Monday , October 26 2020
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Cyril Morong: Dangerous Economist

Cyril Morong, who teaches economics at San Antonio College, is the Dangerous Economist. Cyril picks up on some very interesting articles in the news with his own comments. This blog is very easy to read and great for people wanting to see how economic principles appear in everyday news.

Studying Economics Increases Wages a Lot

By Alex Tabarrok. He is an economics professor at George Mason university.He discusses the key issue, causality. Does majoring in economics cause the higher salary? Or did smart people major in economics who would have made high salaries anyway?The study looked at students who just barely had a high enough GPA to qualify to major in econ and compared them to students who were just below the cutoff. So the two groups are very similar (meaning we have ceteris paribus conditions or holding all...

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When workers were paid twice a day and given half-hour shopping breaks (Germany, 1923)

 Here is Michael K. Salemi on hyper inflation. He is an economics professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "Inflation is a sustained increase in the aggregate price level. Hyperinflation is very high inflation. Although the threshold is arbitrary, economists generally reserve the term “hyperinflation” to describe episodes when the monthly inflation rate is greater than 50 percent. At a monthly rate of 50 percent, an item that cost $1 on January 1 would cost $130 on...

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Is Covid causing some structural unemployment?

See Companies Step Up Distribution Automation Under Pandemic Strains: Robots are helping speed the flow of goods while workers maintain social distance in warehousing and fulfillment operations by Jennifer Smith of The WSJ. In my macroeconomics class, we talk about the types of unemployment. Here is one of them:Structural-unemployment caused by a mismatch between the skills of job seekers and the requirements of available jobs. One example of this is when you are replaced by a machine....

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Ventilators and the law of increasing opportunity cost

See As Coronavirus Hospitalizations Surge, Ventilator Manufacturing Ramps Up—but Not Quickly Enough: Hospitals need the breathing machines for critically ill virus patients but can’t get their hands on the numbers they require by Peter Loftus and Melanie Evans of The WSJ.It reminds me of  The Law of Increasing Opportunity Cost. That is the idea that as you try to produce more of one good (A), you have to keep giving up more and more of another good (B), to get 1 more unit of A. This is...

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Why Being Kind Helps You, Too—Especially Now

Research links kindness to a wealth of physical and emotional benefits. And it’s an excellent coping skill for the Covid-19 era By Elizabeth Bernstein of The WSJ.Adam Smith said when people act selfishly they are led, as if by an invisible hand, to make society better off. So what if you try to help others because you know it will make you better off? Are being kind (altruistic) or selfish?One researcher says "Our attention isn’t something that is infinitely expansive." It like saying...

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Another Semester Has Started

 Welcome to any new students. The entries usually have something to do with a basic economic principle that is related to a recent news story.Here is something I wrote for The Ranger (the school paper of San Antonio College where I used to teach) back in 2011 titled "Why is college so hard?"Students might wonder why college, and SAC in particular, is hard. This might sound trite, but I think the faculty at SAC want students to achieve success in life and that means that classes have to be...

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Is Covid causing some structural unemployment? (Part 2)

See Hotel Robots Get Second Life as Industry Adapts to Covid-19: Bots like Relay, produced by a Google Ventures-backed company, cut down on unsafe interactions by Will Parker of The WSJ. Excerpts:"Hoteliers and robotics companies say delivery bots like Relay, produced by the Google Ventures-backed Savioke Inc., are cutting down on potentially unsafe interactions between hotel staff and room guests, by offering contactless room service. And cleaning robots, like Maidbot’s Rosie, are...

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Is Covid causing some structural unemployment?

See Companies Step Up Distribution Automation Under Pandemic Strains: Robots are helping speed the flow of goods while workers maintain social distance in warehousing and fulfillment operations by Jennifer Smith of The WSJ. In my macroeconomics class, we talk about the types of unemployment. Here is one of them:Structural-unemployment caused by a mismatch between the skills of job seekers and the requirements of available jobs. One example of this is when you are replaced by a machine....

Read More »

Judge says sharp elbows don’t violate anti-trust laws

See U.S. Appeals Court Throws Out Antitrust Ruling Against Qualcomm: Court rules federal government hadn’t shown chip maker engaged in illegal monopolization by Brent Kendall and Asa Fitch of The WSJ. Excerpts:"A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a sweeping antitrust judgment against Qualcomm Inc., QCOM 0.29% ruling the federal government didn’t prove the dominant cellphone chip maker engaged in illegal monopolization. The...

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Why Being Kind Helps You, Too—Especially Now

Research links kindness to a wealth of physical and emotional benefits. And it’s an excellent coping skill for the Covid-19 era By Elizabeth Bernstein of The WSJ.Adam Smith said when people act selfishly they are led, as if by an invisible hand, to make society better off. So what if you try to help others because you know it will make you better off? Are being kind (altruistic) or selfish?One researcher says "Our attention isn’t something that is infinitely expansive." It like saying you...

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