Author: Ellen Bast

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (and Why He Gave It Back): A Look at Economic Altruism

Growing up, one of my favorite holiday stories was Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In this tale, we meet the curmudgeonly Grinch, who hates the Christmas season and therefore decides to “keep Christmas from coming” to Whoville. To do so, he devises an evil scheme to steal any trace of Christmas from the town—removing Who pudding and roast beast from kitchens, taking Christmas trees and wreathes that adorn homes, and even lying to little Cindy Lou Who. Once he and his trusted canine companion Max return to their mountain top lair and revel in their malice, however,...

Read More

Nudge, Nudge, Win, Win: The 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics

It’s awards season! Before you get too excited about couture dresses, the red carpet and celebrities’ speeches being cut off by orchestral music, let me explain. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences to Richard Thaler, an economist at the University of Chicago, whose work in behavioral economics has revolutionized the way economists analyze the world. To understand Thaler’s contribution to the field, we first need to have a brief lesson in economic theory (I promise that it won’t be too boring). Classical economics is based on the idea that people act...

Read More

#StudentExperience: Similoluwa Akinmuda

In my opinion, one of the best perks about being affiliated with Towson University is the opportunity to interact with TU students through our research internship program. Throughout the year, TU students gain real-world research experience while completing their studies; the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) receives valuable assistance as well as different perspectives as we meet our project needs. This summer, we’ve been lucky to have Similoluwa (Simi) Akinmuda ‘18 join us as she completes her Master’s of Science in Marketing Intelligence in TU’s College of Business and Economics. Simi received her B.S. in Economics from Covenant University...

Read More

The Economic Boom of Fireworks

As a Baltimore resident, I find it especially fitting to celebrate the Fourth of July in the city where the Star Spangled Banner was written. Each year, Fourth of July festivities here in Baltimore and across the nation are marked by a variety of quintessentially American activities: parades, patriotic concerts, barbeques, and (most notably) firework displays. While I enjoy the beauty of bursting colors as they shoot across the sky, fireworks are also a boon to the economy. For example, consumers spent approximately $755 million on fireworks in 2015, and fifteen minutes’ worth of backyard fireworks can cost between...

Read More

Economic Impact of the Arts in Maryland

Last year around this time, I wrote a blog post highlighting the work the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University was performing to quantify the impact that Maryland’s Arts and Entertainment (A&E) Districts have on the state’s economy. Since the impacts stemming from just the A&E Districts are significant—approximately 6,000 jobs, $571.4 million in state GDP, $198.5 million in wages, and $38.5 million in state and local taxes supported annually throughout Maryland—I thought it would be interesting to examine the impact and influence of the broader arts community in the state. According to a report released by the...

Read More

The Economist’s Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the economy Not a creature was stirring, save for the GDP. The stock trades were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that low interest rates soon would stay there. Forecasters were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of employment growth danced in their heads. And Yellen in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap. When out on the market arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the...

Read More

Going for the Gold: The Cost of Being an Olympian

In a few short days, the Olympic torch will make its way to the opening ceremonies of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, marking the start of the XXXI Olympiad. While the Olympics are an exciting time of national pride and athleticism, they are often accompanied by controversy. Hosting the games can be contentious, as many economists question the tradeoffs associated with spending billions of dollars for such a short, specialized event. This year’s games in Rio are no exception: from political and economic instability to institutional doping scandals affecting national teams to concerns over the Zika virus and public...

Read More

Baltimore, One Year Later

Just over a year has passed since Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody and the unrest that ensued (my blog about the unrest can be found here). Just over a year has passed since the protests arose, since public transit shut down, since a pharmacy and an under-construction senior center burned, since a State of Emergency was declared and the National Guard arrived, since Baltimore City residents fell asleep to the sounds of helicopters flying overhead to remind them of the curfew, since the Orioles played a fan-less game at Camden Yards. The unrest brought many of Baltimore...

Read More

Arts & Entertainment Districts: Economic and Fiscal Impacts

The Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University has the expertise to complete a wide array of projects, ranging from impact (or economic benefit) studies (as Daraius discussed in a previous post), supply and demand analysis, survey analysis, and advocacy support, just to name a few. While many of our projects focus on one area, we often have the opportunity to draw on multiple skills for a single client. This is the case for RESI’s work for the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). Maryland State Arts Council A&E Districts For those who are unfamiliar with the organization, MSAC...

Read More

How the Economist Stole Christmas

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the holiday season is in full force. In previous blog posts, I’ve considered the economic impact of various holiday events and phenomena. This year, in the spirit of trying something new, I’ve decided to flip my approach and think about the economics that exist in a holiday story. Take, for example, Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol. A Christmas Carol The novella, first published in 1843, recounts the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly accountant. On Christmas Eve, as Scrooge is going to bed, he is visited by the ghost of Marley (Scrooge’s former...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive blog post notifications and our monthly e-newsletter.