Economics in the News – Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2021
Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics.
- Lincoln Riley left his football head coaching position at University of Oklahoma for University of Southern California. Brian Kelly left his perch as head coach at University of Notre Dame for Louisiana State University and a $9 million per year payday. Two of the most storied programs in college football history – Oklahoma and Notre Dame -- have sudden coaching searches following the departures of Riley and Kelly, respectively. Those schools are not alone. There have been numerous high-profile head coaching changes in the week since the end of the college football regular season.
This year’s maneuvering among universities and head football coaches is a reflection on a sport with impatient fan bases, pushing salaries for coaches higher. Salaries for head football coaches have increased from Steve Spurrier earning $2 million per year to coach at University of Florida in 1997 to Kelly earning a contract more than $9 million per year at LSU. Deals for coaches have soared in recent history due to the massive exposure they bring to schools tied from television revenue. The football programs help broaden the profiles of universities, diversify the student body and help support the remaining teams in the athletic department. [The New York Times]
- The United States will not send U.S. officials to the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing. The White House cited China’s determined suppression of a Muslim minority group and other human rights abuses in making the decision for a diplomatic boycott.
The move is intended to be limited to diplomatic leaders, allowing full participation for American athletes to go proceed as planned. If other governments join the United States diplomatic boycott, it would hinder Bejing in demonstrating that China has international support. [The Wall Street Journal]
- There are growing worries among experts about China’s undoing of key free-market policies that lifted China’s economy to the second largest in the world. In recent months, China has been placing strict controls over growing sectors, large private companies and wealthy individuals. Chinese authorities reprimanded delivery apps for underpaying workers, social media companies and e-commerce companies were fined for crushing their smaller competitors while numerous CEO’s have been stepping down or donating to government-backed social projects.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s detractors say that he’s placing such controls as part of a power grab to gain more information about China’s citizens. Supporters argue that Xi is simply modifying modern-day capitalism and handling problems such as income inequality faster than the Western world. [CBS 60 Minutes]
- New York City is mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all private-sector employees, starting Dec. 27. The city says it’s the first city in the nation to implement such mandates.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio says that colder weather, holiday gatherings and the Omicron variant are factors in implementing the vaccine mandate. Dozens of lawsuits are attempting to overturn the requirement, arguing that the local government overstepped its boundaries. [NPR]
- India recently reported that its gross domestic product increased 8.4 percent in the third quarter, up from a 7.4 percent contraction last year. But growth remains 4 percent lower than in 2019. More than 10 million jobs were lost during the two waves of COVID-19, which pushed millions into poverty. Like other countries, supply bottlenecks have restrained the manufacturing sector. Labor participation has fallen.
India’s economic output is forecast to grow 7.8 percent in 2022, which is 9.0 percent lower than predicted before the pandemic. Economists are most concerned that the slow rate of job creation is restraining growth in the economy’s aggregate demand. [The New York Times]