Friday, November 22, 2013

Follow Me on Twitter

I have begun tweeting from @austinboyleecon on Twitter.  I am making "micro posts" there much more frequently than my entries here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Economics of Writing in Cursive

This is what a pen used to look like.  In fact, the Spanish word for a pen is "una pluma" which means "a feather." (note:  there are other words for pen as well).  You used to have to dip the feather in a container of ink and scribble down a few words on your paper before the ink was gone and you had to dip your feather in the ink bottle anew.  Every time you lifted the pen from the page, you risked dripping a bit of unwanted ink on your document.  That is the reason why people wrote in cursive.  With cursive, you basically lift the pen from the page only once per word.

These days, nobody uses the quill pen because we have ball point pens that are better in just about every way.  Ball point pens can be placed in a bag and will not leak ink on everything.  They are cheaper, more compact, and longer lasting.  One more improvement that is easy to overlook is its ability to write without dripping ink on the page.  The reason why we print in modern day is that we can afford to pick up our pen every time we write a letter since the pen does not drip unwanted ink on the paper.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Teaching Economics: Long-Run Equilibrium Adjustments in Perfectly Competitive Markets

I just made these videos for some students in my class and figured I would share with the world.  They cover what happens when there is an increase in demand (my constant-cost industry example) or a decrease in demand (my increasing-cost industry example) for a perfectly competitive market that begins in long-run equilibrium.

The videos go over how to make a long-run supply curve.  I think it is particularly useful to see these graphs drawn out as a process instead of seeing the finished product on the page because the snapshot does not give as good of an idea of the process that generates the graph.

Constant-Cost Industry:

Increasing-Cost Industry: