How is the total value of all the goods and services produced in a country's economy measured? Gross domestic product (GDP) is one common and fairly comprehensive measure. The May 2013 issue explains GDP components and how GDP is calculated. It also describes what GDP does—and does not—measure.
You may be doing all you can to prepare for the price of education after high school, but if your savings, grants, and scholarships aren’t quite enough, do not overlook student loans as a means to gaining the education you need to make the big bucks.
To understand why people trade, suppose you were limited to consuming only items you could find within walking distance of your house. Or, perhaps even worse, only items you could produce yourself. For most of us, this restriction would severely diminish the variety of goods and services we enjoy on a daily basis. Therefore, the simplest answer to the question is that people (or entire countries) trade because they will enjoy a wider variety of goods.
All inflation isn't bad—a moderate amount can signal a healthy economy. But high inflation, such as that during the Great Inflation, can lead to a vicious cycle where expectations of higher inflation lead to further increases in the price level. Read the October 2012 issue to find out what caused the Great Inflation, how tough (and painful) policy brought it to an end, and two key lessons learned.
Drivers may wonder whether the most recent spike in gasoline prices is temporary or will be longer lasting. Will prices eventually decline—maybe even to below $3 per gallon? Or is it time for drivers to alter their driving habits, maybe by buying a hybrid car? Be sure to read the September 2012 issue for a discussion of factors that might influence that decision.
GDP is a useful measure of the health of the economy, and it’s among the most important and widely reported economic data. However, the current “textbook treatment” of how international trade is measured as part of GDP can lead people to misunderstand the role trade plays in the economy. The September 2018 issue of Page One Economics intends to correct misconceptions and provide clear instruction on how imports affect GDP.
When regulating pollutants, is it more important to consider the science or the economics of the environment? Using the booming shale gas and oil industry as a case study, find out in the March 2019 Issue of Page One Economics how an understanding of the STEM fields and economics can be combined to create environmental policies that balance firm profits with environmental health.
Federal individual income tax must be paid to the U.S. government, but the amounts paid vary widely. The December 2016 issue of Page One Economics: Focus on Finance addresses basic facts about the tax—its history, purpose, and current structure.
The federal individual income tax is certain. The December 2018 issue addresses basic facts about the federal individual income tax and the new changes in taxation laws in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
When tragedy strikes, how do people avoid bearing all of the costs of their loss? Learn more in the February 2017 issue of Page One Economics: Focus on Finance.
As Adam Smith said, everyone lives by exchanging. They exchange—buy and sell—to make themselves better off. Does the same principle apply to international trade? Do nations benefit from importing and exporting? The November 2016 issue of Page One Economics explains the basics of international trade and its importance to the economy.
"Human capital" may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about investments, but investing in education and training is an important economic decision. Learn about human capital and the return on such an investment in the February 2013 issue.
Strong is usually preferred over "weak." But for the value of a country's currency, it's not that simple. "Strong" isn't always better, and "weak" isn't always worse. Learn more about foreign exchange rates in the March 2015 newsletter—"Is a Strong Dollar Better than a Weak Dollar?"
Competition, sportsmanship, and national pride are the foundations of the Olympics, but how much do the Olympics cost the host city and country? What are some of the economic benefits and deficits? Is the investment in the Olympics worth it in the end? Read about previous host experiences with the economic side of the Olympics in the August 2012 issue.
Have you ever heard someone say "Back in my day, a gallon of gas cost a quarter!" Comparing today's prices with prices "back in the day" can be misleading. Both inflation and deflation between then and now have to be taken into account. Read the August 2013 issue to learn more about the effects of inflation on prices.
FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data) provides access to a wide range of time-series data. Several of those series signal stress levels in financial markets and the probability of economic recession. This Special Edition of Page One Economics® describes indexes of financial and economic recession risk to new data users and can serve as a reference to advanced data users.
They say that "money makes the world go round." Just imagine a world without money as our method of payment for everyday transactions. Without money, we would all need to barter for necessary goods and services. For example, suppose an accountant needs to have her car fixed. Under a barter system, she would have to find someone who needed some tax advice in exchange for car repairs. The search to find a barter partner is time consuming and wasteful. Money solves this problem and many others. Read more about the three main functions of money and the damaging effects of too much inflation on these functions in the March 2013 issue.
The Federal Reserve conducts the nation’s monetary policy to promote maximum employment and price stability through the federal funds rate. The May 2019 issue of Page One Economics reviews the previous framework for monetary policy, and then describes the Federal Reserve’s new strategy for influencing the federal funds rate and the broader economy.
The February 2018 issue of Page One Economics: Focus on Finance focuses on an important milestone in transitioning to adulthood—getting your own place. The article discusses important topics related to renting, including careful preparation and effective planning, a realistic budget, weighing options against important criteria to make the best choice, and understanding a lease.
The output gap is one (of many) economic indicators used by economists to measure the strength of the economy. What exactly is the output gap, and how accurately does it predict the state of the economy? Read the November 2012 issue for an explanation of the output gap and answers to these questions.