Let's try it this way - I'll give you five minutes to browse the links at each of the sites below. After five minutes, we'll chat about what you find.
Greg Mankiw's Blog - He teaches Econ 10 at Harvard and was Chairman of George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2005.
- "How to Lie Without Statistics"
- "The Enormity of the Fiscal Gap"
- "Declining Admissions Rates at Top Colleges"
- "An Auction"
- "Taxes Per Person"
Marginal Revolution - Tyler Cowen is a Professor of Economics at George Mason, as is co-blogger Alex Tabarrok.
- "How to Stack the Cards in a Broccoli v. Chocolate Study"
- "Not from the Onion: NYC to Stop Paying Teachers to Do Nothing"
- "Who Really Failed?"
- "Why Do Colleges Care About Extracurricular Activities?"
Predictably Irrational - This is Dan Ariely's blog.
- "Why Businesses Don't Experiment"
- "The Long-Term Effects of Short-Term Emotions"
- "Monkeys Like to Mix It Up"
- "The Power of Defaults in How We Eat"
We'll take a look at the material on jobs that we didn't get to yesterday...
Unemployment: This, in many ways, is sort of the flip side of what we did with inflation.
Defining "unemployment: The unemployment rate is the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is unemployed. It is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by the sum of the number of people unemployed and the number of people employed. An individual is counted as unemployed if the individual is over the age of 16 and is actively looking for a job, but cannot find one. Students, those individuals who choose to not work, and retirees are therefore not counted in the unemployment rate.
The Current State of Unemployment: The most recent figures we have take us through December. This is a lot of numbers, but just browse it for a couple minutes. Here are the newest charts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Questions to consider and discuss:
- What surprises you (if anything) about the statistics and graphs above? What explanations do you have for the discrepancies?
- In January 2002, a falling unemployment rate
was accompanied by a significant fall in employment. How can the number of
individuals employed fall and the unemployment rate fall at the same time?
Unemployment in your backyard (or anyone else's) ... You can go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and check the Local Area Unemployment Statistics for your city and/or state.
Answer these questions:
1. Is unemployment in our area higher, lower, or roughly the same as the national average? What about your favorite vacation spot? Your grandma's hometown?
2. What factors contribute to our area's unemployment rate? (Think about recent news...)
- Which industries have expanded?
- Which industries have contracted?
3. Will the recent changes affect you?
4. If avoiding inflation were your highest concern, where should you move? If you like the idea of unemployment, what cities would you recommend for your next move?
Unemployment Insurance: Go to the website for the Minnesota WorkForce Center. Browse through the links and see what kinds of benefits are available in this state.
- Do you think unemployment benefits are appropriate in Minnesota?
- What changes, if any, would you make?
- Do you think these benefits are a disincentive
between Inflation and Unemployment: The Phillips Curve - Economists have long claimed an inverse
relationship exists between unemployment and inflation. This "Phillips
Curve" quickly gets very technical, but you can see the basics
at this link. Browse around for a bit.
HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Friday, April 23rd
Your Naked Economics Blog Entry #4 is posted (Chapters 6 and 7). It is due by class time on Friday.
Please try to read Chapter 8 in Naked Economics for tomorrow and Chapter 9 over the weekend.