Sunday, October 19, 2008

How Does Society Change in a Bad Economy?


Ok lets start with this article as your required reading. If you are really into stock market psychology check out this graphic and this one too. Of course I am trying to keep you current, so here is a quiz. Finally, please read a fairly straightforward description of the reason why Paul Krugman won the Nobel. It is striking in its simplicity of insight, and a model of clear thinking.

10 comments:

Andrew G said...

This article has a number of good points and a number of bad points. I think a good point was the fact that popular social ideals change with the economic situation. The same idea was conveyed in "Ways of Seeing" by John Berger. However, when the author begins to talk about random consumer goods like pasta sauce and soda fluctuating due the economy, it starts to lose credibility. I can't see any reason for these two things to be affected by the economy for any reason, and it is a prime example of trying to explain something by using rediculous logic.

Brian Niggles said...

This is an interesting article which emphasis the subconscious, and psychological habits of society during times of economic instability. Although some correlations that are made between the status of the economy and certain trends seem to be a stretch, for example fewer male births, but overall the economy does shape specific human tendencies. Also because of the inscrutable nature of recessions both the anticipation leading up to and out of a recession produces social side affects. Because of this I wonder how many of these relationships are market driven, or just following a general trend.

Emily Hren said...

Some of the lifestyle shifts that result from difficult economic times are suprising. Why in hard times are more mature movie stars prominent? How does a bad economy cause a decline in male births? On the other hand, some changes that experts expect are reassuring. At least while we economy falls to pieces we can enjoy better health (excluding mental health)and a lower death rate (maybe). I like Mr.Conley's perspective on recessions. Maybe it is just a time to restore equality.

Amy V. said...

This article comments on the various effects of an economic recession, in particular, a consumer's reaction to it. Hemlines tend to go down, people listen to more meaningful music, and people tend to eat less and exercise more. However, these effects are not always consistent. People who lose jobs or lots of money tend to deteriorate more in health. Whereas those who aren't directly affected will spend less, take fewer risks and live healthier. This article was especially interesting because it addresses how GDP does not necessarily account for all benefits such as a healthier lifestyle. This article also says that recessions occur because the richest class "gets to top heavy and topples over..." affecting everyone in a society. Is this true?

JAYVEE NAVA said...

In this article, I learned that the even though the economy is really bad,it has positive and negative effects. When people have less money and prices continue to go up, we start to be more disciplined on what we eat and what we do. However,we need to bring our GDP up in order to get out of this crisis therefore we must somehow balance our diet and our spending.

Also, with less people smoking and driving their cars, it helps the environment(Global Warming) by having less pollution. What would happen if the bailout plan was to work?

Pierre said...

It is interesting to see how the economy can change certain things in our lives. I never would have thought that people's taste in music changes depending on the economy. It makes sense how our personal ways vary because money is a big part of our lives. Even though the economy is unpredictable, we could use affective research to figure out things about our culture, which is pretty cool.

Mark Simmons said...

Although the concept is interesting, I have a hard time buying it. There's too much assumption and contradiction.

“During a boom, deodorant sales go up, because people are out dancing around." -Mr. Shapiro

“People are physically healthier in times of recession. Death rates fall, people smoke less, drink less and exercise more" -Christopher Ruhm

Wouldn't this increase in exercise have the same or a similar effect on deodorant sales as increased dancing?

Also, changing demographics alter the predictions that this study is hoping to make. Recession and boom are cyclical, cultural change is constant. Therefore what our grandparents did in a similar situation is not necessarily what we will do.

Kelly said...

Regarding: A Hemline Index, Updated

People may generally be fitter and healthier in times of recession, but this Panglossian view indeed has its drawbacks. Studies made by economists, socialogists, psychologists, and marketers show that because of our knowledge in the past, we are able to predict possible effects in today's society. But to what extent should one believe that at this time, more Americans are bound to eat healthier, go out less, become better parents, or listen to certain types of music? There are definately limits to this "panglossian view" because if if this were not so, most U.S Americans would not fit under the category of "obese", we would not go out as much, there wouldn't be divorces, and more people would listen to fast, fun, happy music instead of emo music.

chris mangieri said...

It's interesting how some say that recession makes people healthier, they drink less and take care of themselves. Others say that recession causes more people to become poor and thus poor people become unhealthy because of stress from having lost their jobs. Another thing I found interesting is that almost everything can indicate economic recession, anything from haircuts to traffic accidents.

Bryan Liborio said...

Shout out from DC to Mr.Rood!!!!