Does it Spark Utility?

Since her Netflix show “Tidying Up,” Marie Kondo has become famous for her KonMari method.  Marie Kondo has helped tidy households through her technique which places a high value on showing a deep gratitude for all of your belongings.  She urges people to keep only those items which spark joy. Things which do not spark joy are then thanked and discarded. When thinking of this method in terms of economics instead of asking if an item sparks joy, we can ask “does it spark utility?”  Utility is the term economists use to label the satisfaction or benefits consumers get from consuming Continue reading Does it Spark Utility?

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

Going All Out on Fuel Efficiency

Have you ever been on the freeway, going 10 miles over the speed limit and laughing at all those suckers biting your dust? Well, I got news for you. They’re laughing right back, because your tank is emptying much faster than theirs. Let’s be honest, 10 above the speed limit is the real speed limit, so you don’t have to perform a benefit-cost analysis of whether speeding down I-5 at 70 is worth the risk of a ticket. Instead, you should be wondering whether the time saved going 70 instead of 60 (or dare I say 55) is worth the Continue reading Going All Out on Fuel Efficiency

Thesis Corner: Is Hosting the Olympics Really Worth the Gold (Standard)?

Throwing a giant party is a daunting task. It requires a lot of pre-planning, a lot of money for food and entertainment, and a lot of time cleaning up after everyone has gone home. Now imagine hosting the world’s biggest party – the Olympics. The intense competition between countries as they fight to win the bid for host suggests that the benefits of hosting the Olympics outweigh the costs. But is hosting the Olympics really all it’s cracked-up to be? Senior, Holly Ross explores and critiques two common methods of analysis countries use when deciding whether or not to put Continue reading Thesis Corner: Is Hosting the Olympics Really Worth the Gold (Standard)?