Elaine Schwartz
4626 Articles50 Comments

Elaine Schwartz has spent her career sharing the interesting side of economics. At the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, she has been honored through an Endowed Chair in Economics and the History Department chairmanship. At the same time, she developed curricula and wrote several books including Understanding Our Economy (originally published by Addison Wesley as Economics Our American Economy) and Econ 101 ½  (Avon Books/Harper Collins). Elaine has also written in the Encyclopedia of New Jersey (Rutgers University Press) and was a featured teacher in the Annenberg/CPB video project “The Economics Classroom.” Beyond the classroom, she has presented Econ 101 ½ talks and led workshops for the Foundation for Teaching Economics, the National Council on Economic Education and for the Concord Coalition.

Yuan or Yen

Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, called China a currency manipulator in a recent interview. Next month, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will let us know if he agrees. The United States has not formally called China a currency manipulator since 1994.    According to a…

The Tip of the Iceberg?

Growth or a safety net? Thinking at the margin, an increasing number of European policy makers are debating a change. The result is a classic economic dilemma. Unemployment and medical insurance, pensions, licensing protections, and job guarantees can each tug GDP…

A New Fed?

“Independent” is the first word that comes to mind when I think about the Federal Reserve. Overseeing the supply of money and credit, the Fed is supposed to be an independent Federal agency. I wonder how the following basics of…

Costly Behavior

Do you approve of Pigovian taxes?  These are taxes levied on seemingly undesirable behavior in order to compensate for their negative impact on society. soda tax: Among other municipalities, New York State and Philadelphia are proposing soda taxes. bag tax:…

Random Recession Notes

The impact of a recession might not be entirely what we expect. A recent study from the University of Ottawa suggests that we sleep more during a recession. Canadians slept two hours and 34 minutes more per week. Hypothesizing that…

Hamburger Economics

When U.S. senators consider whether to respond to an undervalued Yuan, they can check the most recent Big Mac Index.  Big Macs are 49% cheaper in China than in the U.S. According to The Economist, we would pay $3.58 for a Big…

Frugal Fatigue?

Some of us are suffering from frugal fatigue. According to a New York psychologist, symptoms could include anxiety, fear, depression, and even the common cold. The cause is stress from watchful, recessionary budgeting which for certain people is no longer…

A One-Handed Economist?

Let’s not look at CDOs, SIVs, ARMs, TIPs or ATMs. Nor do we need specifically to consider credit default swaps, securitization, hedge funds or venture capital. Instead, we can go to the question that Robert Litan asks at the end…

New Financial Products

Instead of a garage or a laboratory, think of an office or a conference room. And, rather than a computer or an aircast, imagine a junk bond or a bank account.  All of these products, at one time were invented.…

Ricardo and China

What happens when you build an airport and nobody uses it?  China has an answer. Although China faces underutilization as it develops its transportation infrastructure in the air, by rail and roads,  it seems to be continuing. China’s policy took me…