Micro, Macro, and Keanu Reeves: Why you should join the econ department

I have been trying so hard to convince the 101 students I CA for to join the econ department. This is my last attempt to steer them to the world of game theory and IS-LM models. Looking back on my first year at UPS, I realize I had no idea what economics actually was when I enrolled in the class. I must have thought it had to do with printing money. Thankfully, whatever 19-year-old Rachel had thought encapsulated the world of economics was incredibly wrong, and I ended up thoroughly enjoying the class, despite my confusion. I decided late into Continue reading Micro, Macro, and Keanu Reeves: Why you should join the econ department

The Olympic Peninsula and its DVD market

Highway 101 flaunts stunning deciduous trees, winding curves, and small coffee shops that serve chicken strips and Olympic Mountain Ice Cream. In between the stretches of trees and grocery stores resides a nondescript DVD vendor, its only marking a white paper sign with black font that reads “$1 DVDs”. The abundance of streaming services makes watching TV and movies accessible and instantaneous. If you don’t like a movie, you can switch the title in less than a minute. The relatively low cost of monthly subscriptions incentivizes simultaneous subscriptions to multiple services. Nothing good on Netflix? Maybe Hulu has something. Streaming Continue reading The Olympic Peninsula and its DVD market

Back to School: Education During a Pandemic

The culmination of September marks the end of back-to-school month, and while some quarter-based universities are just sending out their syllabi, most elementary through high schools are wrapping up their first month of classes. The current pandemic calls for states, school districts, and superintendents to make a difficult decision: do in-person classes resume? Those in favor of in-person classes argue that students will receive a higher quality education than that provided remotely, and also state that remote learning would require parents to either work remotely or take time off work to stay home with their children. Proponents of remote learning Continue reading Back to School: Education During a Pandemic

Free or Fast: WiFi on the Plane

Internet access has become so ubiquitous to many of us that we barely notice it until we don’t have it. At home, cable broadband or DSL quietly connects our phones, computers, TVs, and even—for some of us—our light switches to the world-wide-web and the vast wealth of information it holds. While out and about, our phones are connected through the cellular network to that very same informational hub. Even when all else fails, Starbucks and its ilk will happily keep you connected. However, one of the few remaining places where we seem to surrender our entitlement to the net is… Continue reading Free or Fast: WiFi on the Plane

NFL Draft Strategy

Last night, the NFL Draft took place in Nashville, Tennessee. Football fans across the country tuned in to see if their respective teams would capitalize on this next wave of young football talent. With the coveted #1 overall pick, the Arizona Cardinals selected reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. Murray, who has been compared to the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, appears to be a promising dual threat offensive weapon for years to come. However, in the year 2005, a paper titled “The Loser’s Curse: Overconfidence vs. Market Efficiency in the National Football League Draft” was published by economist Richard Thaler. Continue reading NFL Draft Strategy

The Incoming Lombard Street Toll

Tolls in San Francisco are high and unavoidable. From most places in the bay area, the only way to get to San Francisco is to cross a bridge, and every bridge has a toll associated with it. Another thing worth noting is that according to rent reports, San Francisco is the most expensive city to live in. On Monday, a bill proposing a toll to drive down the infamous Lombard Street in San Francisco passed the Assembly and Transportation Committee in an 11-3 vote. This is monumental as the street has always been free. While Lombard Street is typically a Continue reading The Incoming Lombard Street Toll

Added Utility of More Utility Choices

This past week, I attended a business seminar on campus that discussed energy markets. The lecturer discussed what she had learned as a result of her work in this market, including how geographic location influences the type of technologies one would encounter during daily work. For me, the most interesting concept that was brought up during the seminar was how the energy market operates in the state of Texas. In 2002, the Texas Senate approved a measure that would deregulate the electricity market. This deregulation would take place over several years. As a result, 85% of Texas power consumers are Continue reading Added Utility of More Utility Choices

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?

Verizon’s 5G Rollout

This past Wednesday, Verizon introduced 5G capabilities in the cities of Chicago and Minneapolis. In doing so, Verizon became the first telecommunications company to serve its customers with the new technology. Although there have been complaints about spotty service and inconsistent coverage, these appear to be only temporary delays which are expected when a new technology is introduced to the public. As Verizon and other telecommunications companies optimize their 5G capabilities, the general public will be able to utilize the technology without a hitch. 5G wireless networks will prove as tremendous improvements over current 4G technologies. In fact, estimates put current Continue reading Verizon’s 5G Rollout

The Paradox of Voting (Part 2)

We left off two weeks ago talking about gerrymandering.  I demonstrated how a non-majority group could be distributed to have the majority in groupings.  This is exactly what your state legislature does when he/she draws redistricting lines.  They obviously gerrymander for the favor of their political party, by targeting either people who voted for a given party, or demographics.  An example of this is Florida’s 5th congressional district.  This district is considered one of the most heavily gerrymandered districts in the country.  The district contains 47.69% black people which is 31% more than Florida’s general demographic.  This shows that someone Continue reading The Paradox of Voting (Part 2)