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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Venezuelans seem to have a very troubling mess on their hands:  they are facing a serious shortage of toilet paper.  This situation is the result of their insistence on keeping the price of toilet paper, and many other things, even their currency, under the control of their government, making prices political. Price ceilings have the […]

There was a popular cruise ship and transatlantic liner run by Cunard Line  named the Queen Elizabeth II, but often just called the “QE2.”  Now, QE2, QE3 and QE infinity are short for versions of a monetary policy tool called “Quantitative Easing” or “QE” for short. Quantitative Easing refers to a policy of vastly increasing […]

Here is an article (you might have to be on the campus network to view this article) by Paul Voosen that appeared recently in The Chronicle of Higher Education about cartels, price fixing agreements and an economist who has become one of the leading experts on international price fixing cases.  In my microeconomics classes, we will […]

The Federal Reserve System (often just called “the fed”), the central bank in the U.S., controls the nation’s money supply.  The money supply has a strong impact on prices and inflation, interest rates, and in the short term, employment.  Ben Bernanke, former economics department chairman at Princeton, was appointed by George W. Bush to head […]

Tyler Cowen, who blogs at Marginal Revolution, recently posted this about students at the University of Toronto and how they are dealing with the problem of shortages in classes.  I wonder if this could be done with looming healthcare shortages.  Such shortages are sure to come in that industry if the government resorts to price […]

After going over the course syllabus in an introductory economics course, one of the first things an instructor will discuss is scarcity, that there are not enough resources to satisfy all of the wants for that resource.   While it is easy to see that there are not enough cancer doctors or not enough petroleum or […]

Ronald Coase, Nobel winning economists and long time editor of the journal, The Journal of Law and Economics, died Monday at the age of 102.  He was a colleague and co-founder of what is sometimes called “the Virginia School of Economics” along with James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, two of my instructors. Coase is best […]

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