Net Neutrality

Over the past couple weeks, the issue of Net Neutrality received a lot of attention due to a clash of opinions between President Obama and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. For those of you who don’t know what net neutrality is, simply put, it is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the government should treat all data equally, meaning that no Internet Company can pay money for preferential speeds on the side of the consumers. This concept has been the soul of the Internet since its creation, and it has lead to the booming levels of innovation and easy Continue reading Net Neutrality

Uber Expensive: the Economics of Surge Pricing

Recently, on-demand car service company Uber has received a lot of negative attention from passengers who “unwillingly” spent hundreds of dollars on a car ride during Halloween due to surge pricing (I put “unwillingly” in quotations because the app explicitly tells you if and by how much fares are higher than usual). In fact, a woman named Gabrielle Wathen successfully crowdsourced her $327 Uber bill on Halloween night. She wrote on her page titled “Uber Stole my 26th Birthday”: Last night was Halloween. Great time. Today is my 26th birthday. Not so great time. I feel taken advantage of Continue reading Uber Expensive: the Economics of Surge Pricing


It’s that time of year: aisles of grocery stores are dedicated to bags of candy the size of a small child, kids and adults alike are scrambling to find the perfect Halloween costume, and not to mention, Halloween is on a Friday this year, meaning festivities will be rampant for all ages. Nobody can deny that Halloween is one of the most profound pinnacles of consumerism. In fact, candy consumption is at an all time high at this time, beating out Christmas, Easter, and even Valentines Day. Americans spend almost $2 billion on candy at Halloween, making up a whopping 8% of Continue reading HallowEconomics

Rethinking the Poverty Trap: A Multidimensional Approach

The discussion of the presence of poverty traps in certain impoverished areas has been a very important and somewhat controversial developmental economic idea for decades. It is most frequently described as a self-reinforcing mechanism that causes poverty to persist. As further explained in Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, your income today influences what your income will be in the future. The amount of money you have today determines what you eat, how much money spent on health, education, ways to improve your work, etc., which in turn influences your income in the future. The poverty trap is seen Continue reading Rethinking the Poverty Trap: A Multidimensional Approach

ASK Night: Words of Wisdom from Former Econ Majors

Last Thursday, Career and Employment Services hosted an event called ASK Night, where Puget Sound alumni generously volunteer their time to talk to students about what career-related endeavors they’ve been up to since graduation. I thought this would be a great opportunity to chat with some former Economics majors, see how they’ve been doing, and how their studies helped them with their careers. I was disappointed to discover online that out of the 50 or so alumni that attended, only three majored in Economics (and a very small handful minored in it). Out of the three Economics majors, I had the time Continue reading ASK Night: Words of Wisdom from Former Econ Majors

Increase in Cyber Attacks will Disrupt Global Economy

As people, businesses, and governments approach a more digitally dependent way of life, the risk of breached technological security becomes much larger of an issue. Cyber attacks are rapidly increasing in frequency, targeting celebrities, large businesses, and financial institutions. In mid June of this year, hackers gained access to JPMorgan’s internet servers that contained user information of current and former customers who accessed the bank’s websites. The bank didn’t discover the attack until about two months later, but they promptly found and closed all access paths to the vulnerable servers. A few days ago, JP Morgan stated that contact information for 76 million households and 7 million Continue reading Increase in Cyber Attacks will Disrupt Global Economy

Adverse Effects of Climate Change will not be Spread Evenly

We are probably all aware of the fact that the negative effects of climate change are escalating. One very important question is, which countries will reap the most consequences? A risk consultancy firm called Maplecroft released its 2014 Climate Change Vulnerability Index, which uncovers which countries will be likely to suffer the most by 2025. The analysis is based on three main factors: the ability of a nation to combat the effects through policy, exposure to extreme weather events, and the sensitivity of a country’s citizens to these extreme conditions (ie. health, agricultural/industrial dependence, etc.). The risk levels range from low to extreme, Continue reading Adverse Effects of Climate Change will not be Spread Evenly

Nevada Enacts Large Tax Break Package for Tesla Motors

On September 4th, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced that Sparks, Nevada has been selected as the official site for the Tesla Gigafactory—a $5 billion dollar and 10 million square-foot lithium battery factory. The state’s package of incentives is worth up to $1.3 billion—the 13th largest governmental giveaway in U.S. history. Upon completion in 2017, the Gigafactory will not only be the largest lithium-ion plant in the world, but it will also be powered by solely renewable energy. This is a substantial step in the direction of a mass-market affordable electric car for two reasons. Continue reading Nevada Enacts Large Tax Break Package for Tesla Motors