Environmental Dilemmas

It’s the same question. Economic development or conservation? During April, the headline said, “Uganda Seeks to Reconcile Oil-Nature.” Now, in Tanzania, “Proposed Serengeti Highway Is Lined With Prospects and Fears.” The places differ but the issues are the same. In…

Silver Job Fairs

It is more likely that a 75 year-old South Korean will be working than a 60 year old Frenchman. According to OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and development) statistics cited by Floyd Norris, workers in South Korea and Japan remain…

The Price System: Pelicans, Professors, and Murders

Is a pelican worth $500? What is the value of a college professor? What does a murder cost us? Sometimes it’s tough to get a price. We know that BP owes money for wildlife lost on devastated wetlands. But how…

Some Like It Hot?

A warmer Detroit? A wetter New York? In the future world that UCLA professor Matthew Kahn describes, cities will adapt to climate change. Assuming that warming is gradual, populations will migrate and innovate. If San Diego becomes less habitable, people…

Chinese Big Macs

At 14.5 yuan or $2.18, a Beijing Big Mac is cheap. In the U.S. the price is closer to $3.71. As explained by The Economist, we just need to know about the Big Mac to know what the yuan should…

Powerful Women

Lady Gaga is #7. Yes, according to a 2010 Forbes list of the most powerful women in the world, Lady Gaga’s power is surpassed by just 6 other women: Michelle Obama, Irene Rosenfeld (Kraft Foods CEO), Oprah, Angela Merkel (Germany’s Chancellor), Hillary…

Nobel Cash

If you win a Nobel Prize, you get a cash prize of approximately $1.5 million. The size of that prize relates to how well the foundation that manages Alfred Nobel’s endowment has fared.  According to the Financial Times, during the…

China’s Market

Sort of like jumbo shrimp and a working vacation, we could say that an authoritarian market is an oxymoron.The chief economist of the World Bank, Justin Yifu Lin, would disagree. As described in a recent New Yorker Magazine profile, Dr.…

Supply, Demand, and Kimchi

The kimchi mini-crisis is a perfect tale of supply and demand. Kimchi, “a fiery cabbage-based staple of Korea,” is typically made from “seasoned, fermented napa cabbage”. Farmers supply the napa cabbage for kimchi and demand comes from restaurants and consumers.…

More Than Chicken Feet

Chicken feet are back in the news. But the story is about much more. A delicacy in China, chicken feet are a perfect U.S. export. Except for animal feed, there is little demand for them in the U.S. By contrast,…