Friday, September 4, 2009

Cup of Joe

If you're one of those people whose day just seems to go better if you can start it out with a cup of coffee, you might find these two items of interest.

The first is from the Voxeu.org web site. Two economists used coffee prices as a method of examining real income gains prior to the industrial revolution. Their reasoning is interesting; although I'm not sure I totally buy into it. What I do find compelling is their conclusion that real incomes (and hence standard of living) increased during the period of study. This seems to go along with some of the work done by others, including Gregory Clark in A Farewell to Alms (previously reviewed and recommended on this blog).

The second article, while not as deep provides some interesting facts suitable for classroom use. It's from the Globalization 101 web site and focuses on the global market for coffee. I know most of us are aware that coffee comes from "somewhere else." But I suspect most of us don't know the complex structure of production, markets and treaties that allows us to enjoy the hot brew.

I hope you find these of interest. I also hope you find them useful and I'd be interested to hear how you used them.

3 comments:

Victoire said...

On the subject of coffee and market structure and economic development, the movie "Black Gold" is an excellent teacher resource!

Tim Schilling said...

I know very little beyond the title of that film. Care to provide some background for other readers? I know I'd appreciate it. I looked it up at imdb.com but it didn't help much.

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