Higher Rock Education - Economics Blog

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Economics in the News – Dec. 12-18, 2022

Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics. 

o   Some lesser-known colleges are taking part in a tuition reset. Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire has joined Lasell University in Newton, Mass., Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., and Roanoke College in Salem, Va., in lowering tuition prices in recent years. Tuition at Colby-Sawyer has been slashed by more than half, dropping to $17,500 from $46,000. Fairleigh Dickinson in New Jersey slashed its tuition by 25 percent due to declining enrollment and concerns over student loan debt. 

The reset is part marketing and part based off need. Tuition costs at smaller schools are often in place to mimic the price tag of larger and the most elite universities. The reset also reflects what most students pay after discounting through scholarships and financial aid programs. A growing number of college-aged children and parents are balking at the increasing costs of college and a growing sentiment that a college education is overpriced compared to its value. [The New York Times]

o   Argentina’s epic win in the World Cup final over France in penalty kicks cemented Lionel Messi’s legendary career, aiding his country to its third World Cup crown and first since 1986. The dramatic final culminated a historic tournament that saw Qatar become the smallest country to serve as World Cup host. 

What impact does winning a World Cup have on the winning country’s economy? According to researchers at the University of Surrey in the UK, the winning country typically sees an extra 0.25 percentage point of economic growth in the two quarters following the tournament. That results come from a greater number of exports due to greater international visibility. Regardless, even reaching the quarterfinals of the competition can have positive impacts of an economy, taking advantage of the global television exposure. [Bloomberg]

o   Scientists announced a breakthrough for the first time producing more energy in a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California achieved the result. It is seen as an energy gain and one that scientists have studied for decades, as it harnesses the process that powers the sun. It has been difficult for scientists because fusion happens at extreme temperatures and pressures that it is difficult to control. 

The Department of Energy said that the latest breakthrough will pave the way for national defense and clean energy advancements. Proponents of fusion hope that it could one day power homes and businesses, producing clean energy and displacing fossil fuels and other traditional energy sources. [Associated Press]

o   A winter storm could make for treacherous travel conditions, as many people trek home for the holidays. According to the National Weather Service, a storm is expected to develop and move across parts of the Central Appalachians, eastern Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. On top of the strong winds, rain and snow expected, forecasters are projecting temperatures to drop below freezing temperatures and well below their late December averages. 

Below-freezing temperatures could reach parts of southern Texas, the Gulf Coast and Florida over the weekend. The Ohio Valley and Northeast are expected to see the most snowfall, making for a likely white Christmas. [The New York Times]

o   Roughly 150 new Christmas movies will debut this holiday season from November through December. Hallmark Media will debut 40 films, while rival Lifetime has 26 films. In the age of binge-watching shows, inexpensive movies are popular among Hollywood studios. On Netflix, five of the top 10 films during the week that ended Dec. 4 were Christmas movies, including the No. 1 production The Noel Diary. 

Many of the scripts are even similar: sappy, feel-good holiday stories. Many of the films are created on a small budget of with a little-known cast and a small set. The genre has created a niche for some actors, such as Candace Cameron Bure on Hallmark, while established actors like Lindsay Lohan have come out of retirement to appear in the movies. [Bloomberg]

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