Shortage Continues in the UK

Guardian: Is Brexit or Covid to blame for Britain’s supply chain crisis? Article published: 24 Sep,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (demand & supply, shortage, interdependence) Brexit and the pandemic have led to a huge shortage of low-skilled labour in the UK, especially in the food and drink industries. As a result, of less [...]

By |2021-10-19T12:39:07+00:00October 19th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Shortage Continues in the UK

Plain Packaging of Tobacco from Jan 2022 in Jersey

itv: Jersey to introduce 'standardised' tobacco packaging Article published: 30 Jun,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (market failure, demerit goods, government intervention) Tobacco products on Jersey will have plain packaging so that these demerit products have less appeal to consumers. This is one of multiple measures (including taxation) to try to cut smoking in [...]

By |2021-10-11T13:29:07+00:00October 15th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Plain Packaging of Tobacco from Jan 2022 in Jersey

Record Number of Cargo Ships Queueing at California Ports

BBC: Record backlog of cargo ships at California ports Article published: 21 Sep,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics and Global economics (non-price determinants of supply, international trade) This article talks about the increasing number of cargo ships that are waiting to discharge their containers at the ports of California, "which handle 40% of all [...]

By |2021-10-11T13:07:09+00:00October 13th, 2021|Global economics, Micro|Comments Off on Record Number of Cargo Ships Queueing at California Ports

Are Biofuels that Clean? Probably Not – at Least for Now

The New York Times: Biden Outlines a Plan for Cleaner Jet Fuel. But How Clean Would It Be? Article published: 13 Sep,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (market failure, negative externalities, government intervention, sustainability) Note that this article is over two pages, so it should not be used as an article for your IB [...]

By |2021-10-11T12:52:25+00:00October 11th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Are Biofuels that Clean? Probably Not – at Least for Now

The Green Premium – by Bill Gates

While this is not an IB Economics commentary article, this video provides a great idea about how to reach zero emissions by 2050. As Gates argues, we should use alternative ways for generating "electricity, transportation, growing food, heating buildings and making materials like steel and cement" without emitting greenhouse gases. However, right now, [...]

By |2021-09-16T14:17:52+00:00October 1st, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on The Green Premium – by Bill Gates

Road Pricing as a Means to Prevent Congestion in the UK

The Guardian: Road pricing may be the best option as number of electric cars rises Article published: 12 Sep,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (government intervention) This article is an opionion-based one, and as such does not report about a news event. Therefore, perhaps this is not the best one for a microeconomics commentary, [...]

By |2021-09-13T15:09:50+00:00September 29th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Road Pricing as a Means to Prevent Congestion in the UK

Wealth Inequality in the US among Families with Children – New Study

The Guardian: Staggering US wealth inequality heaps long-term harm on to minority children Article published: 2 Sep,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (national income data, economic growth, recession) Wealth inequality is extremely high among American families with children. The median wealth of white American families is $63,838, while the same is literally $808 for Black [...]

By |2021-09-13T13:52:59+00:00September 27th, 2021|Macro|Comments Off on Wealth Inequality in the US among Families with Children – New Study

Australia Might End up in Recession by December

The Sydney Morning Herald: Recession fears recede as economy grows to June, but lockdowns still to show Article published: 1 Sep,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (national income data, economic growth, recession) While there was a certain rise in economic growth in Australia in the 2nd quarter, due to the newly introduced lockdowns it [...]

By |2021-09-13T13:15:45+00:00September 24th, 2021|Macro|Comments Off on Australia Might End up in Recession by December

The External Costs of the Salmon Industry of Chile

This is a great short documentary that presents the external costs of industrial salmon farming in Chile. While obviously this is not suitable for a commentary as it's a video (and was published in 2019), it still gives a good insight into negative externalities of production. Therefore, it is a clear example of [...]

By |2021-09-13T12:58:57+00:00September 22nd, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on The External Costs of the Salmon Industry of Chile

No More Leaded Gasoline Use on Roads

CNN: Cars have been guzzling leaded gasoline for 99 years. Not any more Article published: 30 Aug,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (market failure, negative externality, government intervention) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that leaded gasoline for use on roads is finally banned worldwide. This comes with the Algeria being the [...]

By |2021-09-13T13:16:47+00:00September 20th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on No More Leaded Gasoline Use on Roads

Speed Limit Set at 30km/h in Paris

BBC: Paris speed limit falls to 30km/h Article published: 30 Aug,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (market failure, externalities, government intervention) The speed limit has been reduced to 30km/h in most of Paris among other French cities in an attempt to reduce "accidents, and reduce noise and pollution." This is a great article to [...]

By |2021-09-08T13:15:50+00:00September 17th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Speed Limit Set at 30km/h in Paris

South Korean Central Bank Raises Interest Rates for the First Time in Three Years

Reuters: S.Korea lifts interest rates from record low as debt threats grow Article published: 26 Aug,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (contractionary monetary policy) As inflation is picking up and economic growth recovered after the pandemic, much due to increased export revenues, the Central Bank of South Korea is afraid its economy will overheat. [...]

By |2021-09-08T12:55:24+00:00September 15th, 2021|Macro|Comments Off on South Korean Central Bank Raises Interest Rates for the First Time in Three Years

Rent Control Leads to Shortage in Sweden

BBC: Why rent control isn’t working in Sweden Article published: 27 Aug,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (government intervention, price control, maximum prices) It seems that rent control doesn't really work in Sweden, where the inevitable shortage now leads to an "average waiting time for a rent-controlled property [of] nine years" in Stokholm. Intervention would [...]

By |2021-09-08T12:14:57+00:00September 13th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Rent Control Leads to Shortage in Sweden

US Inflation Forecast Doubled by White House

The Wall Street Journal: White House More Than Doubles Its Inflation Forecast in New Update Article published: 27 Aug,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (inflation, monetary policy) Inflation is reaching its highest levels in over 10 years in the United States. As a result, the government (White House) has increased its consumer price index [...]

By |2021-09-08T11:46:16+00:00September 10th, 2021|Macro|Comments Off on US Inflation Forecast Doubled by White House

Global Chip Shortage Hurts Car Manufacturers

CNBC: Major automakers fear the global chip shortage could persist for some time Article published: 6 Sep,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (demand and supply, shortage) Partly due to coronavirus, many factories producing semiconductors have shut down in Malaysia. This has led to a huge shortage of chips, using silicon and consequantly has negatively affected [...]

By |2021-09-08T09:51:25+00:00September 8th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Global Chip Shortage Hurts Car Manufacturers

Milkshake Shortage in the UK

BBC: McDonald's runs out of milkshakes in England, Scotland and Wales Article published: 24 August,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (demand and supply, shortage) Due to a shortage of truck drivers, milkshakes and bottled drinks are unavailable in as much as 1250 McDonald's outlets across the UK. Thus, due to the lower availability of [...]

By |2021-09-01T19:38:42+00:00September 1st, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Milkshake Shortage in the UK

UK Exports in Free Fall post-Brexit

food and drink federation: UK-EU Food and Drink Trade Snapshot: January 2021 Report published: February,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: International economics (international trade) While this is not a suitable article for your commentaries, it provides an interesting snapshot into the UK-EU trade numbers for January 2021. On a year-on-year basis, UK exports to the [...]

By |2021-04-23T16:04:51+00:00April 13th, 2021|International Economics|Comments Off on UK Exports in Free Fall post-Brexit

Overfishing: Market Failure at its Best

BBC: Extinction: Freshwater fish in 'catastrophic' decline Article published: February 23,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (market failure, common pool resources, sustainability) "A "catastrophic" decline in freshwater fish" is caused by the fact that all over the world they are a good (and sad) example of a common pool resource. This is because they [...]

By |2021-03-20T16:59:22+00:00March 20th, 2021|Micro|Comments Off on Overfishing: Market Failure at its Best

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package

CNBC: Biden signs $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, clearing way for stimulus checks, vaccine aid Article published: March 11,  2021 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (Expnasionary fiscal policy, multiplier) Biden's Covid relief bill is mostly made up of transfer payments ($1400 in direct payments to most Americans, $300 per week unemployment benefits). Transfer payments themselves [...]

By |2021-09-01T19:32:57+00:00March 16th, 2021|Macro|Comments Off on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package

Tariffs on EU Cognac by the US as Trade War Escalates

BBC: Cognac targeted with tariffs in US-EU trade row Article published: December 31,  2020 IB Economics syllabus: International Economics (trade protection, tariffs) As the trade war between the US and the EU goes on, European cognac gets hit by new tariffs. This is yet another step in the ongoing battle about their aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, [...]

By |2021-01-28T10:50:18+00:00January 28th, 2021|International Economics|Comments Off on Tariffs on EU Cognac by the US as Trade War Escalates

RCEP: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

BBC: What is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)? Article published: November 16,  2020 IB Economics syllabus: International Economics (economic integration) With "29% of global gross domestic product" produced in the nations which signed the RCEP, the trade agreement has generated the largest ever trading bloc. "It includes the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian [...]

By |2020-11-19T20:28:05+00:00November 19th, 2020|International Economics|Comments Off on RCEP: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Tariffs eliminated on Canadian aluminum in US

Reuters: Trump lifts tariffs on Canadian aluminum, warns he may resume them Article published: October 27,  2020 IB Economics syllabus: International Economics (trade protection, tariffs) Trump eliminated the 10% tariffs the US had against Canadian aluminum imports, but the President warned that the tariffs may be put back in place should imports increase a lot. This [...]

By |2020-11-15T17:22:58+00:00November 15th, 2020|International Economics|Comments Off on Tariffs eliminated on Canadian aluminum in US

100 Nudge Case Studies and Research Papers

A Database of 100 Nudge Case Studies and Research Papers⚡ IB Economics syllabus (first assessment 2022): Microeconomics (Behavioural economics in action - HL only) Here's a head-up to all new students (exams in 2022): the link at the top will take you to 100 cases from real-life about how nudges can be applied to change [...]

By |2020-11-01T21:12:18+00:00November 1st, 2020|General|Comments Off on 100 Nudge Case Studies and Research Papers

Largest ever U.S. fiscal stimulus package

Business Insider: Trump signs the $2 trillion coronavirus economic relief bill into law, which includes checks for Americans and business loans Article published: March 23, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (expansionary fiscal policy) Trump signed the largest ever economic stimulus package (expansionary fiscal policy) of American history to fight the recession caused by the coronavirus. Source of [...]

By |2020-04-07T06:43:49+00:00April 7th, 2020|Macro|Comments Off on Largest ever U.S. fiscal stimulus package

Unlimited bond-buying program in the U.S.

CNN: Fed takes emergency action to stave off a depression Article published: March 23, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (expansionary monetary policy) In an effort to "prevent the health crisis from turning into a full-blown financial crisis" the U.S. central bank (the Fed) has announced an unlimited bond-buying program, also known as an "open-ended quantitative easing." This [...]

By |2020-04-07T06:44:20+00:00March 25th, 2020|Macro|Comments Off on Unlimited bond-buying program in the U.S.

Public transport made free in Luxembourg

CNN: Luxembourg makes all public transport free Article published: March 2, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (positive externality of consumption, government intervention) This article talks about public transport becoming completely free in all of Luxembourg. This is because the richest country of the EU can afford to absorb the costs of public transport as they believe that [...]

By |2020-03-05T13:00:59+00:00March 5th, 2020|Micro|Comments Off on Public transport made free in Luxembourg

Surprise rate cut by the Fed

CNN: The Fed just hit the coronavirus panic button Article published: March 3, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (expansionary monetary policy) It seems like the coronavirus has effects other than on hockey sticks, in fact now the Fed (the U.S. Central Bank) has also reacted to it. In fears of a fall in economic growth (not to [...]

By |2020-03-04T09:38:43+00:00March 3rd, 2020|Macro|Comments Off on Surprise rate cut by the Fed

Only electric cars to be sold in the UK by 2035

BBC: The UK just gave the car industry 15 years to ditch fossil fuels Article published: Feb 4, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (market failure, externalities of consumption) The UK government has decided to ban the sale of all new cars that burn fossil fuels by 2030 in a bid to reach net zero carbon emissions by [...]

By |2020-02-21T15:52:14+00:00February 21st, 2020|Micro|Comments Off on Only electric cars to be sold in the UK by 2035

Chinese Central Bank cuts interest rates

Bloomberg: PBOC Cuts Interest Rate for One Year Loans to Support Banks Article published: Feb 17, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (expansionary monetary policy) Due to the negative effects of the coronavirus on the Chinese economy, the Central Bank of China has decided to cut its interest rates. More specifically, they have cut the interest rates to [...]

By |2020-02-17T15:58:34+00:00February 17th, 2020|Macro|Comments Off on Chinese Central Bank cuts interest rates

Coronavirus and the hockey stick shortage

CBS Sports: How the coronavirus is creating an NHL stick shortage Article published: Feb 11, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (demand and supply, market equilibrium, shortage) This is an interesting article about how the infamous coronavirus can lead to a lack of supply of hockey sticks in North America. Interestingly, as most of the hockey sticks are [...]

By |2020-02-12T22:44:52+00:00February 12th, 2020|Micro|Comments Off on Coronavirus and the hockey stick shortage

Surprise rate hike of the Czech Central Bank

Bloomberg: World Gets First Rate Hike of 2020 With Surprise Czech Move Article published: Feb 6, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics, International economics (monetary policy, exchange rates) The first Central Bank to increase interest rates was the Czech National Bank - and the move surprised the markets as no one was expecting a rate hike. As a [...]

By |2020-02-10T10:25:37+00:00February 10th, 2020|International Economics, Macro|Comments Off on Surprise rate hike of the Czech Central Bank

Committee on Climate Change: meat and dairy consumption must be cut by a fifth

BBC: Cut meat and dairy intake 'by a fifth', report urges Article published: Jan 23, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (market failure: threats to sustainability) According to the latest report by the Committee on Climate Change of the UK, "people should cut the amount of beef, lamb and dairy produce they eat by a fifth to combat climate [...]

By |2020-02-08T23:03:28+00:00February 8th, 2020|Micro|Comments Off on Committee on Climate Change: meat and dairy consumption must be cut by a fifth

Chinese Central Bank to increase money supply by $174 billion

South China Morning Post: China to inject US$174 billion of liquidity into markets amid new coronavirus outbreak Article published: Feb 2, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Macroeconomics (monetary policy) As part of the open market operations, the Chinese Central Bank, called the The People's Bank of China has decided to increase the money supply. They do so by the [...]

By |2020-02-06T16:10:06+00:00February 6th, 2020|Macro|Comments Off on Chinese Central Bank to increase money supply by $174 billion

When “going green” kills – the hidden costs of denuclearizing Germany

Wired: Germany Rejected Nuclear Power—and Deadly Emissions Spiked Article published: Jan 23, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics, (market failure, negative externalities of production, sustainability) The social costs of "going green": it was believed that shutting down nuclear power plants in Germany is a step forward to sustainability. However, a recent study shows that this has led [...]

By |2020-02-06T15:34:42+00:00February 3rd, 2020|Micro|Comments Off on When “going green” kills – the hidden costs of denuclearizing Germany

The Global Risks Report 2020

World Economic Forum: The Global Risks Report 2020 Article published: Jan, 2020 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Economics, Development Economics (market failure, negative externalities of production, sustainability, equity in the income distribution, economic development) One week before the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Organization published their Annual Risk Report, in which experts analyze the threats facing [...]

By |2020-01-30T14:13:53+00:00January 30th, 2020|Development Economics|Comments Off on The Global Risks Report 2020

New York Times article on global air pollution and the fight against it

The New York Times: See How the World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s Article published: Dec 2, 2019 IB Economics syllabus: Microeconomics (market failure, negative externalities of production, sustainability, equity in the income distribution, economic development) This is a fantastic and interactive article about air pollution - a global problem. As such, it touches upon [...]

By |2020-01-20T09:42:36+00:00January 20th, 2020|Micro|Comments Off on New York Times article on global air pollution and the fight against it
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