Vox takes a deeper look into the use of ramen as currency inside America’s prison system. Ramen serves a unique function as money since actual cash isn’t allowed in prisons. In order to serve as currency, an item needs to be durable, portable, and standardized, which ramen is. Ramen is the largest item purchased in prison commissaries and once inmates stockpile ramen, they can inflate/distort prices for other goods and services in the prison. The use of Ramen in prison economies is also mentioned in Brooklyn 99.
Vox — What people miss about the gender wage gap
Vox analyzes the gender pay gap and explains with how the measure is calculated and some of the issues with the way the gap is calculated. In particular, the measure focuses on the median earnings of men and women across the United States, but that isn’t necessarily the fairest representation of underpayment for women in the United State.
Vox — Expensive Wine is For Suckers
Vox goes through the popular wine test tasting to show that many drinkers are able to distinguishes between cheap and expensive wines, but that doesn’t mean that people actually liked the expensive wines. Often, people rated the expensive and cheap wines similarly. Even when it comes to experts, they often aren’t able to identify the same wine presented in a mix of other wines.
Vox — Shut Up About the Y-Axis
The truncated y-axis gets a bad wrap because a lot of individuals use it to mislead their audience. Vox argues that sometimes the truncation is important, but it’s important to know when/how to use it.
Vox — Homer Simpson: An Economic Analysis
Homer has had about 100 jobs during his many years on television and Vox writers have analyzed his work life. If you plan on using a lot of Simpsons clips throughout your course, they may be a good introduction for students unfamiliar with the show.
Vox: Why Are Weddings So Expensive
A great look from Vox on the asymmetric information involved in the wedding industry.
Vox: The economic benefits of being beautiful
Researchers have repeatedly found that attractive people benefit from widespread biases that can translate into big bucks.
For more info on how social scientists measure beauty, check out this article on Vox: http://www.vox.com/2014/7/16/5905533/the-benefits-of-beauty
Vox: How wealth inequality is dangerous for America
The top 1% of the population controls 40% of the nation’s wealth. Think about that for a minute. This Vox explainer outlines issues surrounding wealth inequality.