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Special Student Webinar Series

The WSJ College Program has launched a new webinar series especially for college students. The first, focused on Interviewing, aired earlier this week.

WSJ Editor Nikki Waller and industry expert Pamela Skillings shared tips and answered questions on NOT bombing the interview. Viewers learned how to impress while avoiding common pitfalls.

They can view this webinar and register for future ones at WSJ.com/studentwebinars.

Be sure to share this information with your students.
THIS WEEK'S ARTICLES
Opinion. Education Does Reduce Inequality
The Web's Most Maniacal Bargain Hunters
Ohio Officials Propose Funding a Plant for Fiat Chrysler in Toledo
Business World. California's Water Woes Are Priceless
Europe to Pull Trigger on Google Antitrust Charges

Opinion. Education Does Reduce Inequality
by: Dan Greenstein and Jamie Merisotis
Apr 10, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Education

SUMMARY: The premium commanded by a college degree has risen, even as the market has been flooded with graduates.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Students can discuss the role of higher education in reducing income equality. The opinion piece then prompts a question of whether, on equity grounds, governments should subsidize higher education.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) "MIT economist David Autor has an instructive thought experiment: The increase in wages for the top 1% between 1980 and 2005, if divided among the bottom 99%, would provide each household about $7,000 in additional income. But the wage gains of college graduates over the same period, divided among high-school graduates, would provide each household with $28,000 of additional income." What is the implication of this thought experiment?

2. (Advanced) "The premium attached to a college education-the difference in wages between those with degrees and those with high-school diplomas-increased even as the market was flooded with university graduates. In 1980 only 16 million Americans, or 21% of those in their prime working years (ages 23 to 54), held a bachelor's degree or higher; by 2013, that figure was 38 million, or 37%. When supply increases, economists expect the price to fall. But instead the college-wage premium grew from 33% to 62% between 1980 and 2013." Research question. Why have the returns to higher education been increasing?

3. (Advanced) Should governments subsidize higher education as a means to reducing income inequality?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


The Web's Most Maniacal Bargain Hunters
by: Greg Bensinger
Apr 13, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Microeconomics

SUMMARY: Retailers fret about "showrooming," where shoppers scan bar codes in stores and seek better deals online. But now there is a twist.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article offers a great example of arbitrage in action, deemed "reverse showrooming." Armed with price-checking apps, individuals purchase low-priced items in stores. They then resell the items on Amazon, at a profit. "Industry insiders call the practice retail arbitrage. It's more art than science, because prices are often lower online. Tricks of the trade include scoping bargain racks, shopping on senior discount day, buying unusual sizes and anticipating high demand. Software developers offer price-checking applications that help calculate potential profit, after shipping costs and online commissions."

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Define arbitrage. Is the practice of purchasing low-priced items in stores and then reselling them at higher prices online an example of arbitrage?

2. (Introductory) Are people who purchase low-priced items in stores and then resell them at higher prices on Amazon taking advantage of Amazon shoppers?

3. (Advanced) Does Amazon benefit from the practice of retail arbitrage?

4. (Advanced) Based on the anecdotal evidence in the article, how does the online competition for a product affect the prices set by retail arbitragers?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


Ohio Officials Propose Funding a Plant for Fiat Chrysler in Toledo
by: Christina Rogers
Apr 10, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Public Funding

SUMMARY: State and local officials in Ohio are proposing to fund a new factory for Fiat Chrysler in Toledo, an unusual auto-industry incentive that would require hundreds of millions in financing.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Students can evaluate the benefit to a state's economy of having companies locate production facilities in the state.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Why are the benefits to a state of companies locating production facilities within the state?

2. (Advanced) Why would a state offer financial incentives for companies to locate production facilities within the state?

3. (Advanced) Do states compete to attract production facilities? If so, would they collectively be better off if no states offered financial incentives for firms to location production facilities?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


Business World. California's Water Woes Are Priceless
by: Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
Apr 15, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Supply and Demand

SUMMARY: A case study in how politics precludes a rational solution to the problem of drought.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Students can evaluate whether a pricing mechanism in which water prices were set to clear the water market would solve California's water shortages. Students can also evaluate why California's politicians are reluctant to set market-clearing prices for water.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Suppose the supply of water in California is perfectly price inelastic. Use a supply and demand diagram to characterize the market-clearing price of water.

2. (Advanced) Would a market-clearing price of water lead to an efficient allocation of water?

3. (Advanced) Why are California's politicians reluctant to use a pricing mechanism to allocate water?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


Europe to Pull Trigger on Google Antitrust Charges
by: Valentina Pop and Tom Fairless
Apr 15, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video

TOPICS: Antitrust

SUMMARY: Europe's antitrust regulator has decided to file formal charges against Google for violating the bloc's antitrust laws, stepping up a five-year investigation that is set to become one of the biggest competition battles in Brussels. Related article 1: Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are doubling down on their operations in Europe, despite a regulatory crackdown that threatens to curb their growth in the continent. Related article 2: European Union regulators formally accused Google of violating the bloc's antitrust laws by abusing its dominance of online search. Related article 3: At the heart of the antitrust complaint against Google is the search giant's alleged practice of highlighting its own shopping services, ahead of links to rival services. Related article 4: European regulators opened a second front in their antitrust probe of Google, launching a formal investigation of whether the company used its position as the maker of Android to favor other Google apps and services. Related article 5: A husband-and-wife team that set up price comparison-shopping website Foundem is the unlikely instigator of Google's antitrust woes.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Instructors can present the European Commission's four main areas of concern about Google's behavior: potential bias in Google's search results, scraping content from rival websites, agreements with advertisers that may exclude rival search-advertising services and contracts that limit marketers from using other platforms. The commission also is investigating whether Google uses its leading Android mobile-operating system to promote its own services. Instructors can then present the rationale for investigating whether this behavior is anticompetitive.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Why is Google's alleged search bias potentially anticompetitive?

2. (Advanced) Why are Google's agreements with advertisers that may exclude rival search-advertising services potentially anticompetitive?

3. (Advanced) Why are Google's contracts that limit marketers from using other platforms potentially anticompetitive?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University

RELATED ARTICLES: 
U.S. Tech Giants Double Down in Europe
by Amir Mizroch, Lisa Fleisher, and Sam Schechner
Apr 15, 2015
Page: B4

EU Files Formal Antitrust Charges Against Google
by Tom Fairless, Rolfe Winkler, and Alistair Barr
Apr 16, 2015
Page: A1

What is at the Heart of Complaint Against Google?
by Alistair Barr
Apr 16, 2015
Page: A10

Europe Opens Probe of Google's Android
by Rolfe Winkler
Apr 16, 2015
Page: A10

The British Couple Who Began Google's Antitrust Battle
by Tom Fairless
Apr 16, 2015
Page: A10


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