Year in Review + Exciting (?) Announcement

Did anyone actually read this newsletter?

We survived one year of writing this newsletter! Many thanks are due.

Seriously though, thanks to everyone who subscribes and shares our posts. We are currently over 1,500 subscribers. For such a niche, weird newsletter, that’s awesome. Thank you!

We wanted to take this anniversary to reflect a bit on how things went over the first year. First, what were people interested in?

Most Popular Posts of the Year

We received the most viewers (this includes email views and website views) when we were really out of step with the popular consensus. We started this newsletter to push back against some of the discussions online around economics, so that makes some sense. That’s our niche.

Brian dared to chime in on the minimum wage. Marginal Revolution picked it up, as well as NPR.com. 6967 views.

Economic Forces
How can price theory help us navigate the minimum wage debate?
Did you hear the good news?! Workers everywhere are about to be saved through Biden’s $15 minimum wage. Welp, today, I want to talk a bit about the minimum wage. Economists seem to be the only people who aren’t so sure. Not all economists though. There has been an increasingly popular view within economics that standard economic arguments against the min……
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This one on monopolies by Brian is almost trolling. The theoretical point is true. People need to know that. But it’s said in a way to shock readers. 3242 views.

Economic Forces
Monopolies don't make enough money
Building on last week's theme, thanks Josh, I want us to think about counterfactuals today—that dreaded, "compared to what?" we economists harp on. Instead of focusing on the first model taught in undergrad, I want to jump all the way to the second model: monopoly. 🤯…
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Our first post was a modest defense of supply and demand, which is a model that we are fans of (if we hadn’t made that clear in the past year). 3163 views.

Economic Forces
You'll have to pry supply and demand from my cold, dead hands
Thanks for subscribing to Economic Forces! I hope you enjoy our humble newsletter and we learn some economics together along the way. My name is Brian Albrecht 👋 and I’m an Assistant Professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University. Go Owls! Next week, you will hear from my lovely and talented co-host, Josh Hendrickson. The plan is for us to alternat……
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Back in January, which feels like a lifetime ago, the world was losing its mind, not just about covid, but about GameStop. Josh tried to indirectly reason with people about the meaning of efficient markets. 2838 views.

Economic Forces
Are Financial Markets Efficient?
There is perhaps no concept in economics that is as misunderstood and mischaracterized as the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH). A lot of people think they know what it means, but do not. A lot people think that they have clever arguments to refute it, but they do not. Today, I would like to discuss what the EMH says and does not say and clarify some a……
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Some people were triggered by our posts. None of our posts came close to the anger generated by Brian’s simple economic argument about the value of non-competes (including a ridiculous, clearly false claim in an email that Brian’s hair is bad). 2771 views.

Economic Forces
In Defense of Non-Competes
Who could possibly be against “Promoting Competition in the American Economy”? I’m not. I love competition. Yet, I’m not sure President Biden’s recent executive order by that title will actually accomplish much to promote competition. Instead of talking about the entire hodgepodge that is the executive order, in this week’s…
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Josh decided to join everyone else and complain about Econ 101. But this time, it’s not the same thing you’ve heard 1000 times from the chattering class on Twitter. 2662 views.

Economic Forces
What is Wrong with Econ 101?
A new popular trope in public forums is to denigrate Econ 101. We are told that it is overly simplistic or perhaps not even useful. We are told that Econ 101 spends too much time on competitive markets. We are told that Econ 101 should focus more on “evidence”, whatever that means…
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While these were our most popular, one thing that stands out in the data is just how steady the views are. Week in and week out we receive roughly the same amount of views. These “popular” posts are only slightly more popular (besides the top one that Marginal Revolution shared).

The steadiness is a good thing. We are writing these newsletters to be evergreen, not to go viral. Moreover, we are writing for our niche, which we know is small but has shown to be reliable as readers.

Economic Forces in the Classroom

The coolest thing about the past year is how many professors are using our posts in the classroom. Blackboard (a course management system) is one of our most frequent sources of traffic, along with other .edu websites. That’s great to see. Please keep it up!

If you’re new to the newsletter, here are a few more posts that may be useful in an Econ 101 class:

I was promised something exciting!

While we have loved writing the newsletter, we want to switch things up, both for us and our audience.

Next week, we will be dropping our first ever episode of the Economic Forces Podcast. Trademark pending. The video will be posted on YouTube and you can receive the podcast through the newsletter and your podcast app (once the first episode is posted). Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss it.👇

For our first episode, we interviewed Larry White on his time at UCLA in its heyday and the connection between price theory and macroeconomics.

Don’t worry! The newsletter lives on. We will be supplementing the newsletter with interviews; the current plan is 1 per month. Basically, the podcast is just an excuse to talk to the people we want to about our favorite topic: price theory.

If you have suggestions for guests, especially if you can get us in touch with the guest, let us know via email or in the comments.