Our Weekly Roundup: From Dental Care to Haircuts

This week’s everyday economics stories include income elasticity of demand, positive externalities, GDP, economic indicators, human capital & entitlements.

Surprising Economic Indicators

While the BLS has leading, lagging and coincidental economic indicators that it follows, the MUI and the lipstick index can also be an economic indicator.

Elasticity: Eating More Meat

Earning more probably means eating more meat. Chinese meat consumption surpassed the US in 1990. Their 7-fold increase since 1980 corresponds to a huge GDP pop–maybe by a 50 multiple. One Australian economist hypothesizes that when an economy doubles, people eat 15%…

The Recession: Quirky Indicators

People love to cite the lipstick effect. Named in 2001 by former Estée Lauder CEO Leonard Lauder, the lipstick effect just says that during hard times women enjoy more inexpensive luxuries like lipstick. But looking at this graph from The Economist,…

Take Me Out to the Ball Game?

Fewer people are going to baseball games. Even with a new stadium and a winning season, the Yankees are luring fewer fans. According to Forbes, as of the end of June, stadium revenue was sinking for the Chicago Cubs, St…