Weekly Roundup: From Robot Servers to Shrimp Farmers

Our everyday economics includes wages, externalities, productivity, income, tradeoff, taxes, fiscal policy, gender, human capital and comparative advantage.

Weekly Roundup: From Slicing Bread to Saving Honeybees

Our everyday economics includes behavioral economics, commitment devices, environment, supply, regulation, free trade, gender issues and the minimum wage.

What the Big Mac Says About the Trans-Pacific Partnership

While opponents of the TPP free trade deal cite currency manipulation, cheaper exports from countries with cheaper currencies save money for U.S. buyers.

Weekly Roundup: From Thirsty Almonds to Potent Alcohol

Our everyday economics includes human capital, incentives, behavioral economics, cost and benefit, exports, tradeoffs, inequality, risk,markets, and income.

The Unexpected Cost of An Almond

Allocating water to California almond growers that could be used elsewhere in the state represents tradeoffs and considerable cost during the drought.

What Would David Ricardo Say About Your Sneakers?

While the uniforms, boots and other items worn by the military are supposed to be 100% “Made in the USA,” exceptions are okay if we cannot make what they need. Athletic shoes became one of those exceptions when the Defense…

B(T)FF… Best Trading Friends Forever

We can say that Mexico believes her top trading partner is the United States because the value of her exports to the US (2013: $370,826,831) added to the value of her imports from the US (2013: $370,746,056) is exceeded by none of her other…

A Nutty Demand and Supply Story

Our almond story starts on the demand side in China with a name change. Just like apricot kernals, California almonds had been called xing ren until the apricot kernel growers accused the Americans of “deceiving consumers.” Trying to minimize a marketing…

Comparative Advantage: A Natural Gas Dilemma

When the price of natural gas plunged in 2008, manufacturers smiled. As Dow Chemical’s CEO recently explained, cheaper natural gas means a $4 billion investment in 120 new manufacturing projects. Using cheap gas, Dow plans to build ethylene, propylene, chlorine and…

International Trade: The Story of a Subsidy

Oddly, some US farm subsidies go to Brazil. Imagine a safety net when you think of a subsidy. If prices are too low, then growers get money from the federal government. During the 1930s Great Depression, the goal of subsidies…