Archive for the ‘Black / gray market’ Category

How Deep Is the Shadow Economy?   Leave a comment


Summary: Freakeconomics radio interviews Sudhir Vankatesh about the size of the shadow economy and the variety of off-the book transactions that flow throughout our tax system. Examples touched upon range from illicit transactions such as drug trafficking to ordinary services such as hair-cutting.

Original air date: August 30, 2012

Length: 20:09 min

Cheating, Stealing And Quantitative Easing   1 comment


Summary: The podcast outlines the black market of stolen bikes, cheating between countries (USA and China) in trade agreements and the changes of quantitative easing announcements between past and current years.

Original air date: September 25, 2012

Length: 14:21 min

Posted October 24, 2012 by leonidhapulluqi in Black / gray market, China, Planet Money, Trade

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Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 1   1 comment


Summary: Freakonomics Goes to College features a dual commentary on the benefits and costs of college degrees. Part 1 of the podcast focuses on the shadow economy of fake diplomas as well as how prosperous a college degree is for an individual in the long run.

Original air date: July 30, 2012

Length: 29:58 min

A Former Crack Dealer on the Economics of Drugs   2 comments


Freeway Rick RossOriginal air date: April 12, 2011

Length: 21:43

Main story content begins:  3:10

An Economist Gets Stoned   3 comments

packets of medical marijuana


Summary: Interview with economist Jeffrey Miron of the market for illegal drugs and the economic impact of ‘legalizing’ marijuana through implementation of medical marijuana laws at the state level.

Original Air Date: January 27, 2010

Length 19:03

Main story content begins: 0:00 (Planet Money indicator discusses contribution of marijuana to California economy)

Class Discussion Question: Discuss the conclusions reached in the podcast about the interaction of the elasticity of drugs and drug legalization. What impact do you think this would have on, for example, the marijuana industry when states legalize this product?

Written Assignment Prompt: Marijuana is California’s largest cash crop, with about 1,000 stores selling pot in LA alone.  Predict the supply and demand of marijuana for Los Angeles that would come with the legalization of the drug.

Lebronomics   3 comments

Lebron James in actionLink:

Summary: Discussion of the potential  “happiness” impact of Lebron James’ decision whether to leave Ohio for Miami, LA, or NY. Also a discussion of aftermarket ticket sales.

Original Air Date: July 9, 2010

Length 25:42

Main story content begins: 3:36

“Planet Money indicator” Discussion of China / US currency exchange, currency manipulation debate: 1:44 – 3:23

Discussion Prompt (1) : How does this podcast relate to the concept of consumer surplus? Based on the idea of utility/happiness introduced in the podcast in what ways (and for whom) might utility have been increased by Lebron’s decision? In what ways might it have been decreased?

Follow-up Prompt (1): Consider the idea of utility as set out in the podcast. What do you think are the challenges of measuring ‘utility’?  In what ways is it a useful and important measure/concept?  Can you think of something else that we can measure that would approximate measuring utility since it can be challenging to measure utility itself? Can you find an example of ‘diminishing marginal utility’ in this podcast or think of one related to the ideas in the podcast?

Discussion Prompt (2): What do you think about the idea of a gross domestic happiness index? What might be the challenges to measuring happiness? What examples of measures or indicators of happiness can you imagine that might make up such an index?

Follow-up Prompt (2):   How might it be useful for a government to think about measuring domestic happiness in this way?  How might it be used in a way that was useful or in a way that was not?