Thesis Corner: Jadyn Kerns-Funk

Below is my conversation with Jadyn Kerns-Funk about her fascinating thesis, which focuses on incentives to collude in online markets. Enjoy! What inspired your interest in studying online markets? Over the summer last year my dad asked me to go through his comics from the 60s and 70s and sell them online (for a percent cut of the profit of course). I turned to eBay first, and was forced to then determine the best way to portray our version of the comic as superior to others— primarily through trust formation and reputation. This was difficult as a new seller, where Continue reading Thesis Corner: Jadyn Kerns-Funk

Long Lines at the SUB: A Market Failure Worth Addressing?

The more time we spend at UPS, the more obvious patterns of student behavior become. Among these behaviors is the congestion of the SUB at predictable times of day. As such, the following question is worth asking: Might there be an economic solution to the long SUB lines at certain times? Waiting is a cost, and economic theory has a lot to say about dealing with such inefficiencies. Consider everything that comes with getting lunch at noon. Bodies fill up the diner, all the best food options have what seems like a mile-long line, it takes longer than usual to Continue reading Long Lines at the SUB: A Market Failure Worth Addressing?

Federal Reserve Nominee Reeks of Partisanship: Why it Matters

Most of us do not agonize in our daily lives about Federal Reserve appointments. They come and go with little public intrigue. But there are a few reasons why President Trump’s nomination of Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve Board should scare anyone, regardless of political persuasion, who follows the economy. Moore, a noted partisan, is up for one of seven seats on the Board of Governors for a five or eleven-year term, depending on which seat he is nominated to fill. His proclivity for playing fast and loose with facts is well documented – his main consistency is that Continue reading Federal Reserve Nominee Reeks of Partisanship: Why it Matters

A 2020 Presidential Candidate’s Proposal for Universal Basic Income

Sooner rather than later Andrew Yang’s main idea, Universal Basic Income (UBI), will enter the national discussion on some level. Yang has reached the 65,000-donor threshold to appear in debates later this year. As such, this bold proposal is one that major candidates may have to take positions on. Below are the main details of and arguments for his UBI proposal. This is not an endorsement of Andrew Yang 2020. The Problem Yang, a successful entrepreneur, argues that we are undergoing the greatest technological and economic shift we’ve ever experienced. Automation has already destroyed millions of manufacturing jobs. He cites Continue reading A 2020 Presidential Candidate’s Proposal for Universal Basic Income

Econ Department Launches Logger Economics Alumni Network

In a move to streamline the networking process for economics students, the department has launched the Logger Economics Alumni Network (LEAN) on LinkedIn. The group will supplement the general services that CES ably provides by providing a dedicated space for current econ students to connect with former econ students. LEAN is set up to fill a niche: offering a one-stop-shop to students seeking grad school advice. The group has members currently enrolled in PhD, Master’s, and Law programs. The hope of launching this network is for economics students to have a place to seek post-grad advice from people who have Continue reading Econ Department Launches Logger Economics Alumni Network

The Eighth Wonder of the World

On the fifth day of November in 1626, Native Americans sold the island of Manhattan to the Dutch for the equivalent of 24 dollars. The absurdity of this story has unsurprisingly compelled some historians to question its veracity, and others to try to approximate inflation. These things do not interest me. Like any normal person would, I see this as an economics lesson. Let’s suppose the legend is true, and suppose that following the sale, the Native Americans appointed a chief investment officer (CIO) of moderate intelligence to manage the 24 dollars. Said CIO achieves a respectable annual return of Continue reading The Eighth Wonder of the World

A Bottom-Up Perspective on Entrepreneurship

Small businesses[1] are frequently said to be the “backbone” of the American economy. The prevailing sentiment concerning regulation on businesses of all sizes is that less is more. Minimum wages, corporate taxes, benefit guarantees, and other worker protections are anathemas to growth and should thus be minimized. This logic gets extended to the assertion that a strong social safety net will harm business and entrepreneurship because of the higher taxes that would inevitably fund such social programs. It makes sense, right? The less businesses spend on employees and taxes, the more they can focus on improving and growing. Regardless of Continue reading A Bottom-Up Perspective on Entrepreneurship

Let’s tell the truth about raising marginal tax rates

The mere suggestion of a 70-percent tax rate reeks of radicalism in our culture that still discusses taxes on Reagan’s supply-side terms and digests new information in 280-character increments. This amounts to elites and private citizens dismissing such a suggestion as just another ephemeral musing on Twitter by the wide-eyed freshman congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Eyes glaze over when tax brackets come up, and many revert to an American conventional wisdom that says lower taxes are always better. Twitter trolls and elected officials, which are not mutually exclusive, take advantage of this and sound the alarm that AOC wants to turn Continue reading Let’s tell the truth about raising marginal tax rates

The World vs. The Classroom: Does Trade Make Everyone Better Off?

The United States, Canada, and Mexico finalized a new trade agreement on Sunday that could overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); but, let’s back up a little bit. In introductory economics, we learn that trade increases efficiency and thus benefits all parties involved. Different countries produce the goods for which they have the lowest opportunity cost; in other words, those countries have a comparative advantage. The maximum amount of stuff gets made and the economy is productive. This is a tight deductive argument that economists have broadly agreed on and taught since David Ricardo wrote about it in Continue reading The World vs. The Classroom: Does Trade Make Everyone Better Off?