Grade Inflation

Recent research indicates college students are studying less. Between 1961 and 2003, full time college students diminished their study time from 40 to 27 hours a week. And yet, they have been getting …

A Corn Price Surprise

Interesting how real life can imitate economics. You know how corn prices have been soaring? Well, farmers responded just like they read an econ textbook. They increased supply. One tradeoff?  A …

Comparing Central Banks

Perhaps we can divide the world between inflation fighters and recession fighters. Right now, most of the inflation fighters are in the developing world. In Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRICs)…

Peanut Butter Prices

Let’s say that you saw the price of Skippy peanut butter, Tropicana orange juice, and Quaker oatmeal went up. Would you be concerned about inflation? In a recent paper, researchers from Yale and…

From China to Iowa

We can travel very quickly from China to Iowa. In an excellent report from The Economist on feeding the world, you can see how an increasingly affluent Chinese urban consumer affects many of us. One e…

Shrinking Packages

Have you noticed that the 64-ounce Tropicana Orange Juice container now holds 59 ounces of juice? Or, that Scott Toilet Tissue is 104.8 sq. ft. instead of 115.2 sq. ft.? Other shrinking packages inclu…

CPI Concerns

Should we care if China has a 5.1% annual inflation rate?  A little. The International Herald Tribune tells us that just 1/4 to 2/5 of the price we pay in the U.S. for an imported item reflects t…

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