Using Pizza to Understand the Trade Deficit

We can look at pizza take-out to see why a trade deficit involves much more than spending more on the imports you buy than the exports you sell.

The One Thing We Should Know About Making Sneakers

With consumers expecting faster product cycles, Adidas is experimenting with a new supply chain that accelerates sneaker production.

Why Night Owls and Early Birds Affect the GDP

Determined genetically, our sleep preferences as night owls, morning larks or neither could affect our productivity at work.

How Your Dog is an Economic Indicator

Looking at New York City real estate prices and the dogs that households own, we can see a correlation and a quirky economic indicator.

How the Movies Became Cool

An August release, The Shape of Water could be in theaters during hot summer weather because of the invention of air conditioning.

How to Make Kids Smarter (And Also Help the GDP)

While superstition tells us that babies born during the Year of the Dragon will have more success and power, economists look at human capital investment.

The Economic Yardstick That (We Don’t Know) We Need

Please think GDP for a moment. Reported and revised during each quarter, GDP numbers create a reaction. If the growth rate is high, lawmakers assume their policies are working. When the numbers are lower, people wonder how to boost them.…

When Garbage Is More Than Trash

Our story starts in a college dining room when students said the mayonnaise did not taste right. It turns out that a shipment of mayonnaise to Michigan State University had frozen. Yes, you could eat the mayo (I checked). It just…

The Shrinking Cities Problem

An idyllic mountain village wants you. The town has one shop, a church, houses that have been there forever, and a population that has shrunk to 240. It is located in the Swiss Alps. Albinen’s plusses include clean air, magnificent views, and…

The Messages That Satellite Images Send

By showing illuminated areas of the world, nighttime satellite images can tell economic stories that relate to growth and contraction.