Stagflation in the Late 1970’s

Led Zeppelin, high-waisted denim shorts, and kitchens accented with harvest gold and avocado green always came to mind when I imagined life in 1970’s America. However, this simplistic, superficial image didn’t appear to be quite congruent with the lived experience of US citizens in the seventies. Recently, when I expressed my fascination with seventies kitchen design to my father, he grimaced at me and sighed heavily. I figured he didn’t like green refrigerators, but what followed was a lecture explaining an ugly side to the seventies I hadn’t thought of before. Runaway inflation and crippling interest rates coupled with stagnating Continue reading Stagflation in the Late 1970’s

Macroeconomic Indicators: Four Ways to Assess a Nation’s Economy

Economists employ several metrics to gain a sense of total macroeconomic performance. While there are dozens of measures that show various aspects of economic health, four will be mentioned. 1. The most valuable and informative indicator of a nation’s macroeconomic status is the gross domestic product (abbreviated as GDP). The GDP is defined as the current monetary value of all final goods and services produced in markets over a specific period of time, such as quarterly or annually. Therefore, the GDP can also be considered income for a nation, since economic output can be measured by how much we spend Continue reading Macroeconomic Indicators: Four Ways to Assess a Nation’s Economy

Countries’ GDP Visualized

It can be difficult to visualize how big a country’s economy is. I decided to make an area chart to give us an idea of how much of the world’s output is done by only a small fraction of countries. From this, we can see that first 16 or so capture more 75% of the global GDP. That said, of these countries, some are also the largest population wise; China, India, the United States, Brazil, etc. That is a large reason why they command such large economies, but many of them are smaller, population wise.   I’ve also made a Continue reading Countries’ GDP Visualized

Hurricanes Increase GDP

In a prior post I took a deeper look at what the large epidemic, the Zika virus, will cost the world. Similar to Zika, category 3 storm, Hurricane Matthew, is a type natural “disaster” that will have an unstoppable effect on the economy. There are at least 200,000 homes along the coast from Florida to North Carolina at risk of damage from the storm surge alone. Due the potential to affect such a broad geographic area, some sources are claiming that Matthew could be one of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history estimated to cost just Florida as much as Continue reading Hurricanes Increase GDP

GDP is a Bad Indicator

GDP,  we hear about it all the time, and whatever it is makes nations cry when it (technically, real GDP growth) decreases and celebrate when it chugs along at 3%. But what the heck is it really indicating? And is it even good at its job?? In short, GDP is a measure accumulating all of a nation’s production to indicate the nation’s wealth, and, also in short, it’s not that accurate or helpful. See GDP was developed during the great depression to help take stock of what was actually going on in the American economy – so that people could Continue reading GDP is a Bad Indicator

Thesis Corner: Coffee Price Shocks on National Health

If we were to extract pithy lessons from literature like Freakonomics and Everything I Needed To Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating, it’s that there is an economic dimension to everything. The reason I love writing for this blog is because it allows us to look at seemingly ordinary subjects we take for granted and examine them from new angles and perspectives. I spoke with Jared Soares about his thesis and he gave me another fresh perspective about the economics behind everything. Jared took an interesting approach with his thesis: rather than making a laymen’s subject economical, he analyzed how economic phenomena Continue reading Thesis Corner: Coffee Price Shocks on National Health