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Economics Essays


Sequenced in the U.S.A.: A Desperate Town Hands Over Its DNA

The new American economy in three tablespoons of blood, a Walmart gift card, and a former mill town’s DNA.

Quick Studies


The Upside of Economic Downturns: Better Childhood Health

For children, the benefits of being born in tough times can outweigh the costs.

The Future of Money


Should the One Percent Stop Hoarding So Much Cash?

A tax on excess cash holdings—for corporations as well at high-net-worth individuals—could help spur development.

Go Outside


Whither American Cruise Ships?

Shipping out to sea on a luxury cruise liner just doesn’t seem to fit too well within our current economic or environmental realities.

Sociological Images


The Economy Is Growing, but We’re Replacing Good Jobs With Bad Ones

A recent study by the National Employment Law Project gives job creators a failing grade.

Your Money


The Work-Play Balance in America vs. the World

We’re 16 years from the 15-hour work week envisioned by Keynes, and if anything, we’re moving in the opposite direction.

Hot in Here


The Gross Society: We’re Entering an Age of Energy Impoverishment

It’s hard to overstate just how serious a threat our energy crisis is to every aspect of our current way of life. But the problem is hidden from view by oil and natural gas production numbers that look and feel just fine.

This Is Your Brain


Patience in the Age of Distraction

The meaning of patience has changed over time, but that hasn’t made it any easier to practice.

Quick Studies


Could Taxes on Alcohol Promote Economic Growth?

All of those hangovers could be costing the country a lot of workdays.

You Don't Know America


What Does a Rock ‘n’ Roll Musician Look Like Today?

Ezra Furman released two albums last year, both to critical acclaim, but he’s still not totally sure how he makes his money.

You Don't Know America


How ‘House Hunters’ Explains America

It turns out you can learn a whole lot about this country by watching six different couples try to buy a home.

You Don't Know America


You Don’t Know America

And neither do we. Introducing our latest special report.

What Is Cool?


Why ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Exists

If a movie walks you through hell, that doesn’t mean it actually wants you to go there.



More Than Teenagers Toasting Buns: The Changing Demographics of Fast-Food Workers

The recent strikes show just how untenable the current makeup of the fast-food labor force really is.



The Weakest Economic Recovery Since World War II

One of the biggest differences between this recovery and others that came before is the contraction of government spending and employment.



In Praise of Pumpkin Pie, the Only Reason to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Some people are trying to eliminate pumpkin pie from your Thanksgiving. These people are not to be trusted.



How Americans Cheat the Argentinean Economy

As the Argentinean government tries to limit the number of American dollars in circulation, a black market has taken the place of the official exchange.



Nearly 1 in 5 Adults Is Still Living at Home With Their Parents

And that’s up from just nine percent in 1980.



This Government Shutdown Won’t Be Our Last

Get used to government shutdowns. Serious budget problems are a common feature of large states in decline.



The Problem With Volunteer Tourism

While it might seem like a way for people to spend money and do some good, is it really the best way to enact any meaningful change?



Bad Economic News Linked to Harsh Parenting

New research finds that anxiety caused by the 2008 economic crash led many mothers to switch to a less-nurturing parenting style.



The Most Hated American Soccer Team Plays in Germany

A tiny village team is now playing in the top level of German soccer—and nobody is happy about it.



Are the Protests in Brazil Due to Falling Inequality Levels?

The Brazilian middle class is bigger than ever, and that’s why they’re so fed up.



2 Reasons Why We Should Invest in Women in Agriculture

Gender equality and world hunger.



Forget Gold and Bitcoin: Kissing Is the New Currency

A cafe in Australia let’s you buy a coffee with a kiss. Maybe they’re on to something.

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Attitudes About Race Affect Actions, Even When They Don’t

Tiny effects of attitudes on individuals' actions pile up quickly.

Geography, Race, and LOLs

The online lexicon spreads through racial and ethnic groups as much as it does through geography and other traditional linguistic measures.

Feeling—Not Being—Wealthy Cuts Support for Economic Redistribution

A new study suggests it's relative wealth that leads people to oppose taxing the rich and giving to the poor.

Sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder, Your Friends Like You

The first study of friends' perceptions suggest they know something's off with their pals but like them just the same.

Standing Up for My Group by Kicking Yours

Members of a minority ethnic group are less likely to express support for gay equality if they believe their own group suffers from discrimination.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

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