Archive for the ‘Planet Money’ Category

Economics, Sexism, Data   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/03/720139562/episode-910-economics-sexism-data

As International Women’s Month begins, this podcast by Planet Money helps highlight some of the issues involving sexism and economics. At the time Alice Wu was an economics undergraduate at UC Berkeley and had found an online job forum but was shocked to see the attitude and banter relating to women in the field of economics. She then used her econ skills to analyze the inherent bias found on the site and put out a report on her findings, leading to many woman in the economic field sharing their stories and exposing some of the sexism they have had to face.

Discussion Prompt: What are some ways that social issues, such as sexism can be address throughout a whole field like economics?

Original Air Date: May 3, 2019

Length: 24 minutes 20 seconds

Rethinking Black Wealth   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/05/920342513/rethinking-black-wealth

Dr. Andre Perry, a Brookings Institution fellow, highlights the disparities of wealth and structural racism in predominantly Black neighborhoods. He discusses his self-coined term “devalued assets” and how oppressive policy that has been enforced on Black communities has caused extensive damage throughout. An educational conversation to bring Black History Month to a close.

Original Air Date: October 7, 2020

Length: 20 minutes 59 seconds

Hey Google, Are You Too Big?   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2020/10/21/926168583/hey-google-are-you-too-big

The Department of Justice has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google due to their alleged monopoly power over the online search and internet search ad market. The DOJ must prove in this case that Google has created this monopoly in a way that is harmful to consumers. If Google loses the case, this would allow for more competition within the market, even if the effects of this case are not seen right away.

Original Air Date: October 21, 2020

Length: 18 minutes

How Vikings Launched Globalization 1.0   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/13/923237556/how-vikings-launched-globalization-1-0

In the year 1000 Vikings were the first individuals from Europe to discover North America. Eventually, they discovered that indigenous individuals were already there and began exchanging goods with them. This is the first known example of a good from one area in the world was able to be traded for a good in another region. There is even evidence of some form of coin being exchanged between the two groups.

Original Air Date: October 13, 2020

Length: 9 minutes 55 seconds

What is Bidenomics?   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2020/10/29/929127255/what-is-bidenomics

Biden has proposed an economic plan to contain the coronavirus while opening the economy again when it is safe to do so. His plan primarily focuses on affordable child care, creating more jobs in the green energy sector, and closing the racial wealth gap. This podcast discusses his plans to raise taxes on the wealthy, remove certain deductibles for these individuals, and increase taxes on corporations in order to fund some of these programs.

Original Air Date: October 29, 2020

Length: 9 minutes 42 seconds

Political Ad Nauseam   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2020/10/09/922424987/political-ad-nauseam

With the presidential election coming up, NPR looked into how much money campaigns pay for certain demographics of voters. Approximately 60% of campaign spending is typically targeted at TV ads in battleground states such as Wisconsin and Florida. Using a generic party model, campaign advertisers are able to identify which individuals have a higher probability of being a “swing voter”.

Original Air Date: October 9, 2020

Length: 22 minutes 35 seconds

Mask Communication   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/08/07/900273012/mask-communication

This podcast uses behavioral economics to analyze the reasons why people may refuse to wear masks. Economists believe when these individuals feel external constraints on their freedoms, they feel even less inclined to wear a mask. Behavioral economists discuss nudges/incentives that could be effective in this situation.

Original Air Date: August 7, 2020

Length: 26 minutes 26 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What are some other incentives you can think of that would influence more widespread mask wearing?

Negative Oil   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/22/842095406/episode-993-negative-oil

Oil prices have officially fallen well below a dollar in the United States. This is extremely telling about the current state of the economy, considering this has never happened before.

Original Air Date: April 22 2020

Length: 16 minutes 22 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What can this tell us about the state of the global economy at the time of negative oil? If you were advising policy makers, how important would you say this event was or was not? Why?

13,000 Economists, 1 Question   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/09/794977811/episode-963-13-000-economists-1-question

At the American Economic Association annual conference, some of the brightest economists answer the question, “What is the most useful idea in economics?”. Answers range from the idea of opportunity cost to thinking at the margin.

Original Air Date: January 10 2020

Length: 21 minutes 1 second

Discussion Prompt: What do you believe is this most useful idea in economics and why?

Written Prompt: Develop your own list of your top ten (or top 5) ‘most useful ideas’ in economics. Be sure to explain WHY you’ve made your selections.  You may use up to 3 of those referenced in the podcast, with your own explanations! The rest must be your idea. 

Lives Vs. The Economy   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/15/835571843/episode-991-lives-vs-the-economy

Economists discuss the valuation of human life model to determine when the appropriate time to open the economy is. Federal agencies typically value a human life at $10 million. Many economists recently have said that right now, it is not worth it to open the economy back up.

Original Air Date: April 15, 2020

Length: 25 minutes 24 seconds