Easily Integrate These Wall Street Journal Articles in Your Class
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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. Paying for Ethanol at the Pump and on the Plate
How Homo Economicus Went Extinct
Opinion. The Hole in the Rooftop Solar-Panel Craze
Can Google Outsell Amazon and eBay?
Car States Balk at Trade Pact

Opinion. Paying for Ethanol at the Pump and on the Plate
by: Mike Brown and Rob Green
May 15, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Environmental Regulation

SUMMARY: The federal mandate has driven up the price of corn-and of poultry, meat, eggs and dairy.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Students can evaluate the effect of the corn-ethanol mandate on the price of corn, the on prices of beef, pork, and chicken and on the profits of restaurants.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What is the effect of the federal corn-ethanol mandate on the price of corn?

2. (Advanced) What is the effect of an increase in the price of corn on the prices of beef, pork, and chicken?

3. (Advanced) What is the effect of an increase in the price of corn on the profits of restaurants? How does the answer depend on the price elasticity of demand for restaurant meals?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


How Homo Economicus Went Extinct
by: Carol Tavris
May 16, 2014
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Behavioral Economics

SUMMARY: Consumers and investors don't act rationally, but for generations economists have pretended they do. "For all of his creative career spanning 40 years, Mr. Thaler, who is a professor of behavioral science and economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, has been studying 'the myriad ways in which people depart from the fictional creatures that populate economic models.'"

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Instructors can use the book review to define behavioral economics and motivate students to investigate behavioral economics.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Define behavioral economics. What distinguishes the "rational man" from human beings?

2. (Advanced) Research question. For all of his creative career spanning 40 years, Mr. Thaler, who is a professor of behavioral science and economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, has been studying "the myriad ways in which people depart from the fictional creatures that populate economic models." Cite some meaningful examples.

3. (Advanced) Research question. Cite an example in which a government adviser makes a decision for a person that the person prefers to the decision he or she would make. That is, build an argument for paternalism that satisfies the above criterion.

4. (Advanced) Is the review of Prof. Thaler's book balanced?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


Opinion. The Hole in the Rooftop Solar-Panel Craze
by: Brian H. Potts
May 18, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Environmental Regulation

SUMMARY: Large-scale plants make sense, but panels for houses simply transfer wealth from average electric customers.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Students can evaluate whether rooftop-solar subsidies are inefficient because a lower-cost solar technology exists. They can also evaluate whether rooftop-solar subsidies represent a wealth transfer to higher-income households.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Is the current electricity pricing mechanism for California residents with rooftop solar panels inefficient?

2. (Advanced) Why does the current pricing policy used by utilities represent a wealth transfer from average electric customers to customers with rooftop solar systems (who also often have higher incomes)?

3. (Advanced) What economics principle explains why large-scale solar power can produce electricity at about five cents per kilowatt-hour while rooftop solar can produce electricity at about 17 cents per kilowatt-hour?

4. (Advanced) Should federal and state governments be encouraging large-scale solar power production as opposed to small-scale rooftop solar power production? Should governments be encouraging both large-scale and small-scale solar bower production?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


Can Google Outsell Amazon and eBay?
by: Alistair Barr and Rolfe Winkler
May 20, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Internet

SUMMARY: Google will launch buy buttons on its search-result pages in coming weeks, a controversial step by the company toward becoming an online marketplace rivaling those run by Amazon.com and eBay.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Students can evaluate Google's rationale for launching buy buttons on search-result pages and responses by retailers to Google's move.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Why is Google launching buy buttons on search-result pages? What is it doing so on only mobile device searches?

2. (Advanced) What are retailers' concerns about Google move? What is Google doing to mollify the concerns of retailers? Are retailers who offer products on "Shop on Google" made better off by Google's move?

3. (Advanced) The article notes that Google's buy buttons on search-result pages represents a delicate balance for the company. What is the delicate balance?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


Car States Balk at Trade Pact
by: William Mauldin
May 19, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: International Trade

SUMMARY: President Barack Obama's Pacific trade agreement is raising alarms not only in Michigan and surrounding states dominated by Detroit's Big Three, but also farther south where backers of Japanese car makers worry about the fate of current and future plants in the region.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Students can evaluate whether the U.S. automobile industry would be harmed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What is the effect of the TPP on the location of automobile production facilities? Discuss the fixed costs of locating facilities.

2. (Advanced) Considering the automobile industry, which country is likely to benefit from the TPP? Explain.

3. (Advanced) What is a distinguishing characteristic of Republicans who are likely to vote against the TPP?

Reviewed By: James Dearden, Lehigh University


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