The Human Side of Offshoring

Typical of offshoring decisions by manufacturing firms, Carrier Corporations’s Indianapolis plant is sending its jobs to Mexico.

The Mystery of the Missing Middle Class

Called the middle class, the middle income population is actually the group that is shrinking when it moves up or down the income ladder.

How Your Lawn is About More Than Grass

Nothing but grass, lawns began as conspicuous consumption from the English and French aristocracy and now are a middle class manicured status symbol.

Where Prada is Called Ordinary

Purchasing less expensive luxury goods like Prada and Louis Vuitton, China’s growing middle class displays Thorstein Veblen’s conspicuous consumption.

Weekly Roundup: 6 Mysteries

Our everyday economic stories involve participation rates, human capital, signaling, ROI, money, price, austerity, personal income, monopoly and bubbles.

A Mystery: Trying to Find the Middle Class

While everyone refers to the middle class and most of us say we are in the middle class, few know the characteristics of the group to which they refer.

Income Inequality Questions

Seeing economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty’s favorite graph of the year at Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog, I thought of Benoit Mandelbrot. The father of fractal geometry, Dr. Mandelbrot told us that the closer you look, the more you see. From a…

Why Are Most of Us Middle Class?

“What then is the American, this new man?…He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the…

Developing a Soda Habit

Why do Brazilians drink Coca-Cola? Our story starts during 1990. Trying to cope with an 80% monthly inflation rate, Brazilian shoppers rushed to supermarkets early in the morning before higher price stickers replaced the old ones. In just one month,…

Cars and the Middle Class in Developing Nations

What does it mean to be middle class? For a developing nation like China, income might be the key. If someone earns between $10 and $50 a day, then that person is middle class. Or perhaps you just need to…