air Travel is Costing Us

The Economics of Prison Labor

All able-bodied inmates in federal prison are required to participate in labor with average daily pay well below minimum wage. A small population of the prison labor force participates in jobs outside the facility and jobs in private businesses. The figures for private business are widely disputed, but the Federal Prisons Industries has referred to it as a cost-effective labor pool and onshore advantage for competitive American companies. Seizing the well-marketed opportunity, hundreds of firms are allegedly providing systems of redemption for inmates through this form of employment, but the low or absent wages advantage the employer the most. As Continue reading The Economics of Prison Labor

Really Economics?: Ending Old Practices

Really Economics? I say this phrase as just this month, the hiring practices for all Economists has changed from occurring in hotel rooms to actual interview spaces. It is pretty astounding that it took until 2019 for the American Economic Association to realize it was not a good practice for young, female, post-docs, to be interviewed in closed hotel rooms (or for that matter young post-docs at all). Though it is astounding that this practice did not end until recently, it is not surprising: economics is a pretty homogeneous discipline. According to data taken from the census bureau, over 70% of Continue reading Really Economics?: Ending Old Practices