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

Gun Control: New Zealand Did It… Why Can’t We?

Yesterday, NPR announced that New Zealand passed a law making most semi-automatic weapons illegal. This doesn’t only prohibit the selling of these weapons, but also prohibits owning these weapons and states that everyone who has one currently has until the end of September to return their weapons through a buyback program. This comes less than a month after a terrorist attack on mosques which lead to 50 people killed. Meanwhile, in the US we have already had 80 mass shootings just this year and we have yet to make any legislative progress in regards to gun control. Perhaps this is Continue reading Gun Control: New Zealand Did It… Why Can’t We?

College: At What Cost?

On March 5th, 50 people were prosecuted for paying extravagant bribes so their children can get into well know, elite colleges. The most famous of these 50 include Mossimo Giannulli, his wife Lori Loughlin who is Aunt Becky in “Full House,” and Felicity Huffman. There were two ways that these bribes worked. The first would be to improve their child’s SAT or ACT scores and the other would be to manipulate the requirements the children had to meet to get into specific schools. William Singer organized this fraud as the CEO of a college prep business called The Edge College Continue reading College: At What Cost?

Relationship between Oil Prices and Inflation

Economists in the past 20 years have examined the relationship between oil prices and inflation. The common finding has been one of “limited” or “modest” correlation between these two variables. Michele Cavallo wrote on this topic in the FRBSF Economic Letter and made the observation that in the “1970s and early 1980s, rising oil prices were accompanied by double-digit overall inflation in the U.S. and in several other developed economies.” There were studies conducted using data from 1960-2000 and the results were ambiguous as they showed a strong relationship between oil prices and inflation only before 1981. But since 2000 Continue reading Relationship between Oil Prices and Inflation

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