Economic Concepts

Economic concepts are widely used but not always defined clearly. Read up on the nature of capitalism, learn how much power the Fed really has and more.

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10 Boom Towns that Went Bust

Some places rise in a blaze of glory, growing and flourishing to become the envy of the world. Other towns seem destined for success -- until their luck runs out.

How Gentrification Works

How did once run-down neighborhoods like Times Square and the Bowery become such gleaming jewels of New York City geography? It took time, but a process known as gentrification transformed these areas into some of the hottest properties in New York.

10 Signs the Economy Is Improving

According to some economists, the most recent U.S. recession ended in June 2009, but why can't we see it? It may surprise you to learn that the economy is showing signs of life, and here are 10 of the most vital.

10 Unforeseen Effects of Deregulation

Remember when airlines served full meals or when you could hear your favorite up-and-coming band on mainstream radio? Those days are gone thanks to governmental deregulation. Here are a few other effects of deregulation that we didn't see coming.

What is a double-dip recession?

If you think recessions are scary, could you imagine entering another one right after it ends? The idea of a double-dip recession scares the pants off most consumers and economists, but would we know the warning signs?

Has the free enterprise system prevailed?

Free enterprise means unfettered industry powered by profit-focused individuals. But after the labor and finance abuses of the Gilded Age, many people felt the men at the top got too much of the pie. Where are we now?

What is stagflation and why is it so dangerous?

It might seem impossible for a stagnant economy and high inflation rates to coexist, but that exact situation -- known as stagflation -- existed in the 1970s. Could it happen again? How can it be prevented?

Which economic bubble will be next to burst?

An economic bubble forms when an asset is allowed to irrationally increase in value before crashing down to earth and leaving a financial mess behind. As the global economy continues its freefall, people are waiting for the next bubble to pop.

Is Gross National Happiness more important than the GDP?

Research shows that happy workers are productive ones, so the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan took the radical step of measuring the impact of the country's happiness on its economy. Is Gross National Happiness a reliable economic indicator?

10 Costly Food Recalls

We can't live without food. But sometimes instead of nourishing our bodies, it can actually kill us. And it's no cheap (or easy) task to get that food off the market. These are 10 of the biggest food recalls in history.

What is the lipstick indicator?

When you want sound financial advice, you probably don't think to consult the woman selling $30 tubes of lipstick at the cosmetics counter. But could she have a better handle on the whims of the economy than your CPA does?

Is a free market "free" if it's regulated?

In the type of free market Adam Smith, father of capitalism, imagined, markets would correct themselves in the face of recession by weeding out weak businesses and individuals. Why bail out bad failing business, then?

Recession Pictures

It may not be pretty, but recessions affect us all. So how do they occur? Trace the economy's path in the 21st century from subprime collapse to the mortgage crisis to the credit market crisis.

How Bartering Works

Imagine a world without cash or credit cards. You'd barter to get what you need and want. Today, people and businesses are still trading goods and services. But can these cash-free transactions be taxed?

Advantages of E-commerce

E-commerce, or shopping online, offers advantages for both consumers and retailers. See how to make the most of online shopping.

The History of E-commerce

While the history of e-commerce is short, e-commerce has changed how we do business online. Learn more about the history of e-commerce.

What's the difference between a recession and a depression?

Bleak images from the Great Depression strike fear in the hearts of people who believe that a recession in the United States could cause history to repeat itself. But does recession always lead to depression?

Why does the Fed change the interest rate?

Imagine a tightrope walker with ESP and a degree in economics -- that's essentially the Federal Reserve Chairman. By changing the interest rate, the Fed can offset inflation and unemployment. But how?

Can the government control a stock market crash?

In a free market economy, the law of supply and demand dominates. But if the economy is in a downward spiral, could the government really save it?

How Socialism Works

Socialism is more than just agrarian communes: It's a principle, lifestyle and economic system that aims toward cooperative, ideal societies. But does it work?

How Capitalism Works

The essence of capitalism is economic freedom and the belief that widespread personal wealth will lead to societal well-being. But does anyone even practice true capitalism these days?

How Interest Rates Work

Interest rates are simply the cost of borrowing money. Without them, lenders would have no reason to let you borrow money.

How Eminent Domain Works

How can the government just take over and destroy property and buildings? And why do we let them? It's called eminent domain — and it's in the Constitution.

How the Five Day Weekend Works

The Five Day Weekend began as a clever marketing campaign to drive tourism. But some people like the idea and want to make it a law.

How Homelessness Works

Who are the homeless? What are the effects of homelessness on society at large? And what can we all do to help? These are a few questions explored in this article.