Archive for the ‘Public goods’ Category

A new approach to increasing low-income college grads   Leave a comment

Obama Gives Commencement Address At Arizona State UniversityLink: http://www.marketplace.org/2016/03/24/world/new-approach-increasing-low-income-college-grads

Summary: Taxpayers are spending about $30 billion a year to help send low-income students to college, but only half of these students finish college within six years. College graduates are more likely to hold jobs and earn a higher wage than those who don’t. The federal government is beginning to take a closer look at Pell grant recipients to track their success, in hopes of improving future recipients chances of graduating college.

Original Air Date: March 24, 2016

Length: 2 minutes 41 seconds

Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing   Leave a comment

textbooksLink: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/10/03/353300404/episode-573-why-textbook-prices-keep-climbing

Summary: Something strange is going on in the textbook market. The price has steeply increased over the past decade–and they’re only getting higher. There is a disconnect between the chooser (the professors) and the buyers (the students). Technically, the professor is the consumer, and they’re spending their students’ money. The podcast offers the opposite: high school textbooks, where costs are kept low because the books are paid for by the schools.

Original Air Date: October 3, 2014

Length: 14 minutes 56 seconds

Discussion Question/ Prompt: Propose a solution to the rising textbook price problem. (Example: a price ceiling? professor awareness of prices? incentives for lower prices?)

How To Steal A Million Barrels Of Oil   Leave a comment

nigerian stolen oilLink: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/10/29/359624435/episode-578-how-to-steal-a-million-barrels-of-oil

Summary: The Nigerian Internet hosts many ads for stolen oil, inspiring the question: how? Why?  Nigeria has one of the top oil reserves, and it is controlled by the government. They lose about $10 million a day from oil theft. This podcast dissects how they get away with it.

Original Air Date: October 29, 2014

Length: 19 minutes 30 seconds

Discussion Question: The podcasts says that this problem is for the Nigerian government to solve. Should it be an international issue?

Prompt: The podcast does not reflect on the legally sold oil, and the effect the stolen oil has on that market. Write how you think the stolen oil would change the market for legal crude oil in the international arena, paying specific attention to the quantity and the prices.

Fixing the World, Bang-For-The-Buck Edition: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast   Leave a comment

Fixing-the-World-300x200Link: http://freakonomics.com/2014/10/02/fixing-the-world-bang-for-the-buck-edition-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

Summary: Return on Investment (ROI) analyzes at the most efficient way to spend money. An example given is the difference between curing malaria and HIV/AIDS. To cure malaria, it would cost about $1,000 per person, while it would cost ten times that to cure HIV/AIDS, and it is decided that they would rather save 10 people from malaria before they save one from HIV/AIDS.  The United Nations, with their Millennium Development Goals coming to a close, will be looking to set new goals in 2015, to be completed by 2030. One of the issued they will focus on is how they are setting goals, and how to be more efficient with the help of the Return on Investment analysis.

Original Air Date: October 2, 2014

Length: 43 minutes 34 seconds

Prompt / Discussion: You are a member of the United Nations, and are put in charge of coming up with new development goals for 2015. You have $100 billion to invest in various development aid. Discuss how you would prioritize between an important, expensive goal (such as getting all kids into school, which was one of the Millennium Development Goals), and something that might not be seen as highly important, but cost effective.

The Trouble With The Poverty Line   Leave a comment

Marion Matthew supports herself and her son in New York City on $23,000 a year. According to the government, she does not live in poverty.Link: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/09/20/224511346/episode-487-the-trouble-with-the-poverty-line

Summary: The Planet Money team investigates the outdated qualifications for the Poverty Line in America and the need for a new formula to alleviate the suffering. This podcast includes a brief history of the Poverty Line.

Original Air Date: September 20, 2013

Length: 11 minutes 47 seconds

 

How Stuff Gets Cheaper   Leave a comment

stuff cheaperLink: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/11/28/366793693/episode-586-how-stuff-gets-cheaper

Summary: The Planet Money team looks at how some things get cheaper over time. The podcast hosts visit a company called Monoprice, whose job it is to find out ways to make things cheaper–in other words, a lot of detective work.

Original Air Date: November 28, 2014

Length: 14 minutes 11 seconds

Prompt: Write a brief letter to Monoprice with your thoughts on their job. Is it efficient? Is it cost-productive?

A Bet, Five Metals And The Future Of The Planet   Leave a comment

future planetLink: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/12/31/258687278/a-bet-five-metals-and-the-future-of-the-planet 

Summary: A bet between a biologist and an economist over population growth. This Planet Money Podcast reports on a wager between biologist Paul Ehrlich and economist Julian Simon on the affect of population boom to our environment.

Original Air Date: January 2, 2014

Length: 7 minutes