The Mystery of the Missing Services

Much less visible than the goods that travel in huge container ships, the global trade in services can be seen when we just look at everyday activities.

When a Tomato is Like a Washing Machine

Next winter, our salads could be much more expensive because a new 17.5% tomato tariff will shrink supply and spike prices.

(Almost) All You Need To Know About Quotas

From sleeveless jackets to begging brides and young sports teams with no uniforms, the complexities of quotas can produce a slew of unpredictable results.

The Travels of a Cashew

We seem to be going nuts for cashews. You can see below that the U.S. and India are eating the most. We like our nuts as a snack, in protein bars and as cashew milk. In India, a growing middle…

Where to Buy the Cheapest Big Mac

More than a list of hamburger prices, the Big Mac Index provides an easy way to see which currencies are undervalued and overvalued.

The Reason There Are Fewer Russian McDonald’s

Embargoing goods from countries that imposed sanctions, Russia included McDonald’s and ignored the benefits of David Ricardo’s comparative advantage.

Hamburger Economics

Our Sunday Charts The 2014 Big Mac Index is out and not much has changed. Norway’s Big Macs are most expensive and Chinese Big Macs are cheap. As The Economist explains, starting in 1986, they wanted to take a lighthearted look at whether currencies…

Our Weekly Roundup: From Traffic Lights to Sneakers, Everyday Economics Explained by 5 Great Economists

Our Econlife roundup for the week 7.14.14 An island without traffic lights displays the benefits of Adam Smith’s laissez-faire…more   7.15.14 Why David Ricardo would approve of where your sneakers were made…more   7.16.14 John Maynard Keynes could say why you’ll get less Social…

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…

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…