The Economic Lowdown podcast series is produced by the Economic Education department of the St. Louis Fed for high school and college students. The series covers topics in economics, banking and monetary policy. The podcasts use clear, simple language to describe the economic concepts presented. In the end, students see how economic principles affect the choices they make in their everyday lives.
In this episode of The Economic Lowdown Podcast Series, you will learn how inflation influences the real return on your deposits, and why price stability—a responsibility of the Federal Reserve System—is important.
Prices send signals and provide incentives for buyers and sellers in ways you possibly never thought about. In a market economy, price signals prevent massive shortages and ensure that consumer wants are largely satisfied. In this podcast, hear how price signals from gas prices influence decision-making for both a father of three and a production supervisor for an oil refinery.
Ever feel as if you are paying the price for someone else’s “deal”? Perhaps you are choking on the pollution from a foundry where cheap widgets are made. That spillover effect is called an externality. There are positive ones, too.
Young people who are looking for that first job can learn about the basics of the labor market in this country. A brief explanation is given of the roles played by education, supply, demand, productivity and government regulation.
Money has taken many forms through the ages: shells, wheels, beads and even cows. All forms, though, have always had three things in common. Find out what in this eight-minute podcast. You will also learn how commodity money differs from representative money and how both differ from today’s fiat money.
The eighth episode of our podcast series answers a crucial economic question: Where do prices come from? Listeners discover that supply and demand work together like the two blades of a scissors to determine the market equilibrium – and the prices of the things you buy.
The seventh episode of our podcast series discusses the supply side of the market – the law of supply, slope of the curve and the difference between a change in supply and a change in quantity supplied.
The sixth podcast in this series examines the law of demand. Those who love candy bars will find this lesson especially easy to digest. A demand curve is simply defined, as are the sorts of changes that might affect that curve—all in less than seven minutes.
The fourth episode of our podcast series, The Economic Lowdown, discusses three aspects of inflation: what it is, what causes it and how it is measured. The episode also addresses related topics such as deflation, disinflation and the role of the Federal Reserve in monitoring inflation.