March Madness and the Economics of College Athletics

Source: Flikr Creative Commons I just read a nice article on the economic impact of March Madness by Simon Ogus. He goes through the effects on host cities, the TV revenue generated, and the money that flows to schools, conferences and the NCAA. I’m a strong believer in separating big-time athletics from colleges and universities. I used to be ambivalent, but that was before I read Taylor … [Read more...]

Inflation! Debasement!

Hyperinflation-era German currency Source: Flikr Creative Commons The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data came out today.  Inflation is low by any standard: 1 percent per year for all items in the CPI, 2.3 percent when we exclude energy and food from the index. A colleague and I have a running joke when these numbers appear.  Either by email or in person, we … [Read more...]

Derailment on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief

(Source: Flikr Creative Commons) I cringe when I read sentences like this: "Amtrak's Southwest Chief was carrying more than 140 people when several rail cars derailed early Monday, moments after an engineer noticed a significant bend in a rail and applied the emergency brakes, authorities said. At least 32 people were hurt, two of them critically." (Source: New York Times) Unfortunately, I was … [Read more...]