econlife on ‘Businesses’

Formally called the theory of the firm, the business category focuses on ownership, production and competition. Our goal is to understand business behavior. For ownership, topics include the corporation and sole proprietorships. For production, the focus involves maximizing profits. With competition, topics relate to a continuum that spans the 4 basic market structures: perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and monopoly.

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    Preventing a ‘Flash Crash’

    Aug 21, 10 • 112 Views • Businesses, International Trade and Finance, RegulationNo Comments

    Do you remember the ‘flash crash‘? On Thursday, May 6, for close to 20 minutes, markets everywhere wildly fluctuated.  It began at 2:23 when certain stock prices started moving oddly. With Apple trading at approximately $250 a share, at 2:44,...

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    A Little Sunshine at General Motors

    Aug 18, 10 • 97 Views • Businesses, Developing Economies, International Trade and FinanceNo Comments

    A question: How are a little Sunshine and the U.S. taxpayer similar? The answer: Both are helping General Motors grow. The Wuling Sunshine is the most popular car in China. Manufactured by General Motors with 2 Chinese partners, it is a no frills minivan that...

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    Netflix and Buggy Whips

    Aug 14, 10 • 116 Views • Businesses, Economic Thinkers, Innovation, Tech1 Comment

    After reading this NY Times article about Netflix, you might begin to think about buggy whips. I know it sounds distant but here is the connection. Entrepreneurs make an existing product or process obsolete. Netflix and Blockbuster. Amazon and Barnes &...

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    More About Lines

    Aug 13, 10 • 129 Views • Businesses, Thinking Economically3 Comments

    Next time you are in Starbucks, check how long you stood in line. They care. To save 14 seconds, for example, Starbucks designed a larger ice scoop which baristas could use for one dip instead of 2. Still though, in a “mystery shopper” survey of...

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    Waiting In Line

    Aug 12, 10 • 86 Views • Businesses, Developing Economies, Households, Thinking EconomicallyNo Comments

    During August evenings in Nantucket, the lines are long at the Juice Bar. Outside each of two doors is a line stretching along the sidewalk. Once you enter the doors into the shop, you can select among (sort of) 6 lines to get to the counter and order...