Thesis Corner: Tesha Shalon

A few days ago I had a talk with graduating senior and former Sound Economics writer, Tesha Shalon about her thesis on the impact of low cost carriers (LCCs) in the domestic airline market. In her thesis, she compares the profit and revenue of these airline companies to legacy carriers, who prospered during the airline regulatory era before the late 1970s. Tesha examines the effect of these LCCs on the profit and revenue of legacy carriers, while analyzing the extent to which LCCs’ profit compares to that of legacy carriers. Since deregulation in 1978, airline carriers have been forced to Continue reading Thesis Corner: Tesha Shalon

Stoned Moms: The Marijuana Industry’s Greatest Untapped Market

If you’ve seen this video of grandmothers getting high then you’re going to love this Granny who loves her weed too. Since the legalization of recreational weed use in Colorado in 2012 entrepreneurs and investment bankers have been looking for the next big push to get the legal marijuana industry profitable. Justin Hartfield is the creator of WeedMaps, a yelp for marijuana dispensaries that marries the marijuana and tech industries into a modern entrepreneurial dream. However the next untapped market that the medical and recreation marijuana industry needs are everyday people, you, me, and your mom too.   Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Continue reading Stoned Moms: The Marijuana Industry’s Greatest Untapped Market

Marijuana Money

This article is a part one. Look for the second half next week! I remember proudly voting for the legalization of weed. July 8, 2014, marked the opening of legal vendors in Washington State, and lines of Americans stretched for miles outside the few stores that qualified. Sadly, I wasn’t 21 so I didn’t partake in that historic occasion, but plenty sure did. In the first month, Washington sold $3.8 million in pot from just eighteen stores. If that sounds impressive, one year later, a combined 160 stores were selling more than $1.4 million each day. I’m certain that even Continue reading Marijuana Money

The Price is Wrong

This may not be the easiest pill to swallow, but worldwide, energy prices are far too low. In the United States, on average, the federal U.S. tax on gasoline has remained at merely 18 cents per gallon since 1993. We all know that there are negative effects that come with the overconsumption of nonrenewable energy, but is it reflected in the prices? When gas, or any other fossil fuel, is bought at market price, the cost fails to account for the environmental and social impacts that come with the production and consumption of these fuels. This issue is called a Continue reading The Price is Wrong

A New Trend in Emissions and Economic Progress

Two weeks ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that in 2014, there was a decoupling of economic growth and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. As the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3%, global emissions totaled to 32.3 billion tons, which was the same amount emitted in 2013. There were many reasons for this paramount shift, but to sum things up, many countries in different stages of development are finding considerable and effective methods in curbing their carbon emissions on both a household and industrial level. This is the first time in 40 years that a halt in global CO2 emissions wasn’t tied to a huge Continue reading A New Trend in Emissions and Economic Progress

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

Fitness Apartheid? A moral look at price discrimination

Fitness Apartheid. That’s right, apartheid. That’s one way the housing market in New York City has been described recently by a tenant. An inflammatory word? Absolutely. Comparing exclusive fitness centers to an entire history of racially based and politically enforced segregation is entirely inappropriate and I don’t support it in the least. However, the housing market in New York is a battle ground and the actions that landlords are taking have become downright offensive. This episode of Freakonomics explores the idea of price discrimination through first class airplane seats, “the poor door”, and yes, an exclusive fitness center. To listen to the episode, Continue reading Fitness Apartheid? A moral look at price discrimination

Looking Closer at the US Farm Bill: Food Stamps

    In the most recent US Farm Bill signed by President Obama, Food Stamps are set to be cut $8 billion over the next decade. This comes after a discontinuation of the $5 billion a year increase in funding that was allocated because of increased need during the recession. Also known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), the program provided assistance to 46.8 million Americans in 2013, a full 15.1% of the US population. Supporters of the recent cuts argue that programs like SNAP create a “dependence” on government and reduce incentives to work, while opponents point out that without SNAP, an Continue reading Looking Closer at the US Farm Bill: Food Stamps

Keystone XL Economics Part II

Following up on Collin’s article yesterday, I want to add an additional perspective on the economics of the Keystone XL pipeline. First off, while the State Department report on the Keystone XL pipeline suggested that the pipeline will probably not increase greenhouse gas emissions, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found that the pipeline would increase greenhouse gas emissions anywhere between 3 and 21 million metric tons annually, assuming that the pipeline will accelerate tar sands oil production. This is mainly due to the fact that refining tar sands oil is far more energy intensive than refining normal crude oil. Another environmental Continue reading Keystone XL Economics Part II

More Evidence on the Effects of Raising the Minimum Wage

Following up on Collin’s article “$15 Minimum Wage.. It’s Happening Now”, the CBO has recently released it’s report on the economic impact of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. A New York Times Economix Blog article pulls a few nuggets from the report: -An estimated 16.5 million low-wage workers will see their wages increase as a result of the minimum wage increase. -900,000 people who are currently impoverished will move above the poverty threshold. -Raising the minimum wage will reduce low-wage employment by roughly 500,000. The article even questions the employment loss estimates as being too high, noting that the most precise Continue reading More Evidence on the Effects of Raising the Minimum Wage